Friday, 21 February 2014

At the moment.

At the moment I am struggling with WIPs. My 'finish loads of stuff in 2014' mission started pretty well. I finished my Saturday Sampler quilt, stars mini-quilt, a pin cushion and that cardigan. 4 finishes by February, pretty good. But now it feels like ages since I finished anything, I'm starting to worry. Will 'that pile' in the corner ever get any smaller? Can I win this battle?!?!

I've got a few projects 'active' at the moment - and I really hope at least one of them will be finished soon!

This one has been a WIP for, ooh, about 18 months! I don't like working on it, too many pale colours on a pale background, blahh. But I'm nearly done! I've really stuck at it this time and now I'm on the LAST LETTER!! Sorry, this makes me very happy!!
The big blanket. I had a major, massive push on this project and got quite a bit more done. Also really hurt my hands. Urgh - no crochet for me for a little while :( 
Lots of EPP. 
I have so many EPP projects going on, big ones, little ones, quick ones, long term ones.
 Some look almost finished, I am hopeful!! 
This one lonely swoon block has been finished for ages. All the fabric is cut for the other 3 (I'm only making 4 blocks for a wall hanging). The half square triangles are ready. The flying geese are ready. I just need some time...
I love swoon. 
There might have to be a whole swoon quilt one day. Not yet though - too many projects to finish!
There is another problem though. 
Along with 'finish loads of stuff in 2014' I foolishly resolved to 'give more hand made gifts in 2014'. Which means I have to start more projects. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Another Big Blanket

Quite some time ago my in-laws asked if I would crochet them a blanket to go on their bed in their new house. Not just any new house either, their new house in Corfu - holidays here we come!! Of course I agreed, we talked about different designs and colours, and I left them to make their choices. Some time passed, and I think it was about October when I started the blanket.

Hmmm, the colours are not quite right in this photo!!
I admit, I failed to see the need to rush. Oops. They left for Corfu last week. Without a blanket. It's only about half finished, naughty me.

So now I really must get it finished. The cardigan from hell has been finished and gifted, and I don't have any more projects-with-deadlines on the go. So crochet it is. Lots and lots of crochet.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Linnea. Or the cardigan from hell.

I like hand made presents. I like the process of choosing and making something with a person in mind, I like that it says more than "I popped out to the shops and bought you this." I admit, it's not always easy, some people are really hard to make for, some people don't appreciate hand made, sometimes there just isn't the time. But I really wanted to make/give more hand made last Christmas. It didn't happen. There were a few home made gifts, but not as many as I had hoped for.

This year, there will be more. I will be better prepared. I will plan. I have already started to write lists of ideas. And, of course, there are lots of birthdays between now and Christmas!

Following this decision I decided at the beginning of January that I would knit a cardigan for a very special little girl I know who will turn 3 on the 1st February. I spent quite a long time looking through Ravelry for the perfect pattern. I finally decided on Linnea, I love the pretty shape, and it has mock cables so I thought it would be super quick and easy. No problem to knit in less than a month.

Oh, how wrong I was! The pattern was flawed from beginning to end. I had to rip back at least 3 times. I spent ages looking up terms I had never heard of (Google hadn't heard of them either), I had to change bits of the pattern, make up a few bits, ask for help on Instagram. Not what I expect when I have bought a (not cheap) pattern.

But, because I wanted it finished so badly I kept on going! Once I got past the division for the sleeves it went pretty quickly. There are a few mistakes. Little ones. They annoy me. I will have to try REALLY hard not to point them out when I gift it, because, chances are, her mum won't even notice, it's just because I know they're there!!

I was worried that it didn't look like it was going to be big enough, thought for a while that all my perseverance would be for nothing! But blocking worked like magic and I'm thrilled with how it has turned out. Love the buttons too, they are just perfect.

I have enough yarn left to make another one. Will I? No #$&@ing way!!! I will find another pattern to use it with!

Now all that's left to do is wrap it up and give it to the birthday girl!

Saturday, 1 February 2014


I am feeling unsure. Where to begin? Do I write a post about a project and pretend I didn't just have 3 whole months without a post? Do I write a post about why I haven't blogged for 3 months? Should I show you everything I have made in those 3 months? I may not have blogged, but I have certainly not stopped crafting!

Just a little peek at what I have been up to! Can't write a blog post without some pictures!!

Blogging is something that really appeals to me, I love to read other peoples blogs, I love the online community that they create. But I don't feel that I really found my feet with my blog before. It never looked the way I imagined it would, and I was never able to write on it the way I thought I would. I don't feel that I was able to express my enthusiasm about what I'm doing, I felt pressured to blog and then didn't enjoy it. And that's not what blogging should be like! It's about a shared interest, a shared passion. And I certainly have a lot of interests and passions to share!

I wasn't really happy with my style. I read a lot of blogs, and I have definite favourites, and I think that it mostly driven by the writing style, not the crafty content. I'm happy to look at and read about most crafts, but it's the warm welcoming feeling that some special blogs provide that appeals to me. My lovely friend Julie is a good example. I was lucky (very lucky!) to find an amazing knitting group in my local area, and Julie was/is one of the members. So I knew her before I read her blog, button-button. It is the style of her blog that I love. She chats. I can hear her voice as I read her blog, she writes like we are having a chat in the pub, easy, comfortable, full of enthusiasm for her crafts. Yarn Harlot makes me feel this way too, and I've never met her! So this is me trying to be more relaxed, to not worry what you might think of my writing. This is me trying to find my style, me, not what I think you want me to be but what I am.

The blog is going to need an overhaul. Some maintenance. And that worries me. It took bloody ages to get it set up in a way I'm not happy with, how long will it take me to get it right? Will this be another false start? I'm hoping that my photo issue (which, let's be honest is just a laziness issue) will be solved by the addition of an iPad in my life. Camera and internet all in the same place, no more plugging the camera in and downloading photos! I've got on really well with Instagram, perfect quick sharing for lazy me!

So watch this space. I'll be back. Probably with a quilt. Or some knitting.