Sunday, 18 December 2011

2011 Review

I didn't make as much as in previous years. Mainly due to moving back to Europe and starting back at work... both of which were good things in themselves.  In fact, looking at the photo mosaic above, I'm surprised just how much I did get done!

Last year I made a couple of craft resolutions.  I was going to do some quilting and I'm well on the way to achieving that with the quilting group I've joined, but the idea of felting fell by the wayside.  A little bit of research made me realize that I needed to work with real wool and it's one of the things I've been very allergic to since birth, so that didn't seem like such a great idea!

Resolutions for 2012?  

Well, I want to do some more kumihimo (dependent on finding some better suppliers over here), learn some more tunisian crochet stitches (so far I've done a small swatch using the basic stitch only), maybe some more broomstick crochet and then the new things I want to try are sashiko and smocking.  And ... despite having vowed quite recently never to make another crochet blanket ... I have decided to join the Ravelry 2012 crochet along.  I figure I can make one or two squares a month without it seeming like a huge task and improve my crochet skills at the same time... so I've just ordered the yarn with some money I got for Christmas.

Hmmm ... wonder if I'll find time for all that!  What about you?  Any resolutions for 2012?

Handmade Christmas

Note to self: crocheting an alpaca/wool blanket in the summer is a bad idea ... it is very hot work!

This was my 3rd year of making Christmas presents.  However I decided not to make all the presents this year (work gets in the way!) and opted for just 3 crochet projects.

The blanket above was for one of my sisters-in-law and it may be the one and only blanket I ever make ...!   According to my project file on Ravelry this took just over a month to finish working on it for several hours each day.  Generally I prefer much quicker projects than this!!

I really didn't plan well as the other 2 crochet projects also took a long time:

I made this shawl in a lace weight alpaca / silk mix for my mother-in-law.  The pattern is Brise d'Été (summer breeze) by Éclat du Soleil.  This was a big project and my first attempt at lace crochet.  I really wasn't very happy with it until I blocked it and then suddenly the pattern came to life.  

For my other sister-in-law I made this scarf in the softest alpaca / cashmere / silk yarn from The Natural Dye Studio ... the pattern is also from them and is called Gigi.  This was the most complicated crochet pattern I've attempted so far (even though it says suitable for beginners!) not least because I had to translate it from UK into US crochet terms, but also because of the wide variety of stitches used.  

Thinking about it, there was one other present I made - or rather compiled - but I don't have a photo of it.  I put together a book of old family photos for my father-in-law which seemed to go down very well.

Next year I'm going to try to remember to plan my presents a little better - sewing is definitely much quicker!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

My Creative Space: WIP

Cut out last week, part sewn yesterday, but when it'll be finished is anyone's guess!  It's the city shopper bag pattern from You Sew, Girl!  I made the smaller version, the wristlet earlier in the year and had been promising myself that I'd find time to make the larger size.

It's been a while since I've made a large bag and I had totally forgotten how long it takes to prep ... so the spare time I had last week disappeared just getting it cut out and all the interfacing fused.  This week hasn't been a great one for sewing - the light has been abysmal; foggy, dark, depressing days and even with my daylight lamp I just couldn't settle to sewing.  Besides, an impending visit from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law means I really should be doing other things.  

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