Year of Projects 2018

Year of Projects 2018

Whilst reading MrsMcD918’s blog posts I came across the Year of Projects.  I then went onto Ravelry to read a little bit more about it and joined one of the Ravelry groups.  The ‘year’ technically started at the beginning of July but I am only a few weeks late.

So, what is on my list for the year?

Wet felting

  • A case for my craft scissors
  • A picture of my dog Ylva
  • A loose casual waistcoat or top 
  • A project bag using the plastic loop handles in my stash
  • A coin purse
  • Make a fancy scarf or wrap using nuno felting

Needle felting

  • A 3D animal…probably my dog Ylva
  • Make up some more bug related fairies…to go with my ladybird one

Spinning

  • Spin all the commercial fibre currently in my stash on Ravelry @ date of posting!
  • Spin 200g of alpaca fibre currently in my stash
  • Master chain ply
  • Create a fractal spun yarn
  • Spin some tweed yarn
  • Create my own wool and silk blended spin
  • Create an official (not accidental) art yarn 

Dyeing

  • Dye some of the natural fibre tops in my stash
  • Dye some my own spun yarn and the undyed bought skein I have

Knitting

  • Finish my Chimney Fire cardigan*
  • Make my husband a pair of socks
  • Make my dad something for Christmas
  • Make up a matching accessory set from my perpetual purple paradise homespun yarn
  • Make the shawl with my Rowan Lima yarn
  • Make a 2nd pair of socks for myself
  • Learn brioche stitch
  • Learn fair isle knitting and knit one of the small fair isle items in my queue

Crochet

Oh my is that too many things?!  But that barely makes a dint in my stash, so is it enough!?!  We shall see as the year goes on.
 
*I drafted this earlier in the week…and after a few days of knitting my Chimney Fire cardigan I am only on row 9 of the upper body and I am already stuck and have reached out to a lady on Ravelry who created one that inspired me to buy the pattern, to see if she’d be willing to help me…if not I will have to contact the designer…at this rate I will be struggling to finish by Christmas, never mind the rest of my list! 

How craft making and Scotland rescued me

How craft making and Scotland rescued me

Life before…

My life was consumed with working hard and very long hours to earn money for a few weeks a year of international travel.  We went to many fabulous and breathtaking places around the world including Hawaii, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Australia, various US states and parts of Italy.  I also travelled to Peru and Bolivia for 31 days as a mix of holiday and unpaid leave (Follow links to see photo highlights).  And so I thought my blog was turning into a travel blog…

The breakdown…

At the end of 2016 I started to burnout and lose control of my mind, I wasn’t coping at work despite (or perhaps because I was) working almost every waking hour and not making enough progress to satisfy my own high standards. By early 2017 I was a jibbering wreck, unable to stop crying all the time and was eventually signed off with anxiety and depression.  When my sick pay ran out I couldn’t face returning to work, stressed at the thought and afraid that my resilience was too weak and I would return to old habits of working every hour and so I requested a 12 month sabbatical (unpaid leave).  So I am due to return in September, unless I resign.

My new life…

Whilst off work I have started doing more craft type things, I have wet felted a hat and a handbag learned how to knit, made some sea glass jewellery, bought a spinning wheel and I’m now learning how to spin.  We bought a tent last autumn and instead of international travel we have been exploring the North of Scotland and some of its many Isles either with the tent or renting small cottages.
I have been blown away by the scenery that we have seen…and with my calmer mindset I can actually be present and fully enjoy being in the moment and after walking 20k steps enjoy an evening sitting in our tent with my husband and dog and knitting another hitchhiker scarf! Scotland has white sandy beaches and turquoise water, okay you need to wear layers, not a bikini…but then you often get a beach to yourselves!
As for my future…we shall see!
October 2017  
Isle of Eriskay, Western Isles, Scotland
 March 2018
Coral beach, Isle of Skye 

 

June 2018
Sango_Sands_beach_Durness.jpg
Sango Sands beach, Durness
Balnakeil beach, Durness, North Scotland

 

Fairies, wizards and more

Fairies, wizards and more

Flower fairies

A long, long time ago…a friend of mine showed me how to make fairies from silk flowers and leaf garlands that you can buy in garden centres or craft supply stores.  You carefully peel off all the petals and leaves and keep all the parts except the stems.

Other things you will need are:-

  • Pipe-cleaners
  • Glue (I used a cold glue gun)
  • Small wooden beads (I prefer unvarnished as it is easier to draw their faces)
  • Some fine thread (to hang them)
  • Scissors and a pencil

You take the pipe-cleaner and starting at the skirt you glue the petals or leaves onto the pipe-cleaner.  As you work your way up you will want to switch from the skirt to the body (although my chubby red one is just a puff ball so that is an option too).  Finally you want to glue the wooden bead to the top of the pipe-cleaner.  (Tip: I suggest you first thread the bead without glue, cut the excess pipe-cleaner, then remove the bead, glue and replace bead.)  On the head you can attach some smaller petals, acorn caps, or perhaps you will find some interesting plastic pieces when you disassemble the flowers…like the crown on the pale red fairy above.  With a pencil you can draw a face on the bead when finished.

I have only included photos of some fairies that I have made, you can make wedding themed ones with white or ivory coloured flowers, I have Christmas themed ones made from silk poinsettia and ivy leaves.  The possibilities are endless!

Quite often you will find that stores sell damaged flower/leaf garlands at discounted prices, so these can be perfect.

Needle-felted fairies, wizards, pixie and more

As if I didn’t already have enough fairies hanging around…I decided to make some out of the wool tops that I have.  These are often referred to as Waldorf fairies, certainly if you search for Waldorf fairies on Google or Pinterest you will see hundreds of similar fairies, in all sorts of designs that can inspire you.

These don’t use any glue, they are made with pipe-cleaners, wool tops and felting needles and that’s it (oh and some fine thread to hang them). There are lots of YouTube clips about making these and you can buy books, but I though the book I bought was mostly just pictures of different fairies, the basic way to make them is very easy and so save your pennies and check out YouTube for instructions and have a look at my Pinterest for inspiration.

WARNING:  Felting needles are extremely sharp so not really a craft for young children…unlike the flower fairies above, which with a cool glue gun is very child friendly.  Despite wearing leather protectors on a my thumb and forefinger I still managed to stab myself a few times when I made my first needle-felted fairies

Fairies

Wizards and witch

Pixie

 

Red head pixie
Not a very ladylike pose…but what else would you expect from a Pixie!

Ladybird (or ladybug) Fairy

When I ordered some felting tops from Heidifeathers there was a lovely card in the box, which showed this ladybird fairy…well a similar one and I thought I’d give it a go, so here is my effort.  Again not a fairy ladylike pose, but to balance her she does need to have her legs apart…perhaps she’s got some Pixie in her DNA!