Happy New Year, folks!
It’s been a while, because I’ve been letting stupid things block me. Sometimes I set myself these unhelpful rules and barricades and then don’t realise that I can just zip right round them if I want to. I stopped blogging because I thought I should complete my posts on my holiday in Japan before I wrote about crafting again. But I crashed really hard after the trip*. Sorting through the photos and looking up the related information was exhausting and I found myself just avoiding it instead of using techniques I know can help me.
Here’s my checklist for next time this happens.
- Is this “should” really important? Or is just stopping you from getting anything done?
- Can you break the “should” down into smaller, manageable bits?
- Can you use the pomodoro technique or similar to work on it? (E.g. work on it for 20 minutes, do something else for 40 minutes, repeat as needed.)
Maybe others will find this helpful too?
I didn’t blog during the second half of last year, but I was still making things. Here’s most of the projects I completed in 2018. It’s encouraging to see it all in one place. I experimented a fair bit with materials and techniques, I made more of my own patterns, and I learned a lot.
Random forest critter made in collaboration with a friend for her daughter.
10 crocheted and knitted kitties for the Kilometer of Cats & Kittens charity project.
A snufflemat (feeding toy) for the Hellbeast.
I like big buns and I cannot lie. Velveteen joined the Travelling Monsters crew. I learned a lot about adapting a pattern for chunky yarn.
Hearts for the amazing Work of Heart Garden charity project.
A crocheted cover for a DRÖNA storage box.
My first chunky yarn storage basket.
First experiment with cotton cord. Makes a nice sturdy basket, but too expensive to be feasible for shop items.
First basket made from recycled clothes (was a failed rag rug).
First attempt at pushing a yarn basket as big as I can get it, using washing line to reinforce it. It’s pretty big!
Second attempt at reinforcing, this time with polypropylene rope. Wanted to make it strong enough to be used as a footstool. Failed. Also, the plastic rope is HIDEOUS to work with.
A couple more chunky bunnies in chenille (baby blanket) yarn as presents.
A couple more cats, also in chenille for the Kilometre of Cats & Kittens project.
Stinger joined the Travelling Monsters.
The person who bought the purple stripe basket wanted another one. By now I had discovered that chunky yarn comes in metallic colours!
My second recycled clothing basket. This one ended up being inspired by New Orleans.
First attempt at a plarn basket. Didn’t weave in ends, just tied and cut.
A teacosy made for friends, that ended up being a rainbow mercat. Working the shaping in dragon scale stitch for the tail was challenging, but I like the way she turned out.
Plastic basket #2. First attempt at adding handles.
It took me a few gos to get the hang of African flower hexagons, but they are fun to make.Some of the failed ones became brooches. I also brushed up on some other flower techniques.
Went a bit mad with flower power and made some headbands for the shop.
The flowers are the first few rows of African Flower Hexagons.
Graduated yarn gives a nice effect.
Working with a palette I rarely use.
This one is mostly inspired by Marimekko prints, and my very stylish friend, Pia.
Designed my own snowflake pattern based on adapting the African Flower Hexagon. Didn’t like it in plain white yarn – too clumsy.
The snowflake again in a fine, iridescent yarn. And first attempt at designing a star.
I discovered rainbow sparkle yarn existed and I made a lot of these. They made me happy.
I got my star pattern more or less the way I wanted it, although it evolved a bit over the next few makes.
These are relatively quick and fun to make.
Using a graudated blue/what that I scored from a random bundle of yarns on FB marketplace.
The star pattern is based on techniques I learned from a sunburst heart pattern and the African flower hexagon.
Playing with different colour combos is fun for me.
The chicken is made by starting with a standard amigurumi circle pattern, and overdoing the increases. You end up with a frilly circle. When you fold it in half you get a crescent – ideal as a birdy base.
While I was on the chicken making roll, I went Christmasy with three French hens.
Experimented a bit more with the bird shape making this decoration for a friend.
Plarn basket #3. Made with bags from Japanese craft shop. Tried out new technique for reinforcing the sides. Used lamination to stiffen Yuzawaya logos before stitching them on. Wove ends in. Looks nice, but takes forever.
More sparkly stars!
Finally confident enough to offer a plarn basket for sale. It also has a reinforced base and all of the ends woven in. But weaving the ends in takes longer than crocheting the basket!
Back to making some more chunky yarn baskets. This one is inspired by London winter twilight and the lights on the Thames.
And this one is inspired by the Kiluea volcano in Hawaii.
Last minute rag wreath. Pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Helps that we have a pretty varied scrap stash, as partner makes LARP costumes.
One of the biggest things I (re)learned was that there’s no point me making something if my heart’s not in it. There has to be some emotion, excitement, or inspiration there or it just doesn’t work.
There’s a few things missing that I gave away and didn’t have time to photograph. Also, this doesn’t include the stuff languishing on Incomplete Project Mountain – so you can guess some of my crafting goals for this year.
All the best for 2019, friends, and keep on crafting! It’s good for you.
*ME/cfs. So frustrating.