The Craft Journal – 3rd February

Hi Everyone!

I hope you’ve had a great weekend and that Monday is treating you kindly so far! This week I have been so busy. I’ve had two days with the Settlers this week aside from all the regular things I do each week. I also feel like I have sent a million emails this week!

For the last few weeks I have been planning a “catch up day” in the diary once a week on a Thursday, and this week is the first week I have actually needed to use it. I’m glad that I’ve started allowing this extra time in the week as it means I don’t lose motivation if things come up and change my plans, I also don’t feel quite so out of control over what is happing on the blog!

Monday 3rd February

Well I feel pretty smug today. It’s nearly lunchtime and I have already released last week’s craft journal, prepped for my Settler’s meeting tomorrow, sent 5000 emails and completed my volunteer timesheets. As a bonus I also completed my cowl last night so after I have had some lunch I will be taking some photos of it to post on social media and to use in the pattern write up, which is already written up, I just need to add the tension and proof read it before sending it off to my lovely pattern testers! I feel like I’m winning at life right now. I’m sure everything will all come crashing down around me soon, but for now I’m making the most of it!

This thing is so warm!

After food shopping I did a little more work on the Carnaby CAL, which is actually taking me a lot longer to do than I thought it would. The design of this section looks pretty simple (a semicircle with two triangles to make a rectangle) but with all the colour changes, shapes, counting and the odd printing error thrown in just for fun it’s deceptively complicated!

Tuesday 4th February

This morning was all about Settlers. I had a meeting at 10.45 to talk about the plans for February’s journal entry, take some flowers from the garden and pick up some photos for January’s journal entry. I also had a filming session booked in with some students from the University of Northampton.

Thanks Hobbii for the super quick delivery!

The students are making a film about the whole Settler’s project and have already filmed the garden team and some of our other stars. Today was my turn to be filmed. The students asked me a little about what I thought about the Settler’s project and why I became a volunteer. Then I demonstrated making some chainmail earrings and talked about the pieces of jewellery that had been made on some of the jewellery workshops we had run in the barn. The students were really professional and gave me really clear instructions on what they needed from me and were really interested in what I had to tell them about the project. I can’t wait to see the finished film!

At home I put some primroses from the Settler’s garden into the flower press, they will be the featured plant for February and I sent out my meeting notes for the next month’s journal spread.

In non-Settler’s news the postman bought me a delivery, the yarn I ordered for the 70’s poncho. I wasn’t expecting to get this until Thursday at the earliest! I haven’t ordered from hobbii before but I’m pretty impressed with their customer service! The yarn is lovely and soft, but terrifyingly thin! I had already decided that I wanted to wind the yarn into cakes and use my yarn bowls when making the poncho, mostly to stop the yarn from getting in a knot and to stop it from rolling all over the floor! So before my lunch I would all my mohair into cakes, generating an extraordinary amount of static electricity!

After lunch I took myself off to my desk to work on January’s journal spread. I wrote out all the copy, neatly, and positioned everything in place before I started filming the process for a video that is coming soon! I had planned to edit the video and release it tonight but it was getting so late. Instead I tried to put together a digital version of the journal for distribution on the Settler’s social media. I am pretty happy with it so far, but I won’t share it with you until the rest of the team have seen it.

The life of a Settler is certainly a busy one!

After a day of being a Settler I got my things together and packed my back for another day of doing it all again tomorrow. After that I went downstairs and began work on the 70’s mohair poncho. I can tell you now, the yarn is so thin and soft it is like knitting with water! This is going to be a long project I can tell you!

Wednesday 5th

This morning I met with Alison (on the Settlers team) to talk about some events that will run in the school holidays.  There was tea, cake and a lot of amazing ideas. I cannot wait for the Easter holidays because the first event is going to absolutely incredible, and as for the event in the summer holiday…there are no words! We will be meeting again next week with Becky to talk about all our plans and it is going to be just amazing.

Check out the fuzz on this mohair!

While I was out I got an email telling me my photos were ready to collect from the printers, so I went and got those on the way home. Mr Crafts and I had spent a long time choosing the photos we wanted printing and we were really disappointed with what we received. The printers had applied a bulk filter to all our photos reducing the colour intensity, putting a black line around all the details and blurring the backgrounds. We checked the files on the computer we ordered the prints from to make sure that it wasn’t a problem with the photos from our end; our photos looked fine on the computer. We will not be getting them printed at the same place again!  

At home I felt like I had a million jobs to do and I was feeling a little cheesed off at this point – due to the photos. Instead of doing my jobs I sat down on the sofa and knitted the poncho some more. I would have a day of productivity and be back on top of all my jobs tomorrow.

Thursday 6th

Today was a day of catching up. The first thing I did was to catch up on all my emails. After the meeting yesterday I needed to get all the notes written up and distributed ready for another meeting next week. Next I sent more emails, more emails and … oh, some more emails. I also filled out another application for a craft fair in August and did a few rows of the mohair poncho in the morning. Then I caught up on the last two days of the craft journal before getting a few more jobs done.

This video is finally released on the YouTube channel!

At the end of next month Bourne 2 Care will be visiting Stanwick Lakes again. This time we will be showing them the best that medieval Stanwick has to offer from the comfort of our very own barn and garden. I did a little research and I have come up with an itinerary for the day which I think they will really enjoy.

Just when you think I hadn’t had enough Settlers in my life this week, I finished editing and released the video I made last month on the Settlers’ garden journal. I had done quite a bit of editing as I was going along so I didn’t think there was actually a lot to do. How wrong I was. I added in the final bits of footage and edited them, added a backing track etc. and left the footage rendering on my laptop. When I came back to the finished video I decided I didn’t like it at all and totally re-edited the whole thing, taking it down from 14 minutes to around five and a half! You can thank me later.  If you want to watch the video, click here.

Friday 7th

There’s a lot going on here; and I haven’t even added the second colour in yet!

Normally you will find me at Scotch Lodge on a Friday, but this week I didn’t go. I really wanted to make a good start on the 70’s mohair poncho that I’ve been asked to make, as someone is paying me actual real money to make it I want to do a really good and efficient job! The Poncho is in turquoise and white. I’m working three strands of each colour at one time and carrying the other three strands up the side of my work. I’m using two yarn bowls and a mug (due to the absence of a third yarn bowl) and the non-working balls of yarn are kept in a small cardboard box. It’s an awful lot of stuff to cart about to the farm, even if I could concentrate on my knitting and talk at the same time. Overall I decided I should probably work on the poncho at home.

Saturday 8th

I am trying desperately hard to be organised in my social life as well as online. With that in mind and with a lot of activities planned over the next few weeks I encouraged Mr Crafts to go shopping and we could sort out mothers’ day gifts and his sister’s birthday present. A touch early I am forced to admit, but it seemed a good idea at the time.  

We decided we would go to Leicester as there is a really nice bead shop there and we could go to Bradgate Park in the afternoon if we got our present shopping done.

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Photo credit to Mr Crafts for this shot of the ruins of Bradgate House

The drive was nothing short of excruciating. By the time we got to the car park we were ready to turn round and go home, town was horrendously busy and some fool decided to make my day even better by being incredibly rude. However, we did the mother’s day presents sorted and Mr Crafts knows what he is going to get for his sister’s birthday.

We did make it to the park (with a few minor dramas on the way) and we had a really nice walk and saw loads of deer. When we got to where a large herd of deer were in a field we saw something quite spectacular. The field is off limits to visitors and there is a wall with a ditch on either side acting as a barrier. The deer decided, en masse, that they didn’t really want to stay in the field so they all leapt over the wall and ditch. It was really incredible to see. Maybe it wasn’t a completely terrible day after all!

At home I did more work on the mohair poncho. I feel like I made pretty good progress up to this point and by the time I decided I had done enough there were only a few rows left of the first half.

Sunday 9th

One side done, one more andthe collar to go!

Although not without some minor poncho induced anxiety (thankfully short lived and now resolved!), today has been far more sedate. Mr Crafts and I have booked a short break in Stratford upon Avon, I finished the first part of my poncho and started the second part. I’ve planned my week’s meals and activities and written my shopping list.

I really think I’m getting the hang of this organisation thing now. After all the activity this week I have put the finishing touches to this week’s Craft Journal, ready for release tomorrow and I’m now going back to my mohair.

See you next week


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