I thought I would have hours and hours to spend on crafting this summer. I was going to make four new cushions on my sewing machine with fabric from vintage sheets, I was going to make a macrame plant hanger, I was going to sort through my fabric stash and start making hexies for a quilt....not a chance. But I did manage to renovate a mid-century plant stand, and I will show you that soon.
I have been working on items I already started, crafts which - once planned - require nothing of me, but just offer hours of relaxation. And isn't that just when crafting or making something is at it's absolute best; when, once the thought and planning is done, you just have the pure pleasure of building something beautiful with your hands while your brain wanders from here to there and your state of mind goes from overflowing and frantic to calm and quiet.
I have worked a little more on this cross stitch sampler (available from here), completing two more motifs.
You can get a sense of the overall balance of colour and pattern here. I am taking this on holiday with me and am looking forward to lots of time with this sampler, with a cold drink next to me, maybe a bowl of olives, while John cooks dinner on the barbecue and the children amuse themselves for hours on end and don't need endless applications of suncream (let have my dream).
I am also working a little on Angus's blanket, here and there. I am starting to feel a little more warmth towards it now, perhaps because it's starting to grow a little.
It is about the length of a scarf, a very wide scarf. I keep wrapping it around my neck, and it gave me an idea for something I'd like to crochet myself this autumn; a very long, very wide woollen scarf in the granny stripe stitch or something similar, very soft and drapey, the sort of thing you can envelop yourself in and wrap around your neck at least twice, and in shades of grey with maybe a little colour. It needs to be really good wool, soft and with a beautiful, subtle depth of colour, and of course I would need a lot of yarn for something so big, so I reckon this would be an indulgent kind of scarf to crochet myself, something quite luxurious. I don't know if I'll do it yet.
The other project I am working on is a crocheted bag to hold my yoga mat. With chunky yarn and a 10 mm hook this has been a speedy and enjoyable project.
I wanted to address your wonderful response to my post In need of inspiration last month. I moaned about how nothing was grabbing me, craft wise, and how I was stuck in a rut, and you all came to my rescue with so many excellent ideas. I've tried to summarise them here.
:: Crocheting clothes and bags. Yes, this is something I really want to do. I've made a poncho, but I think my skill level is up to something like a sweater now, and I even have a couple of patterns put aside. I daydreamed about making a cotton sweater this summer but it's too late now, but I definitely want to hook myself a pair of socks and a new hat this autumn, and maybe a bag too.
:: Sewing clothes. I really would like to think that making some simple machine sewn clothes isn't totally an out of reach dream for me. Especially dresses. Being tall, I have a long torso and often find that the waist on shop-bought dresses sits one or two inches higher than I would want it too - being able to create some simple shift style dresses which take into account my shape would be wonderful. Also, embroidering clothes - it never occurred to me to do this, great idea!
:: Patchwork. I loved that so many of you said "you have to try patchwork!" with so much enthusiasm. Whether it's hand or machine sewn, English Paper Piecing, applique, embroidering on the squares, hexies, diamonds, there is defintely something here for me, I just need to figure out what. It would combine my love of hand sewing with my passion for making things for our home. (I really love the idea of making a memory quilt of special items of clothing, but think I really should have started this a long time ago, given that my wedding dress went to the charity shop when we moved, and I gave away most of Bella and Angus's baby things.)
:: Sashiko quilting. Thank you to the person who told me about this. It's a Japanese craft of stitching a repeating pattern with white cotton onto indigo dyed fabric, traditionally to repair or reinforce worn clothing, but now as a decorative craft too. I just adore the look and simple aesthetic of this craft. There is so much scope here, particularly when I think about denim, but I don't know yet what to do with it all my ideas.
:: Items for the home. So many possibilities. Cushions came up a lot - they are a versatile item and with quilting, tapestry, canvas work or crochet there are lots of options, although I think John might argue the need for more cushions in our house, we do have quite a few already. Also, table runners or table cloths and dish cloths - all very practical but open to all kinds of crafty ideas.
:: Christmas. Practically my favourite crafting theme ever. Decorations, a Christmas tree skirt, stockings - I really want to do all of these things. Especially the tree skirt.
You suggested Ravelry as a resource. I do browse this site sometimes, but find the scale of it and the number of patterns overwhelming. Also, Little box of Crochet. I didn't know anything about this until recently; it's a lovely idea, but currently there are no boxes available.
Anyway, THANK YOU for your ideas and enthusiasm and support and for just being good people.
I will be away from here for a couple for a few weeks but I'll be back soon, and hopefully with lots of sunny holiday photos to bore you with.