I have been blogging for sixteen years! My first blog was on March 18th 2007 and I wrote about creating a snail trail quilt using my embroidery machine – I never did finish that quilt.
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Back in the early days it was all about the quilting and the sewing. I did a lot of machine embroidery. I made the girls applique t-shirts for Easter and Christmas
And I went through a phase of making embroidered patchwork cards
I thought I could somehow turn my craft into a viable business, I tried making personalised T-Shirts. I went to that disastrous market and I even set up an Etsy store, but it was just a big fat failure.
And then, in January 2008, my love affair with knitting socks started. Over the years, I have had a lot of knitting failures; necklines too small, necklines too big, but the socks were always reliable. As far as my knitting goes, I am most proud of my Chemo blanket and Miss A’s blanket.
I was very chuffed with my Advent Calendar, which we still use every year
I have included book reviews and baking (I don’t do much baking now days).
In 2015, I started a Canvas work class, cue my interest in hand embroidery, in particular counted embroidery.
And I have bought so many hoops, embroidery stands, Q snaps (twice because I gave the first lot away!), but I think I have now settled on my lowery stand
Now that I look back over the past sixteen years, I can see that my more successful projects involved machine embroidery (why did I stop?). Miss A’s quilt (the sampler quilt) stopped me quilting altogether. I love doing cross stitch. My stash purchasing (for all crafts) is far greater than my ability to use these supplies and this makes me feel guilty.
A few knitting things I’m proud of
My redback spider costume
My hand embroidery sampler
What will happen in the next sixteen years?
Hopefully, I will finally finish the Sampler Quilt! And get back into more machine embroidery, more sock knitting, more cross stitch, more blanket knitting, maybe some shawls, more book reviews, and possibly a bit of weaving.
I get so much joy, contentment and satisfaction from crafting, despite not being very good at it. I now feel that I can do it simply because I enjoy it, with no need to turn it into some kind of side hustle.
I’m back onto my sampler quilt (started in 2013!). I am joining the blocks now (using multiple zig-zag stitch). Once all of the blocks are joined, I will make bias binding strips and cover the stitching.
I finished one sock for June and one sock for July. I went away for a week (to here) and I wanted to see if I could complete a pair of socks, so I started the July pair (I had already finished the June sock). Clearly, I can’t get a pair of socks finished in a week.
The yarn for the June sock (right sock) is King Cole Zig Zag and the lace pattern is from the Knitting Vintage Socksbook. It is the lace pattern from the Evening Stockings for a Young Lady Pattern. I just used the lace pattern and did the sock in my usual way.
The yarn for the July sock (left sock) is Old Roses by The Yarnkeeper and it is a plain vanilla sock (with such beautiful yarn why spoil it with a pattern?)
I have started the second sock of both and will probably focus on finishing the July sock first.
I didn’t think I achieved that much last year, but when I look back it wasn’t too bad.
I finished 5 pairs of socks – my nighthawk ones are my favourite, three project bags (I think this is a sign I have too many projects), my Hap for Harriet and my Live Simply cross stitch (which I did as part of a Craftsy course).
Like many of us I like several different crafts – knitting, embroidery (both hand and machine) and quilting – and I have decided I need a system. A way of rotating through them, so the less preferred projects do manage to get (eventually) finished.
Basically, I have split my projects into types – knitting, etc – and I try to do one type a day and then I move through the list of projects in that type. For example, in knitting I currently have my Hap for Harriet, my sock yarn blanket and Miss A’s meow mitts. So when it’s knitting’s turn I rotate through these three projects.
So 2017? For me this is the year to be more thoughtful, to take on fewer projects, but to spend more time on each one – thinking about the process and the product. I aim to spend more time doing the things I love.
It is easier to see my progress when you look at the back.
So in the evenings (or during the day) when I am tired and very unlikely to do anything productive I sit down with my needlepoint and work a few more stitches.
I’m just working tent stitch (which is a fancy way of saying half cross stitch). Being an orderly type of person (some might say a bit of a control freak), I like to have an order to my stitching. Currently that order is rotating through the colours; white, light-green, medium-green, dark-green, navy blue, white, … even just listing all of the colours is mesmorising.
I have now finished all of the light-green (yay! although this is all about the process and not so much about the end product).
This particular project has proven to be easy to do and very relaxing – more people should take it up.