My last blog post was about progress and deciding to tackle another WIP. I put aside a pale green scarf and picked up a half-done cotton summer top.
So, I ripped back, knit, undid a few rows, found a fault, knitted again, found a dropped stitch, couldn’t pick it up, ripped back, continued (you get the idea!). Then yesterday I finally started sewing up and I am now on the home stretch. I am feeling rather proud this WIP has finally progressed but am frustrated this fairly easy knit nearly beat me, probably as I didn’t follow the pattern exactly, changed stitch count and sizing along the way.
Over the last couple of weeks I also thought about my fabric WIPs, none of which are top of the pile to revisit. Mine will be nothing as gorgeous of these, but wanted to share here to help inspire others. This first one is hanging in our local library. It is a work by Orpington Quilters Group. Beautiful, isn’t it? Unfortunately it isn’t hung well, I couldn’t get a better photo of the whole quilt.
This fantastic one was made by a friend at my knitting group. It is her very first foray into quilting, techniques learnt at a Beginner’s quilting group. Despite (again) my photography skills I hope you think it’s fantastic too. Anne, beginner quilter extraordinaire you have definitely inspired me to do better and in particular try the quilt as you go method. I was wondering how I was ever going to tackle the length and breadth of one of my half done quilts!
I have taken a little break this week from lacy knitting and ‘rediscovered’ an ongoing patchwork project which I have been dipping in and out of for about eight or nine years! This started off in my head as a cushion but I actually love making these these carded hexagons (reminds me of my grandmother teaching me how), so it’s progressed to a sofa throw and is now to become a bed throw, though it will be a while before it is finished and that’s totally ok for me. I like organic crafts and a change is as good as a rest. It uses mostly fabric from my stash with a little added here and there. I am sure I will be back to knitting soon.
I visited a friend’s mother yesterday. She has been stitching for most of her 75 years. I envy her houseful of patchwork throws and cushions. She even has one that was her own mother’s. Maybe one day someone might envy my own houseful of handicrafts. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?
I realised when revisiting the list of things I intended to do last year that I’ve achieved many parts of that list. What I called my ‘Enthusiasms’, aka as ‘Resolutions’ did not fail for once.
I reached my diet goal and along the way my focus changed to become healthier and happier rather than just a little slimmer.
I intended to sort out my craft stuff. This year I used up my stash when I could. Just a few samples – I knitted a bunch of hats for charity.
Quilt pieces and bunting evolved from my fabric pile, some of which I’d saved since 1994, I even made a sample dress from a duvet cover found in a charity shop (a challenge from friends, see below!).
I have many knitting and sewing WIPs. One HUGE intention was to finish many of them in 2018 – or rip them back to reknit something else. I did some of this! I hated two cardigans I eventually finished – both wrong shapes for me so I gifted them and they were gratefully received. I ripped back three unfinished knits. One turned into hats. The others await 2019. For Christmas I received a book about how to knit to flatter – I think this may get good use this year!!! I don’t usually make toys but have a bunny fabric pattern – that’s one intention for 2019. Another is to finish at least one quilt (there are two part done!).
I didn’t exactly sort out my job/career. I haven’t leapt into anything in a blind panic. I have put my family and my health first this year. I didn’t juggle all the balls of life and succeed with none. No regrets.
I was supposed to make a bucket list of things to do compelled by a particular date was slightly superceded by two friends giving me a list of things to do over the next year to celebrate my birthday. Most were fun, some were treats, some slightly scary. Challenged to wear something from a charity shop (I do that all the time, my ‘take’ on it was to buy a second hand duvet cover then make it into a dress!)
The last on last year’s list was to become more involved in day to day household accounting/finance. This was a serious plan for 2018 and is ongoing. I muddle along yet our household finances are still primarily organised by my husband. I wanted to take some pressure off him but we agree he is just better at it. As long as there is ‘change’ after the bills are paid and I can add to my craft supplies I’m happy. I am hoping if he reads this he agrees – happy wife/happy life!
I am having a play this week with my fabric stash. I have a beautiful selection of blues and I would love to make a new bedcover for a guest room. I have been hanging onto some of this for years, waiting for an idea to come to fruition. This is a start, it will be ongoing amongst all my other WIPS. I am not a proficient quilter but I am gaining knowledge and momentum (and also gaining the odd headache as I cut incorrectly or realise I prefer some fabrics to others!). I would love to see others current quilt projects this week. Anyone?
Last Friday I went to a wonderful sale of items from India. There were amazing goodies to admire and purchase, from fabrics, clothes, beads, handmade papers, purses, bags, ribbons, sari silks, mirrors for shisha, in fact think of many things to adorn yourself or your surroundings and they probably had it there. The sale was housed in a beautiful barn at a country pub in Kent, itself a fantastic building, let alone draped with Indian finery with the scents of incense burning. * ‘Bazaar’ is the creation of Joanna Hall, a Textile and Fashion Designer from Hildenborough in Kent who has been working alongside crafts people in India for more than 19 years.
She works mainly in Rajasthan with weavers, block printers, tailors, jewellers and women who do embroidery, beading and fringing. She manufactures her designs of clothing, jewellery and gifts through a web of trusted craftspeople she has befriended during this time. She also buys and collects from the items they have already designed and are making themselves. *
Lucky for us there was also an area in the garden where workshops were run and we could try out printing with wooden blocks. This ‘marquee’ was tented in wonderful fabrics and here’s a few pics to share. Sadly I was unable to get any pics of the barn itself but you can see more if you click onto the website. http://www.bazaarshop.co.uk/events
And then some of our results, by no means professional but what a fun crafting session. Of course, I popped back into the sale room and purchased a wooden printing block !
*Source: the Bazaar website, as shown above.
A friend’s birthday.
She is a sewist/knitter too.
It wasn’t easy to decide what to make for her. I filtered ideas, I poured over a few craft books, I searched through my wool and fabric stashes.
I wanted the gift to be useful rather than just decorative.
Look what I decided to make!
Liberty lawn fabric pieced together to make a beautiful needle case, then wrapped in a spare piece of lawn instead of gift wrap.
She liked it too! I love gifting a home crafted present to someone who understands the effort you put into making it, don’t you?