The Craft Journal, Week of 11th November

One of the more successful pieces of content creation this week

Hello Crafty Friends,

I hope you have had a productive week! This week I am definitely starting to feel festive. I have been looking at making some Christmas crafting videos for you all AND I have been to the first of many Christmas craft fairs! Anyway, I have lots to tell you, as usual, so I best get on.

Monday 11th November

Well, today was a bit of a mixed day. As I got all of The Craft Journal written and finished on Sunday I was feeling rather smug. I got the blogpost shared on our social media channels, replied to a few messages and calls, organised myself for the week and started on the first of my crafty jobs.

First on the list was to get caught up with the Blaithin Blanket CAL, the next flower (the primula) is released today so I had hoped to get some solid squares completed along with my final cosmos square! The good news is I got all my cosmos squares done and I also made up two of the solid squares. The bad news was I haven’t sewn any ends in yet and progress was quite slow! SO I didn’t do quite so many squares as I had hoped.

The first of many, pointless tension squares. A source of much tension.

Next I wanted to make a start on the next Christmas jumper. I have a horrible feeling that this sweater is going to be a repeat of the Comforolled. I have done five tension squares with five different sized hooks and none of them are right! Anyway, after feeling like nothing had gone my way I turned my attention to my social media accounts. I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud lately. My accounts aren’t growing and I’m not getting a lot of engagement. Anyway I have come up with a few new plans and I have kicked myself up the backside and I am now full of new motivation.

As a part of my new social media strategy I wanted to work out how to put closed captions on my Instagram stories. It seems there is only one available app for android users and it’s not that awesome. I have never wanted to buy an iphone before, but there are literally loads of apps for iphone that allow you to do this. Anyway, I have an app, I am learning to use it. I have also learned a lot of neat Instagram hacks for stories that I am excited to use, so watch this space.

Finally after a long day of things going wrong, I decided I wanted to learn another new skill. How to record what’s on my laptop screen with voiceover so that I can include it in an upcoming video for you! I actually mastered this quite quickly (in comparison to everything else that happened today) so I have already recorded this footage! Not I think I have earned a drink, or at least a biscuit, which I will enjoy while attempting to crochet this new sodding jumper!   

12th November

Well. Last night did not go at all well. The jumper making is not going well and I spent most of the night vomiting. Meaning that I woke up very late today and I haven’t got the things done that I wanted.

Making custom thumbnails for my videos with insta stories is one of my new found social media marketing skills

I did manage to take my resin tray out of the mould. I also tried out the polishing kit for resin that I had ordered. The tray turned out very nicely, and then I ruined it with the polishing kit. I did however manage to film all of this for you and the entire process of making the resin tray has been made into a ten minute video for you. If you would like to watch that, you can do so here.

I also wrote up the review of the Resin8 products that I had been trying out and if you want to read that, click here. Essentially, I love the resin and the trinket tray kit but I would have been better off without the polishing kit.

Otherwise, I have tried to tidy up the studio (spare bedroom!) and sort out some of my double knitting stash for the blaithin CAL. I now have one ball of each colour yarn in a bag so I haven’t got the entire stash all over the floor, which makes my brain a little bit less itchy. I am going to go downstairs now and do a few solid blaithin squares before bed.

13th November

In the spirit of trying to catch up on the two lost days of this week I spent the day batch making some Christmas cards to sell online and at up-coming craft fairs. I got four sets of cards stamped, embossed and water coloured before I ran out of card blanks. Thank goodness for Amazon prime! Anyway I chose two of my favourite designs to list on Folksy. Hopefully the shoppers will love these cards as much as I do!

p-p-p-p-p-pick up a penguin in my Folksy store

I also made a little how to video on how you can make your own batch cards, there’s also a little bit of a comparison with the high street cards! If you want to see this video, you can watch it here. I was absolutely shocked at the price of some of the mass made high street Christmas cards! I honestly don’t know how they can sell anything at these prices!

14th November

The plan for today was to make Christmas angels and gift boxes, but I got distracted by the shiny things and made a lot of new pieces of jewellery for the stall on Saturday! In my defence I took a stock of my Christmas angels tree decorations and I had more than enough and I didn’t think that prepping gift boxes would take too long.

In other news, I braced myself for more disappointment and attempted to start the Christmas jumpers again. I decided to start completely from the beginning again, so I began with the tension square and was fully prepared I would have to do some (dreaded) maths to get the pattern to work.

These beads are next on the hit list!

I used the recommended hook size and the tension square worked out to be the right size. Now ordinarily this would have been good news, but I actually felt more confused! I had already made the same tension square with the same yarn and the same hook and it worked up to be far too small! I honestly thought I was losing my mind.

Without knowing what to do I decided I was just going to make a start on the jumper using the recommended hooks and see what happened. I did have a piece of helpful advice to follow from Hilary, start with the sleeve because it’s less to unpick if it goes wrong! Genius!

15th November

After a week of ups and downs I was looking forward to getting to woolly workers. It was so nice to sit and chat and work on my projects with a cup of tea and a yummy sandwich. I got a good way into making the sleeve. I really want to get to the point where all the increases have been done so I can whip the tape measure out and see if it’s going right!

Flat pack pizza boxes ready to go!

Back at home I had to do my final prep for the Christmas craft market. The nice man from amazon had delivered my tissue paper which I cut into squares and then I made 40 mini pizza boxes which I could take to the craft fair flat and then build as needed. All I needed to do was to put some tape on the tabs before the event. I tossed some curling ribbon into one of the boxes and I was ready for the next day.

16th November

The day of the craft fair! Mum and I arrived just after nine and went to find our tables. On the way up the stairs we met the lovely Lynne, who was organising the event, told us that someone had taken my table. Lynne was quite distressed as she had made sure that mum and I had tables next to each other and some of the stall holders had decided that they didn’t like their own tables and rather liked the look of my designated table and were refusing to give it up! How very rude!

My little tree, decked with angels

Anyway after a bit of juggling I managed to get set up on a table across the hall from mum. We waved and communicated via WhatsApp! It was quite funny. As always the earrings and heart necklaces were popular and I think I have now sorted some of the set up/put away headache of selling jewellery at craft fairs.

Mr Crafts came to pick me up at the end of the fair and we went home and dropped the boxes off before I took him out for a piece of cake and a milkshake/hot chocolate at Rushden Lakes.

At home I promptly fell asleep at about six o clock and didn’t get up until the next morning!

Sleeves one and two, for two separate jumpers!

17th November

With just over 5 weeks until Christmas I got down to some serious planning.  I have decided when I am going Christmas shopping with Mr Crafts (for he hates shopping and I don’t think he would actually go if I didn’t force him!), making the Christmas cake with mum, decorating the tree, doing the big shop, the vegetable shop, putting in the food order and a million other jobs.

With the plans out of the way I set about getting a big hole made in some of my crafty Christmas jobs, namely jumpers and cards. Yesterday I finished a sleeve when I was at the craft fair and, by a twist of fate, it was the right size! Buoyed by this success I decided to make the last two Christmas jumpers simultaneously and made a start on a sleeve for the other jumper. I also managed to get it finished in the same day, so now I can at least give everyone a sleeve for Christmas. This pattern works up a lot faster than the comforolled as the hook is two sizes bigger and the stitch is half treble rather than double.

I also manage to make quite a few Christmas cards, I have rather a hefty pile now so I think I ought to start making a list of who I am sending cards to and see how many I actually need!

More from me next week! Take care, share your crafty photos and good luck with the Christmas preparations crafters!


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