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?
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
A 3D animal…probably my dog Ylva
Make up some more bug related fairies…to go with my ladybird one
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
Dye some of the natural fibre tops in my stash
Dye some my own spun yarn and the undyed bought skein I have
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
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!
Years ago I thought about joining the Highland Felting Group which meet in the town that I live in, on the last Saturday of each month. Finally, all these years later I plucked up the courage to go along and what a warm friendly welcome I received. There were other new members too, so I wasn’t the only newbie.
I didn’t really know what I was going to make, but I had dug out some seriously bright pink merino and some (UK) air force blue shaded merino to counteract the brightness of the pink. I also had some scraps of dyed blue and pink silk.
By the time I got there I had set my mind on making a bag (or purse for US readers) with a flap, with most of the pink hidden on the inside!
The photographs do not do the pink justice…it is BRIGHT!
I have in my mind that I will use it to keep sock ‘work in progress’ projects, but its still drying at the moment. It also needs to be pressed. When its open I can hang it over the side of the sofa and I can use the flap pocket too!
The ladies in the group were very kind in their comments about it, so I am glad I put my ‘big brave girl’ pants on and went along!
Next month I thought I would make a scissors sleeve and perhaps some smaller bags or a purse (US wallet) we shall see.
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…
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!
Despite doing numerous rounds of decluttering the house, I kept thinking “one day I will re-use my sewing machine again”….and I kept telling myself that for about 15 years!!!!!!!!!
Today I finally dug it out of the study wardrobe, rummaged around for the instructions and fetched a bottle of 3-in-1 oil in case it had seized up having not been used for a decade and a half (at least)!!!
I half expected it to blow up when I plugged it in, but a good few drops of oil on all the parts and it burst back to life! There was a weird incident where the reverse button got stuck and I sewed one side in reverse!!! Not sure how I can oil that part.
As you can imagine I am totally out of practice using it, but made a liner for my new felted bag I made. I am happy enough with the results and if I make some more I am sure they will get neater, but for now I am very proud of my efforts.
There are loads of YouTube clips on how to wet felt and Gilliangladrag website sells products, kits and has some how to videos. I would say I made the bag first, then made the strap, so I have sewn the strap inside the bag. I made the strap long enough that I could overlap the strap to the bottom of the bag so that I could sew a good amount and hopefully the handle is secure.
I needle felted a bit of wool curls along the edge of where I had turned down the opening, just for a bit of detail and to avoid needing to tidy the edge.
I will probably give it another cool iron to reduce the wrinkles and attach a clasp inside. For a first attempt at a bag and only my 4th go at wet felting anything, I am really please with how it has turned out.
Update: I have now added a lining, toggle and my logo lable.