Rabbits, Blankets and Camping

Well, that was a longer break than anticipated! In the meantime, I’ve also scrapped an awful lot of what I had planned…which isn’t all that helpful, when you think about it.

However. I have managed to return to both cross stitch and crochet, though to none of my current or other planned projects.

Instead, I have started small, ish, and simple. A rabbit kit from a magazine, and a granny square baby blanket. Both just right for helping my brain make sense of the mess it has made in planning a 5-book series…

Bunny and blanket.jpg

How Thick is a Piece of Wool?

Answer: How long is it? Although, you’re more likely to receive a definitive answer about its thickness than about its length.

I began my crochet journey with normal, standard, double-knit yarns and 4-5mm crochet hooks. Since then, I’ve played with Chunky yarns, and 6-7mm hooks, and 4-ply sock wool, with 2mm hooks.

ProjectBag

As you can see, I currently have two crochet projects on the go – one in the 4-ply, and one in the Chunky.

My preference, I have decided (and it wasn’t a difficult decision, I’ll be honest), is for the thicker yarns. I find them easier for counting and for hooking through the stitches and for generally crocheting.

Titchy-witchy 4-ply wool and attendant dinky hook – frankly, just too fiddly for words. There’s probably an art to it which I simply haven’t worked out yet. Or you need thinner, more elegant fingers than I have. Especially when it comes to making the limbs of these monsters. I’m a bit further along than this photo suggests, having completed the body of the 4-ply monster, but I’ve been having trouble with the first limb. It’s the 12 stitch tube for the arm. I keep adding extra stitches as I go around. (Fingers crossed I’ve finally worked it out – but it has taken me about half a dozen false starts!)

I don’t have these problems with the thicker yarns. Okay, I probably have the adding in extra stitches one, (but don’t we all?) but it’s much easier to find the extra stitch and head back to remove it.

 

P.S. – I’ve decided that my craft weeks will likely be just the one post, and that I really rather like writing about chocolate, so I’ll probably talk about that more than just for one week a month. Probably Life will become somewhat more chocolatey. This is a good thing, I feel.

 

The Life of a Crafter

My plan for today’s post is uncertain. It says “Easter card?”.

When I was planning this revamp, and deciding what to write about and when, I decided that I have four general topics – cross-stitch, crochet, chocolate, and Life – and that each week two posts would be written. Nice theory, not sure about the execution, especially given my current, busy life. That, and, especially with the crafts, there are only so many posts which can be “Look! Look what I did – aren’t I amazeballs? Clever me to make this!”

Thus – the Life of the Crafter. This crafter, specifically, but no doubt there will be some universals which apply to all crafters.

My crafting life has been sporadic. I stitched as a child – I like hand-sewing items, more so than machine-sewing – but in fits and starts.

Pooh's Thinking Cushion

I started cross stitching in earnest about four years ago, with a Mouseloft hedgehog, and then a Winnie the Pooh and Piglet cushion cover. And that was that. I was caught.

I’ve extended my crafting repertoire to crochet since then, though my sewing machine remains sadly neglected. I have plans to change that, eventually – I received a quilting kit for my last birthday, primarily to help with cutting straight edges for cushions, but at some point I will also learn to quilt.

Changes Under Foot

A couple of weeks ago, I talked of dreams – of making those which I dreamed a bit more real. I’ve spent the last few weeks working on the plans which will do that. I’m hoping I’ve got them down.

In between whiles, I’ve also been having fun juggling full-time work with the beginnings of freelancing. I’ve been busy…I’ve also decided that I quite like working from home. Even the last few Saturdays, when I’ve been sat in front of my laptop, working. It’s been nice; I’ve felt efficient; I’ve even – dare I say it – enjoyed the work I was doing (which wasn’t, it must be admitted, particularly glamorous or exciting work). But I’ve liked being sat at my laptop, desk covered in stuff, just getting on with it. It’s been quiet and peaceful. And made me more than ever determined to become a home-worker. Especially when compared to the full-time office job…

But my plans! The changes under foot are not precisely changes; at least, not drastic ones. Simply that I will be spending this Camp NaNo working on being a more regular writer here in my Cocoary and over in my Library, and that there will be more structure to my weekly posts. My plan in the Cocoary is to write two posts a week, with each week having a different ‘theme’: Cross-Stitch, Chocolate, Crochet, and the Crafter’s Life (or just Life…). That should fill the average month. I might even manage to get at least some of them written and scheduled in advance.

Monster Projects

The wonderful thing about Edward’s Imaginarium is the vast number of potential projects. Of course, the fact that the most difficult stitch is a double doesn’t hurt.

Currently I have two different monsters on the go. One’s being done in a multi coloured 4 ply sock wool, which actually is at least partly wool, and the other is a much larger acrylic yarn.

ProjectBag.jpg

It’s taken me a while to get used to such tiny stitching with the 4 ply wool and 2mm hook. I’m still not sure how much I like it. Normally not much. I prefer the chunkier yarn, especially when I’m counting to 54 for the round…Easier on the eyes as well.

Worry Monsters

It’s been a stressful time, the last few weeks, not least because of moving several hundred miles. I read somewhere that moving house can be one of the most stressful things a person can do.

Fortunately the rhythm and relative simplicity of crochet – and the counting – makes it wonderfully soothing to troubled minds. Or at least for mine.

And I was given a copy of Edward’s Imaginarium as a belated Christmas present. You know small children’s flip books where you mix and match body parts? Like that, with crochet patterns so you can mix and match your own monsters. I’ve had it on my wishlist since I found it…

Which means I’m being busy making my Worry Monsters. Like those worry dolls who take away your worries.

WorryMonster9.jpg

And because this isn’t for a child, I feel comfortable using buttons for eyes. I just have to choose which of my collection to use…