Craft As Medicine

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I went to visit my Gran today. She taught me how to knit… again. She taught me years ago and I did knit a few things (read: anything you can make based on a knit/purl square or rectangle, so… a scarf and a headband and a pair of fingerless gloves I think are the three things I can add to my knitting CV…ha!). A while back I thought to myself, damnit I’ve knitted before and I will bloody knit again. I watched a video on youtube, attempted a cast on, ended up in a pile of loosely tangled wool and two sticks. I threw the whole thing to the other side of the room in a tantrum and admitted to myself that that day was not going to be the day I reinvented myself as Lucy Who Knits.

Today was much better, I practised casting on with my Gran who, very patiently, let me do it over and over again in front of her for about ten minutes while she nodded and said Yes Dear when I exclaimed loudly that I could do it I could do it I could do it! Meanwhile she was knitting a square – she told me she had tried to convince the other ladies in her retirement village to all knit a square in order to make a communal blanket which they could then raffle off (to raise funds for what, I didn’t ask). She said no one was into her idea so if no one was keen by the time she finished her singular square she would give it to me to use as a face washer instead. Last time she knitted squares she and some friends yarn bombed the local library.

So this week I am determined to knit a square, I’m seeing her again in a couple of weeks and promised I would come back with something to show for her efforts with me today!

In other crafty news I’ve been making a fair few things lately. Craft is so infinitely good for my soul and every time I pick up my crochet hook or material or sewing machine (not that I pick it up, as such, but we all hear my meaning yes? Too late and too tired to delete that sentence and try again) I get into the zone. You know, the craft zone? Craft is the only thing that stops me from thinking, stressing, over analysing things. Keeping my hands busy with making is my medicine, it saves me in those moments when my head is going to burst with overwhelm, when my to-to list is off the planet or just at any time really. I cannot believe that I nearly failed Year 8 Textiles because I was too busy writing on my pencil case in whiteout and staring at pictures of Jimi Hendrix. I didn’t click with my teacher and after a bad experience with a patchwork cushion I didn’t even attempt anything remotely close to making something again until I had a baby. All those years wasted!

I digress. It’s so late and I’m ridiculously sleep deprived but now I’m here you’ll have to put up with me! Righto. Where was I? Oh yes, in the first picture above you can see a kimono I made last week. I haven’t finished any of the seams or anything like that; given it was for me I gave myself a break. Plus I wanted to wear it pronto so I used every short cut I could. Not many were needed though as this is SUCH a simple project. Google DIY kimono and you’ll find heaps of different tutorials showing you how to make it. Easy peasy!

The next picture shows a cardigan I just finished crocheting for the bebe, the pattern is this sweet yoke baby cardigan which is fairly simple to whip up as well. I’m thinking of making a few more of these for winter and for a few friends, they would make a very sweet little present. The wool I used was 8 ply but it was rather on the thin side so the 6-12mo size I have made is almost too small. I made one with a thicker 8ply when Pixie was a baby and it ended up being too thick, so I’ll have to test it again on the 12mo size and see how it comes up. It’s very cute though and I honestly can’t get enough of the veggie buttons. So glad I finally found something to use them on as I’ve been carrying them around for a while now.

Next on the make list:

+ knit a square

+ finish blanket before 2020

+ more sweet yoke cardis

+ a few skirts for upcoming kid birthdays

And with that, goodnight to you all, and to all, a good night.

oh to make

Screenshot 2014-08-14 13.26.20With all the craziness of starting a new job, finding our feet, and creating a new rhythm in our lives, to be able to continue with some making here and there truly is a blessing. The ability to be able to move my hands this way and that, twist the wool and feel it sliding through my fingers. Oh! Immediate stress buster. Therapy at its best. 

On Wanting

It’s hard not to want things. Want, want, want. It’s a horrible feeling, to be left, wanting. Especially at this time of year when shops are screaming at you, the television is reminding you of all the things you need, people around you are talking about all the things they are buying, and Christmas is looming. I have been trying desperately to avoid spending money on things, particularly at this hectic time of year when it would be much quicker for me to run out to the shops or order things online. There are so many wonderful and beautiful gifts out there, the thought of it is overwhelming.

However, a while ago I decided to have a Buy Nothing New Christmas. At that point I didn’t even have a sewing machine… it’s crazy what happens when you put something out to the universe. I now have a couple of sewing machines, a weekly sewing circle with other beautiful crafty women from my family, an enormous collection of vintage and thrifted fabric, and a growing pile of things I have made or modified.

A skirt - my Gran drew me the pattern!

Laptop cover made from an old woollen jumper which I felted

Cutlery roll - idea from Little Eco Footprints

Baby's bib - idea from The Crafty Minx

Boy's bib

Op shop dress - was size 18 with sleeves...!

I am slowly learning how to use the machine and thread the needle and fix mistakes (many) and so on. My workspace is also all set up – albeit on the kitchen table, will have to do something about this…

I was at the op shop the other day and saw a very cute medium sized 1970’s table for $15. I have since been having visions of this table set up with my sewing machine in our spare room in front of the window where the spare bed currently is. I have also been imagining the bed packed up underneath the house… And a vase with fresh flowers on the table… And people sleeping in our lounge room when they come to stay… And me with a cup of tea at said table sewing harmoniously in the mint green room while Baby is sleeping… I have not mentioned any of this to Prince Charming as yet…

I have also been thinking about the amount of things we are constantly buying, and the impact this has on both our purses and the environment. I’ve been finding much inspiration online at blogs such as Ecomilf and Down to Earth which has left me considering extending my Buy Nothing New Christmas to a Buy Nothing New 2011 (at least the first 6 months)… I am still thinking about the logistics of this and am feeling a little apprehensive… will keep you posted!