Wednesday, 31 July 2013

I'm not dead!

I don't know if I posted about this, but last year I completed 10 craft projects. I had made the goal of one per month, or 12 throughout the whole year.
I was really happy with what I accomplished, so I decided to keep that resolution.
Early in the year, I read an advice article geared towards writers that talked about production versus consumption. The main message was that if you really want to write that book or movie, you need to spend less time consuming what other people have produced for the entertainment of others.

That percolated in my head for a few days before I realised that it also applied to crafters. Pinterest and the blog circuit are consuming what other people have produced, and if I want to produce as well, I need to consume less of what they've produced and produce my own stuff.

That realisation has made a huge difference this year. I've already produced a lot more completed craft projects than I did all of last year.

I've tried really hard to wean myself off of Pinterest. It's an ongoing process. It's a hard thing to do! There are so many cool projects to see, and ones that I know that I could make. There are resources that would make some of my projects easier to accomplish as soon as I stumble across them...

But I need to keep reminding myself that I have a lot on the go right now, and that I need to complete what I've started before adding more projects.

That doesn't stop me from consuming TV and movies of course. I can knit or crochet while I'm watching the idiot box. ;)
I promise to post some pictures soon! I can't wait to show you what I've done!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Hello Internet!

Hello Internet! Long time no talk!
As you may know, one of my resolutions this year is to complete unfinished craft projects. I did this last year and managed to complete ten projects.
I’m proud to say that part of the reason I haven’t been posting has been because I’ve actually been busy DOING projects instead of just talking about them.

So far this year I have completed four garment sewing projects and two crocheted blankets. I’m pretty pleased with myself. I'm way ahead of where I was last year.

Unfortunately, I still have at least twenty-two projects to complete. eighteen of those I had either started them or had bought materials for previously as of January first.

I still have five garment sewing projects on the go. I seem to have lost two of them however. I’m quite put out. However, they still count against me, so I’m waiting until I’ve finished three or four projects before I buy more fabric.

I have a knitted blanket on the go. I just need to weave in the ends on the Elf blanket, but this is a blanket I'm having a hard time working on. It's 190 little squares, and I just can't see the light at the end of the tunnel with it.

I had bought yarn intending to make a blanket using the new crocodile stitch pattern that's been floating around the internet. I decided to be smart about learning a new stitch and have been working on a scarf to learn the crocodile stitch. I'm one ball in and I don't think I'm going to make a whole blanket of this stitch. So I need to find a new project for the yarn I bought....

I’m still not allowed to buy more yarn unless it's to finish a project. Last year I bought about fourteen balls of sock yarn and I didn’t know how to make socks. The nice thing about the sock yarn is that I’ll be able to take it with me places, and it won’t be a huge monstrous thing to lug around. I'm teaching myself and it's going fairly well, I'm on week two and I've got most of the legs done. I'm a little nervous about the heel, because I'm doing two-at-a-time socks. If I mess up the heel, I'm messing both up and will have to backtrack on both socks. I'm not looking forward to that.
Though I think once I get the hang of this sock thing, I should be able to complete a pair a month. That should mean that I would be done with my current sock yarn stash by November/December! It would also mean that I would have completed seven projects on the bus and on my breaks at work. That sounds lovely to me.

I recently heard about a community online that does a dishcloth a month, and I was really excited until I thought “That means I’ll have to buy cotton yarn…” and was quickly deflated. No buying yarn allowed. I’ll join that community one day but not anytime soon; maybe when I’ve finished another blanket and at least eight balls of the sock yarn.

Same goes for that knitted square a month and at the end of the year you sew them together to make a sampler blanket. I’ve always wanted to do that, but there’s no way I can justify it at the moment; I just have too many projects on the go.

I also found out that Stampin’ Up! will send you a box a month of coordinating stamps, paper and ink pad with instructions to complete the projects inside that are beginner friendly. All you need is adhesive. It’s very, very, very tempting to me. But I am going to resist and look at it again in a few months when I’ve finished some other projects. However, if YOU are interested, it’s called Pumpkin Paper on the Stampin’ Up website.

I’d like to make a granny square blanket, though maybe next year. And it will be a traditional granny square blanket made out of scraps. None of this buying coordinated yarn nonsense! Granny squares were designed to use up bits of yarn so there was no waste. Buying yarn for a granny square seems incredibly wasteful and unthrifty or something. I want LESS in my yarn bin!

I am feeling really good about my progress this year. If I can keep it up, I may not have many sewing or knitting projects to put on my list for next year!