As spring is tentatively starting to show its first shy flowers and buds, I have decided that I might also tentatively start blogging again. I have realised that it is a tricky thing to get right and I am not entirely comfortable with the endless sharing of the small and mundane. However, I have been looking back through last year’s posts and, as a personal record of the things I make, I have found it valuable. It will not change the world but it does make me happier in my skin.
First of all I will show you a round up of some of the things I have been making over the last six months or so, its a rag tag bag of stuff. I suffer from craft angst where I worry that the stuff I make is not important enough and I should be directing my energy towards something more worthy and urgent. My craft angst also manifests itself in worrying about sharing some of the cutsier makes because I don’t want to be one of those cute-toy-making-crocheters, but people will insist on asking me to make them and I quite like doing it because it feels like magic to make something 3D out of a long piece of string and a hook.
So, in this year of blogging I hope to focus on the aspects of craft that I think make it important and the reasons why I, and many others, feel that it is something that they need to do as much as something that they like to do. I will also show you some of the things I make. That’s what it’s all about, right?
Norwegian Inspired Baby Hat
This is a baby/toddler hat that I have designed myself and is inspired by traditional norwegian knitted hats. I made it in my favourite Drops Merino and I love the yellow, cream and grey colour scheme. The larger red version is modelled here by my three year old and is very cosy. I have written up the pattern and I plucked up the courage to ask one of my crafting friends to try it out. Apparently I crochet very tight and very neat, so I may have to revisit the pattern and figure out the tension so it works for other people. Hopefully it will be ready to post here one day and not result in a whole load of giant bonnets!
My eldest has apparently picked up the crafting bug (can’t think how that happened) and asked for an Arty Party for her birthday. We made pom pom creatures, pipe cleaner and bead tree decorations and decorated party bags. Holly made her own mini-soaps to go in the party bags. We had such a fun afternoon with such a fantastic, creative bunch of girls.
Since then she has been really working hard on her sewing skills and has started to crochet a bit.
Some Christmassy Things
I think I can get away with posting these now as they are not classically Christmassy. I made these baubles from a AterG crochet bauble pattern and I loved making them. The inners are made from cheapo pound shop baubles (£1 for 12) and I just sawed off the little hanging nobble-thing. I had a pang of guilt at buying cheap Chinese tat but I think that turning them into something that will be treasured for years makes up for it a bit. I like making Christmas things in non-Christmas colours and I think they looked really jolly on our tree, which is a riot of handmade bits and bobs collected over the years.
Some Cutesy Things
The giraffe is for a miracle baby due around now some time. I always make my amigurumi up as I go along as, for me, following a pattern takes away the pleasure of seeing the little characters emerge and develop. I tend to look at a few examples for inspiration and then just see how it goes.
The hedgehog and two little mice are for my youngest daughter’s Forest School sessions at nursery. A request was made for woodland creatures because the children like to make nests and dens for them in the woods. I am big fan of Forest School and child led, imaginative play and I thought this was a lovely idea. My only concern is that having made them in realistic brown, they will get lost instantly. I might have to make them some pink and yellow ones next time!
So, this isn’t crochet. I was bought a lino-printing course with local artist Amanda Hillier for my birthday and I spent a very satisfying day in Amanda’s garden studio making these yurt roof prints. Talk turned to crochet, as it does, and Mandy (we are on short-name terms now) invited me to join her craft group who meet to knit, crochet, eat food, drink tea/wine and share ideas. It’s an irreverent, noisy and creative group, and I love it. We eat crisps and giggle and sometimes we make stuff.
And this is my current work in progress. It is a sunburst granny blanket for my daughter’s bed and she is very impatiently waiting for it to be finished. If the colours look familiar it is because I am using the Attic 24 Harmony Blanket pack but with a different pattern. There are some colours in there (some very sickly pinks and a boring baby blue) that I would never have picked out but in the mix it all kinda works and it will suit Holly down to the ground.
Finally, and in the spirit of International Women’s Day I will leave you with this thought.
This is not me, I wish it was me. Lisa Anne Auerbach‘s political sweaters are amazing and I think this sums up how I feel about activism, craft and the reasons I keep on crocheting.