Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

Yes, ladies, gentlemen and non-binary peeps. The epic blanket of scrappy awesomeness is officially done. (I say officially because I intend to keep adding random hexagons to it, it just isn’t going to be steadily worked on any more).

This blanket has been more than a year and a half in the making, and I am ridiculously proud of myself for finishing the thing. I’m not quite sure how much it weighs (the bathroom scales say ~400g, the kitchen scales say 450+g). It has 161 hexagons and I’m going to have to list all the yarns it uses…

purple (solid) (used up)

blue(solid)

steel

Lorian Quinn (used up)

Silvanis Wrenn (used up)

Roan

Lia (used up)

Aster

the other Hermione sock yarn

hand warmers (used up)

sea stripes (used up)

dark purple bright

orange and red bright

high viz (used up)

zombie(used up)

stripes (used up)

green cameo (used up)

sunshine (used up)

rainbow

the other purple one (used up)

light purple

red mixed

dark and bright (used up)

Ok, I think that’s all of them. 23 yarns used, 13 used up. Wow. I’m impressed with that. (Btw, if anyone wants more detail on any of the yarns I mentioned here, let me know and I can give you the proper info on them! Most are listed on my ravelry projects).

And my favourite hexagon? One from yarn that I haven’t actually mentioned here. I used Regia hand-spun effect for a single hexagon, and so didn’t really think that I should mention it as yarn used up.

I just love that gradient. The perfect little hexi 😀

More details about this blanket: I used 1.5mm needles (big mistake. Won’t do that again. Those things HURT!) I sat on the needles twice while making this, both times at KnitSoc. The needles I used are Karbonz, and tbh I won’t get them again. The idea behind karbonz, for those who don’t know, is that the main part of the needle is rough, so your stitches stick to it and don’t slide off, but the tip is metal so the stitches do slide easily and so you can knit faster with less effort. Great idea, but not so great in practice. The tips have a habit of coming loose (some of my needles I had to re-glue several times), and the carbon part splits and small flecks break away, resulting in a needle with a jump in size from the middle to the edge which is really awkward to slide the stitches to knit. But hey ho, lesson learnt I guess!

I do also have plans for future scrap work: my next project is going to be a garter stitch entrelac rectangle to sew to one side of a pillow case. I want to do it sideways so there aren’t any triangles, and it’s going to be on 2mm needles. Excellent excuse to buy another 2mm circ 🙂

Hello my lovelies! I didn’t mean to be gone so long, I just got slightly overwhelmed by real life! And I really will continue to be until probably the middle of May, so expect further disruption! But I will continue to swing by and see you all as much as possible!

So, what’s new with me? I have a new sock on the needles:

These will be jaywalkers for me, 84 stitches as usual…it’s such a fun pattern, and I really like how my other pairs of them fit so yay for that! Gotta love basic sock patterns which can be done without really thinking about it!

I also have March’s cross stitch started. This is just 1.5 hours (an episode of Mary Berry and one of the Blue Planet. Gotta love the iplayer!!!) I think that measuring the time by episodes of tv watched might be easier than remembering to start and stop a stopwatch, so I’m going to try that for a while!

The scarf will still be measured using the stopwatch- I usually do that while listening to music or watching someone on twitch, so it doesn’t have the same set amount of time as the cross stitch. A while back (the last time I worked on it, before I had my finish the scrap blanket kick) I had to frog back rather a large amount- all the way back to the start of the middle section of it. But I’m now much happier with what is going on with it (which is good, because I have rather a lot of that to go- my dad wants this scarf to be 6 foot long…) We’ll see I guess…

I think that I have finally decided that I prefer the white horse on the black background, although they are both gorgeous! I have an idea to make two wall-hangings out of green and white Rohan horses, to go either side of some door in my eventual home…

How many WIPs do you have?

The number of on-going projects seems to be one of the most varied things I can tell about crafters, although that might just be because there’s always someone saying how they need to reduce the number of projects they have on the go, or how they’re having a real crack down and plan on finishing a few.

I’ve been on both sides of it- there have been times I’ve had one project on the go, and at other times I’ve had 5 or 6. Which isn’t as wild as some poeople I’ve talked with on fb-  I think I remember reading a fb from someone who had 20. I think I’d’ve lost track of them all by that many! Although I suppose that ravelry is a great help for knitting/crochet projects.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems, as with anything really!

Having just one project on the go makes it easy to pick up and work on it whenever you get a chance- no need to spend ages debating which project you’re going to do. While you can get around that by having some sort of rota, it’s still possible (and I tend to do this) to become so overwhelmed that you loose track of the rota, or decide that you don’t want to work on whichever one you should, and be unable to decide which one to work on.

Additionally, having just one project makes it much easier to see progress! Working on one project rather than many naturally means that you’ll spend more time on it, and therefore see it grow more in front of you. This can be mitigated somewhat by either not stressing about how much progress you see (variable success rate for me), or by keeping track of the fact that you’re seeing progress in more projects (photos and a blog help for this, as does recording how long you spend on each project).

On the other hand, working on just one big project ends up feeling like a drag (at least in my experience). Having several on-going projects means that you have a variety, and therefore can have something small to finish quickly at the same time as something big for when you can’t deal with progress (or maybe that’s jsut me. Does anyone else get times when they don’t want to see progress on what they’re making???).

Another advantage with having several projects on the go is that you can have somsething for every occasion. Get in and need to do something really technical to distract yourself from the real world? You can have a project for that. Be braindead and just want to do something really basic that you don’t need to think about? You can have a project for that (I recomend socks).

I try to combine the best of both worlds with these. Currently I have 4 on-going projects. I have a pair of socks, which are my travel knitting (they get left in my back pack most of the time, and I work on them when I need a break from work/in my lunch hour). Then I have my scrappy blanket, which gets worked on when I’m tired/busy with something else and just need something for my hands to do! Although it does sometimes get turned into travel knitting, if I want a break from the socks, or they’re at an awkward stage. The third project is the Rohan scarf. This is my concentration project. I work on this while listening to music/watching something on the iplayer without any other distractions. My final project is the cross stitch stockings. These are essentially treated as a SAL (stitch along), and I do one each month. Whilst working on these, I ignore the Rohan scarf, since cross stitch is currently a concentration project with me, and I can’t really see that changing.

So, over to you all! How many WIPs do you have? Are you happy with that number, or does it stress you out? Any advantages on either side that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to hear what you all think about this.

imgp0649Finished!!! Well, it was actually finished a while ago, but I was too busy to blog about it 🙂 According to my stopwatch app, this took me 4 hours 25 mins. Plus an extra 10 mins I forgot to turn the stop watch on for! D’oh!

This was an interesting stitch. I was very eager to get started on it, but then it started dragging. I find it harder to pick up cross stitch to work on than knitting, so I’d make excuses to work on my knitting, rather than set this up. This might just be what I’m like, or it might just be because I had it kept out of the way all across the room… So I moved things around tidied up a bit and put everything I needed for it on my bed side table. Much better 🙂

In future, when I get a proper flat for myself, rather than a room in a shared house, I hope to have everything I need for cross stitch in a bag/folder by my evening chair, so it’s easier to work on. After all, if I have to get up to go get something, guess what? I’m not going to work on it.

How do you store WIPs? I’d love to read about it all

Yes, as you may have guessed from the title, I am back and working on the Rohan scarf. The cross stitch was actually finished last Wednesday, but then I was crazy busy and so didn’t post about finishing it on Friday (or the post I had planned for the weekend about having multiple projects on the go…lets try again this weekend!) I think that I need to make this longer than it’s ‘supposed’ to be, so it’s going to be more than 40 hours…I’m planning on just extending the celtic knotwork thing in the middle as long as I need to, so it should be relatively easy to do 🙂 Now, if I could only decide which side I prefer…

imgp0644rohan4a

I have also been working on the socks. These are fairly slow going, and I must admit that I sorta want them finished…I’m not having that much fun with them- it’s interspersed moss stitch and k2togs and SSK and even SK2tog, PSSO. And with a loosely spun single, making sure you get the whole stitch can be challenging :/ But, I have gone past the heel on the first sock now, so yay for that 🙂 (Note for future self: put in the yarn for the heel after the 6th section of moss stitch)

nikita4

And the blanket is of course being worked upon 🙂 I’m up to 7 hexagons for the month so far, so yay me(the stripy one with the speckled centre was #1) 🙂 I would also quite like this finished…I have plans for my next scrappy thing, which I really want to get started on, but I need this one finished, and my 2mm needles, unless I decide to use a larger size…hmm, that would be an idea really. I’m about 7/10 of the way through this strip, so getting there 🙂 I think I might need to choose one of the blanket/socks and just crack on. I just can’t decide which one it should be!!!

scrappy6

WIP Wednesday

So, why does Christmas only have 25 letters???

stocking2

Becuse there’s no l!!!!!

Yeah, I know, I’m hilarious 😀 The stocking is coming along slowly- I keep finding excuses to not work on it, which is hardly ideal, but on Sunday I had a tidy up and reorganisation and then immediately picked it up to work on while I watched Les Miz. Excellent musical 🙂 This is 3hr 20mins of work, so I’m hoping that I can finish it this evening…wish me speedy fingers!

 

The sock is also continuing along apace 🙂 I measured it against the recipients foot on Friday, (which is the cause of this somehow amusing photo), and then it was 4.5 inches shorter than the foot, so I needed to do 2.5 inches more before doing something clever for the heel (I’m trying an afterthought heel this time, so that if it wears through rather than felting, it’s relatively easy to replace). The sock at that time was 4.5 inches, which makes it easier to keep track of (although I will measure again when I think I’m far along enough).

nikita3

I now only need one more inch, so coming along well 🙂 The pattern is from socks a la carte 2, since I might as well use the patterns I’ve bought… I’ll hopefully be at the measuring stage again on Sunday, when I have a movie evening planned with the recipient!

And of course the scrap blanket is getting worked on 🙂 I’ve done 4 hexagons this week, so yay for that! And this last stripe is more than half done, so yay for that too! Nearly finished this blanket!!!!

scrappy5

Next up: either garter stitch entrelac or mitred squares…hmm…decisions decisions decisions…ahh well, I still have a while before I need to decide, I guess!

Product crafting

So, after my previous post about process crafting, it’s clearly time to do one about product crafting (the difference between one-project people and those who like having many on the go will be next week :). After that, I’m open to suggestions?)

We’ve all been there. You see something amazing, maybe in your lcs, maybe online, and decide you simply MUST make it. So you buy the materials for it, maybe in a different colour scheme, get it home, eagerly open the package, read the instructions, and…damn. Miles of stocking stitch. Acres of fractional stitches. Metallic thread. Bobbles. (I despise bobbles. Nothing worse). So what do you do? Hide it at the back of your closet, and swear to never think about it again? Or grit your teeth, settle in with a TV marathon, and get to work?

Many of the things I make I make because I want the finished object to do something with. I make socks because I like wearing hand-knit socks. I made the three blankets because I wanted to make things for the people I gave them for (well, the Dick Bruna one I was nominated to make, but it’s the same idea).

When I’m product making something to be used as a gift, I usually think about the giftee while I make it. I tend to not be supersticious, but I think that it adds a bit of love to whatever it is I’m making. It also motivates me to fix mistakes, because whoever it’s for is worth it. (Usually I don’t think they’d really mind, but I like knowing that I took the time to make something as good as I possible could.)

A big subset of product crafting is ‘use what you make’, which I’ve been trying to live with since I first heard it. (Although when I first heard it, my mind immediately turned it around to make what you use…). I mainly make things that will be used. I don’t wear scarves(too bulky under my jacket), so I had to wait for an excuse to start making the Rohan scarf. Presents are an excellent way to get around this, although I try to be a bit careful to give things that people will actually use!

I think that product crafting is one reason why people put projects into time-out, rather than just fixing whatever mistake has just been noticed. (I’m not sure how well I’m going to verbalise this, but let’s see…). Fixing mistakes is time not taken in making things. Additionally, you have to pay more attention to your work when fixing mistakes, rather than being in a meditative state where you just keep going forwards. And so the project gets put in time-out, until it get’s uncovered ages later, and gets fixed really quickly! Usually only a small amount from the end too!

The problem(??? Downside???) with product crafting is that (I think) you don’t get to try as many new techniques. Or maybe product crafters are those people who enjoy crafting within their comfort zone, and don’t want to challenge themselves so much. I feel as though this is sounding negative, which I really don’t want to sound. Having something we can come home to and not have to think about s a good thing!

I can’t really think of anything else to mention about product crafting. Anyone else have an opinion they want to expound about this? I’d love to read about it in the comments.

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