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

Posts tagged ‘musings’

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.

What sort of crafter are you?

We all know the basic split- process or product crafter. Where process means that you make (predominantly) for the sake of crafting, and product means that you mainly want the finished product.

For a long time now, I’ve been firmly in a subset of product. Although I have many things on the go, and mostly don’t mind working on them on-and-off, my aim has always been to ‘use what I make’. So I won’t make the lacy beaded shawl that’ll just get dumped at the bottom of a drawer and ignored (although I do have one of those…). Instead, I’ll make the blanket I’ll use to keep warm, and socks that I wear every day (you can’t have too many pairs of socks. Fact.)

I suppose that another subset of product crafting is ‘that looks pretty, I want one’. I suppose that my lacy shawl falls firmly in this category. I saw the yarn, wanted to make something from it and Glitz at the Ritz was the first pattern I thought of. I made it, I was happy with making it, and then I very rarely wear it. It just isn’t ‘me’ enough to wear.

I can’t think of any other product crafting traits, anyone else want to weigh in???


Then there’s process crafting. Where you make something because you want to learn a new technique, or figure something out.

My dad’s scarf falls into ‘learning a new technique’. I gave him a choice of 4 scarves, 3 of which involved double knitting… Learning new techniques is always fun, and I am loving knitting this up, but (in my mind, at least) it can’t be a product knitting thing because it’s not going to be mine, so I can’t get attached to it.

Figuring something out in my mind is trying to reverse engineer something (I saw an amazing hand-knitted jacket last week and want to recreate it), or design a new pattern. Expecially if you don’t have a clear idea in your head. If you have a definite pattern, then I guess it might be more of a product thing…


I also keep thinking that there’s a third sort of crafting. Where you convert something to something else, but then plan on re-crafting with your finished object. Such as spinning fibre, if you’re then going to knit/crochet with it. Or dye fibre which you’re then going to spin. And it’s not really ‘finishing’, so I don’t want to call it process or product crafting. In my mind, it’s more ‘converting’, but I can’t think of a word which starts with p for it.

One thing I want to start doing, is weaving ribbon for the inside of button bands. I saw a post recently which suggested sewing ribbon onto button bands, so they won’t stretch so much. Which is a genius idea. And with my mind currently screaming ‘make all the things’, it made perfect sense to look up inkle weaving again, and how to weave ribbon so I wouldn’t have to find the right size ribbon. Yes, reigning my mind in sometimes can be hard. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t!

So, what do other people think about these crafting methods? I’d love to hear what you think, both about crafting methods and what you think about my thoughts on them. And later on, I’ll do another post about my kntting (I’m at 6 hours now!)

One week to Christmas

and everything is going swimmingly 🙂 The cat butt coasters will be blocked today, and then they’ll just need wrapping when they’re done. I had rather a lot of fun making these, and it all helps me learn to read my crochet, which is such a useful skill! It’s taking a while to get used to the idea that I have to go all the way around when I want to fix something, rather than just dropping a few stitches the way I do in knitting!

elaine2I realised the hard way that starting a new pattern in black yarn is not a good idea…next time I’ll start with the grey!

I was correct about my mum’s hat- it is too big, so that needs restarting. I’m going to take out a pattern repeat, rather than mess around with needle sizes. I’ll get around to starting that today. This really won’t take very long to knit (must remember that I need to finish it early enough to block before Christmas…)

How do you mark the new year as crafters? I felt that I needed to mark the ending of the year by finishing all the loose ends around, such as the socks(photoed at the end of this paragraph) and the current hexagon (that scrappy project was not about to get finished by Christmas!). The cats were also finished before I got on the train to Salisbury for Christmas with the parents (which I’ve labeled as the end of the year for me, I think!). I started a new project for over the holidays(and it’s a 6 hour train ride…). A garter stitch entrelec blanket in the scraps left over from the 2 attic24 blankets, with 4.5mm needles. It feels right to start Christmas/the new year with a project for me, especially a blanket after making so many for other people 🙂

socks2Unfortunately, the socks are considerably too large for me(they’d make a good pair of slipper socks, if I wanted some!). They may fit my mum though, I just keep forgetting to corner her to make her try them on!

Although I also have the needles for a sparkly cardigan if I can find the yarn and pattern for it, and decide to start it. I love the idea of working on what I feel like, rather than rushing to finish Christmas presents, and I definitely want to savour it 🙂 A bit like coming home and wrapping up in a blanket after rushing around shops all day (assuming the heating isn’t on too high for blanket wrapping!)

Tag Cloud

Kick Arse Crochet

And other damned cool stuff!


Sewing, crochet, crafts, accessories, baking, tutorials,

Vix Knits... and crochets and sews...

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Cables and Colours

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


Trial and error-the best way to learn

Backstrap Weaving

My weaving , my indigenous teachers, my inspiration, tutorials and more........


The Art of Knitting

Dartmoor Yarns

Knitting on Dartmoor


Fiber Artist and Introvert making her way through an Extrovert Centered World


Cross-stitch Project Progress and Random Life Updates


Yarn Collecting and Occasional Knitting


A chronic sufferer of 'new-project-itis', I'm hoping this inspires me to finish some of my unfinished projects.

The 2nd 35 Years

Stirring the Pot Since 1978

A slight obsession with books

Reading and Fibrecrafts