Welcome to my blog. I live, knit and craft near the Northumbrian Coast (but not too near – the waves won't be splashing my knitting!).There's a story in every stitch, every grain of sand, every blade of grass. I thought I'd blog about it…
I have a ridiculous amount of crafty stuff. There is fabric, a sewing machine and sewing accessories, loads of yarn and fibre, my drum carder and other spinning accessories, art and card-making materials, beads and jewellery making supplies and much more. I came across the acronym SABLE (stash acquired beyond life expectancy) a while ago and it must apply to me.
The candle-making kit, has invaded the garage, also known as K’s man cave (and he want’s it out) but everything else is in the conservatory, which is where I do my crafty activities. It had become a sorry mess. Until recently I shared the space with son’s drum kit, but that’s gone now. Also, I recently got a second hand microwave that I plan to use for dyeing fibre and yarn. I needed to move things around to accommodate that. I bought a load of plastic crates and, with a lot of help from daughter, who has been an absolute star, we’ve sorted the space out. I love it!
The first job I tackled in the newly revamped space were doggy duvet covers! I made some cosy doggy bedding a while ago from an old duvet, but the white cotton covering shows every muddy paw mark. I had a couple of old throws made from a nice soft fleece fabric, which were surplus to requirements so I’ve used these to cover some of the doggy duvets. I just cut them to size, pinned them in place over the duvets and machine stitched all the way round, about 2 cm from the edge and then again as close to the edge as possible.
They look much better than the uncovered ones.
More importantly, Buddy seems to really like them!
The turn of the year is an opportunity to review those resolutions from a year ago and make new ones. Who could have predicted what 2020 would become?
At the beginning of the year my blog was only a couple of months old. I was creating content every day and that was mostly knitting related. I’d started it as part of my plan to learn a new skill every year. I set some knitting and crafting New Year resolutions last January
Make a Santa hat. I completed this last January, though I had fewer occasions to use it with no choir or ukelele gigs this Christmas. I never knitted a Bah Humbug version for K (who I described at the time as my personal Grinch). Maybe this year?
2. Knit a Christmas Jumper. I cast this on in April when the Pandemic had taken hold and it became my lockdown project. I bought the yarn online and remember quarantining the parcel for 72 hours before I opened it. I stopped knitting altogether at times but finally completed it in late August. I’ve loved wearing it this Christmas.
3. Keep on stash-busting. I had set out to use scraps of blue and grey yarn to make a cape/poncho but it didn’t workout. I pulled it out and redesigned it as a jacket which I finally finished a couple of days ago! This has made a smaller impression on the blue and grey parts of the stash than I’d hoped. I need to think about a project that will use another part of the stash.
The other craft materials I’ve accumulated got used too. Quilting fabric was made into masks and I used seaglass to make mosaic coasters and Christmas baubles. I made pheasant feather baubles too, and driftwood candle-shades, wax melts….
I still have piles of material in the craft room, so the stash-busting is ongoing.
4. Finish as many UFOs (Unfinished Objects) as I can . I completed a piece of tapestry during lockdown, which suited my state of mind at the time. Now it’s finished I’m not sure what to do with it as I don’t like it enough to frame or make into a cushion. I also finished a cobwebby scarf, a needlefelted unicorn from a kit among other things. There are still more projects to finish but I’m getting there.
5. Tidy up the craft room. This is ongoing and very much linked to 3 and 4 but at least I don’t have to share it with Son’s drum kit, which has been sold. he’s more of a guitarist these days.
6. Get out more – with my knitting. I had resolved to spend more time sitting in a car with a nice view while K walked the dog, but as lockdown began and there were no essential journeys allowed, driving to the beach stopped – later it was hard to get anywhere near as more and more tourists arrived in the area. I did get out more on my scooter for local dog walks and that reconnected me with nature, particularly wildflowers, and I started regular Wildflower of the Week posts on the blog. As Summer turned into Autumn the blackberries and sloes ripened and I got into preserving and making fruit gin liqueurs.
7. Improve my photography. I began using lenses that clip on to my mobile phone, including a macro lens for close ups of flowers. I also use tripods and remote shutter controls so my pictures are sharper. Still lots of room for improvement though!
8. Learn brioche. This was achieved when I made hand warmers, both 2 and one-coloured versions. I love the soft squishy feel of brioche stitch.
Of course I did other stuff this year. I have learnt a new skill : spinning yarn since I got an e-spinner for my birthday – with more equipment for Christmas I think this will take up a lot of crafting time in 2021, especially with all the gorgeous alpaca fibre I’ve been given.
So here’s my list of crafty intentions for 2021 – they deliberately include more of the same ongoing items, and some new ones.
Make a Bah Humbug hat for K (like a Santa hat but in black).
Continue stash-busting, including another big project, to be decided.
Finish more unfinished projects
Continue to sort and tidy the craft room
Continue spinning, including a jumper for myself
Get out more to knit if and when I can
Keep improving the photography
Learn how to dye yarn and fibre (this could be my new skill for 2021)
Use natural fibres and upcycle/resuse/recycle wherever possible
I think that’s enough to be going on with!
Finally, a very Happy New Year to everyone who reads this. We got through 2020 and what it threw at us so we are well equipped to deal with anything this year sends our way. I remain hopeful that things will improve with the rapid rollout of vaccines. Here’s to a safer, calmer 2021.