Friday 27 September 2013

Works in Progress

I was having a big tidy up in the middle of the week and one of the most frequent items I came across were half finished pieces, 'works in progress' or WIPs. Some of them had only been put aside for a few days, others cast aside for a few months, one or two I have had hidden under a pile of crafty supplies for a few years!!

Once I had tidied everything else back in its place I examined these WIPs and tried to decide what to do with them. One or two simply needed ends sewing in which I dealt with in half an hour (why had I put this off for so long?). Others needed a specific item, most frequently badge pins which I have now ordered. With some WIPs I had run out of wool or changed my mind about the pattern. I will need think about what to do in these cases. I have a small piece of felt ready to begin embellishing with embroidery thread. There is a crocheted wrap around cardigan which needs its sleeves finished but I stumbled across problems with it and flung it aside. I really like the look of this pattern and the yarn is super soft, 70% wool, 30% alpaca, so I think I'll dust it off, sit down with a large mug of tea and work out where to go with it. The granny squares are the start of a large granny square blanket using up scraps of wool. I have crocheted 76 squares and  run out of scraps!

Secretly I like having all these WIPs because I enjoy bouncing from one project to another, it keeps my ideas fresh and stops me from getting fed up with something.  However, my aim is to finish as many of these as I can in the next few days so that I can create space for new pieces ... and the cycle will begin again ...

I am sure I'm not the only one with lots of WIPs on the go. Do you like to move from project to project? Leave a comment to let me know and alert me of any self help groups out there!

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Time to start blogging ...

I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while and decided to start today as it's dull and misty outside and seems like a day to be indoors.

Lately I have been finalising my plans to open a shop at, a UK based craft site. I decided to start with a piece of handmade felt with embroidery detailing for my shop's banner. Mat, my sister's partner, has been a fantastic help with the graphics.

I am going to sell my up-cycled necklaces and felt brooches to begin with. The necklaces are made from many different beads from other necklaces, together with beads I have embroidered and felted. The felt brooches are made from shrunken wool jumpers with needle felting and embroidery details.

I love to rummage in charity shops for necklaces and jumpers. I take the necklaces home, free them from their elastic or ribbon, scrub them up and add them to my huge box of beads. I can then run my hands through them and spot colour combinations which look good together and begin to pull out beads which work well together. I then add to theses by making some wrapped, crocheted or embroidered beads, picking out embroidery thread to compliment the colour scheme. I use the wet felting technique to make one or two felted beads, adding more texture to the necklace. The finished necklace is on a joint thread of leather and is very tactile, ranging from super smooth plastic to bumpy thread and wool.

My next steps in starting up my business are the more technical issues of setting up a bank account, HMRC registering and from filling. I'm not looking forward to this side of things, but hope to finish them quickly and get back to crafting soon!

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