The Craft Journal – 27th January

The newest (and my absolute favourite) piece in the Folksy shop

Hi Craft Fans!

I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend. Once again last Monday seems like so long ago! So far I seem to be doing quite well at planning and being productive, long may it continue. I have to say, I do enjoy a good plan. It gives me things to look forward to and I feel a lot more relaxed when I know what I’m going to be dealing with. I also feel a greater sense of achievement when I do the things that I planned to do, rather than just doing things off the cuff. Strange but that’s just how it works for me.

As usual I have been here, there and everywhere; doing this that and the other. I can only assume that being here, you want to know more.

Monday 27th January

Oh my goodness I feel so tired today. Mr Crafts had to practically drag me out of bed this morning! I feel very pleased that I did all my planning yesterday when I got home from the event in Blaby. It would have been a struggle to plan anything today! Let alone get actual work done.

Some test swatches for the new pattern

Writing The Craft Journal for last week was the priority. I felt like it should have been easy as I had done so much that week but it was not easy at all. Writing took me way longer than usual, even though the post was actually quite short. I practically dragged myself across the finish line with that one! Each week I promise myself I will write my entries daily and so they only need to be published on the Monday. Each week I fail miserably in this. That won’t stop me from trying again this week! Anyway, if you want to read last week’s Craft Journal, click here.

I did a few bits of admin; replying to emails, checking activity on social media accounts etc., but the thing that I really wanted to do today was make a start on designing a new crochet pattern. I have had some ideas going round in my brain for a while about different things I would like to make and I attempted to design one of them in the later part of last year. However I changed my mind so many times, unpicked and re did it, then changed my mind again that I got sick of it and gave up!

Being honest with myself I didn’t really go about the design process the right way. I was making things up as I went along without really thinking about what I was doing. In the spirit of being more productive and planning my content more effectively this year I am going about designing in a whole new way.

Four new bracelets for the online store

I have chosen one idea and come up with a (very) basic way of making the item. I’ve drawn some (extrememly) rough sketches of what I want it to look like. Only then did I have a doodle with some yarn.  The first pattern I am designing this year is a crocheted cowl. I thought I would start simple and work my way up to more complicated patterns, plus I’m hoping by the time I’ve finished the pattern the weather will still be appropriate for wearing cowls!

I’ve made up a couple of swatches of stitches I want to use and I am happy that I have come up with something I like that is relatively simple! I am not set on colours yet, I know I want them to be contrasting, but I am feeling a lot more confident about getting the pattern finished and released on the blog!

The goldstone bracelet has beautiful warm colours and tonnes of sparkle!

Tuesday 28th

After a much needed, but completely accidental lie in this morning I am feeling much better! Last night I made some bracelets for the Folksy Shop and today I took some photos and got them listed, pinned on Pinterest and shared on social media. If you want to take a look at the bracelets, you can visit the folksy shop here. I am really struggling to decide which one is my favourite make. I love the labradorite bracelet as it is made with one of my favourite gemstones. Labradorite is so hard to photograph as the stones change colour in the light, but it is very difficult to capture that in still images! I also really love the millefiori glass bracelet as the beads are so beautiful. Each one is different and like a little work of art all on its own. I love the vibrant colours in the goldstone bracelet, but I also love the subtle colours in the opalite beads. Hopefully someone will buy them all or I will have to keep them for myself!

Labradorite is so hard to photograph!

I worked on the new crochet pattern a little more; I’ve started writing it up as I go along so that it is not such a huge and daunting task! I’m going to Stanwick for a meeting tomorrow so I will pick up some yarn from Hobbycraft up the road to make a full size version of the cowl rather than just a sample swatch. I’m so excited about releasing this pattern and I hope all you crochet fans will love it as much as I do!

I have a couple more little jobs to do and then I will be working on the Harry Potter amigurumi in preparation for another video, then more knitting on the Alexis Poncho.

Wednesday 29th

I am really enjoying all the productive days I’ve been having this week! I have even remembered to write The Craft Journal every day so far this week! I’m giving myself a pat on the back right now, you can’t see but I assure you I am!

Today I met up with Becky and Ally on the Settlers Team to talk about some Settlers events in the school holidays. We had a really fantastic meeting and there have been so many exciting ideas, I am really looking forward to working on these a lot more in the future! After my meetings I popped into Hobbycraft to pick up some yarn (because I totally need more of that…) so I can work on a full size version of the crochet pattern I am designing.

Trying to work out where the repeats start and end!

I wanted an Aran weight yarn in a dark blue and a white or cream colour. I settled on Hobbycraft’s own “leader of the pac” in petrol and cream. It is an alpaca/acrylic mix. It feels very soft and I quite like it so far. You can pick up 100g balls for £3.00 each, but there are some colours that have been reduced to £2.00.

At home I caught up on yet more emails, I used to hate emails when I worked in the hospital (mostly because I never had time to check them so I would have to go through 50 or so at a time!) but at the moment all my emails are nice ones. I have had more craft fairs confirmed, another lady is going to send me the booking form for a Christmas fair some time next week and the best news of all is that my lovely customer who wants a 1970’s poncho made has found some yarn that she likes the colour of! The yarn is Mayflower’s kid silk and it is on order from Hobbii. I am already eagerly awaiting the arrival of the post!

After a little more admin I picked up my crochet hook and started working on the cowl I’m designing. The petrol and cream work really well together, the only problem is I am now thinking of all the colour combinations I could use to create more cowls! I best slow down, I haven’t even made one yet!

Thursday 30th

Well, day four in a row of writing The Craft Journal every day and all seems to be going well. I’ve had a few people get in touch with me about testing my new pattern and I have had some lovely comments and engagement on Instagram regarding my jewellery.

Today I mostly did housework; not very exciting I know but I feel a lot better now that it is done! I did tidy up my beads from the dining table, not before staring lovingly at my square millefiori glass beads.

I have had these beads since October last year and I absolutely adore them. I’m not even joking here, I genuinely think I have a problem! Every time I get my beads out I look at these beautiful pieces of glass with every intention of making something with them. Each time I look at them and then think that I couldn’t possibly use them as they are far too precious. Well, today I have made a piece of jewellery with them!

These are my absolute favourite beads in the history of everything ever!

My newest millefiori piece is now listed in the folksy shop, even that was a bit of a struggle! I debated for literally hours whether to keep this piece for myself or list it online, but my business head won and I listed the bracelet. If you want to take a look at it, click here. One thing is certain, I will be making myself a piece of jewellery with these beads!

Anyway, I am going to sit down with my crochet and make some progress on my cowl! If anyone would like to test the pattern I am still looking for at least one more person. Send me a message or leave me a comment below and I will get back to you.

Friday 31st

Today I spent a lovely afternoon in the company of the Woolly Workers. I took my cowl along as I want to get it finished as soon as possible. Everyone seemed to like the pattern as it was coming together so I hope you all will like it too!

I had my usual lunch (egg mayo on brown) and as it was Pauline’s birthday (Happy Birthday Pauline!) there was cake, a delicious Victoria sponge with fresh cream and strawberries. It was absolutely sumptuous!

The cowl progressing nicely in my chosen colours

It has been almost a year since I started going to Woolly Workers. I am so glad I found them, and not just because of the cake! It doesn’t matter how crazy the week has been, or how hectic the weekend ahead is, or how many social commitments you have (which make your head spin!) having an afternoon with friends, craft and food makes things seem an awful lot better!

Saturday 1st

I had lots of plans for today, but one way or another none of them actually came to anything. I did spend some more time planning a Spanish train trip; Mr Crafts and I sorted through all our USA holiday photos and got them ordered and I worked on my cowl and typed up the pattern. There are still a few gaps in my work but I’m hoping to have them filled by next week so I can send the pattern of to my testers. I am really enjoying the process of designing the pattern, I just hope everyone likes it!

And just like that, another project has been started…

Although I promised myself I wouldn’t start any more projects, I started a new project. What is wrong with me? I have so many projects on the go now I actually can’t keep track of any of them. Remember the Carnaby CAL I mentioned in last week’s Craft Journal? Mr Crafts bought me a magazine subscription so I didn’t miss any parts of the CAL and it came with all the yarn to make the jumper/blanket. The yarn arrived this morning. I may have started the first part of the CAL…

This sweet little cardigan is now in its neew home

Sunday 2nd

Not a great deal of crafting has happened today. I have been over to Bourne for my cousin’s baby shower. I did however take a handmade card to go with my handmade gift in a handmade gift bag. Now I am home again I have planned out the week in my diary, all the meals for next week are planned and I even have a shopping list written for tomorrow.

Next week is looking super busy, with two days of Settler’s meetings back to back and lots of crochet projects to finish before the yarn arrives for the mohair poncho. I’m going to spend the rest of the evening attempting to finish my cowl and possibly the first part of the Carnaby CAL!

Have a great week

George

x

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