Elsewhere in the crafting world there is talk of undertaking epic crafting endeavours (I’m thinking specifically of the Fibre Trek Shackleton projects or Welford Purl’s Zero to Hero SPAKAL) but here at Crafty Towers it has been all about the quick wins or mini projects.
I have to admit I have had quite significant projects on my needles, including some that really should have been finished sooner because they were gift knitting for specific dates that came and went but all that I seem to have been able to motivate myself to do with any reliable frequency are the projects that take me a few hours start to finish. Perhaps this is a result of baby brain (I’m milking that excuse for as long as I can – when the girls are in their 40s I will still be blaming that for why I forget things or lack concentration) or perhaps it is because I had the pressure of big obligation projects on the needles that I needed the immediate gratification of small projects.
Most of my mini projects have been spinning related, I broke in to my stash of fuzzlings from Fondant Fibre, a blending box from Countess Ablaze and some recycled sari silk from Adelaide Walker that just needed plying and I set to work.
I have no idea what I am going to make with any of these mini skeins as despite all being roughly fingering weight not of them exceeds 60m in length, the smallest only clocking up a mere 12m. In all honesty they will no doubt do the same as the majority of my hand spun which is sit and look pretty on a shelf in my crafting cupboard waiting for inspiration to strike. Spinning them up did give me several nights of relaxed mindless spinning where I could just zone out and lose myself in the repetitive motions and soothing rhythm of the wheel.
Some more purposeful quick wins were achieved when I decided to make some matching outfits for my eldest daughter and her doll. Ever since she got the doll at Christmas she had been asking for some extra clothes for it (although goodness knows why as it seems to spend most of its time naked!) so I said I would make some for her birthday. She was thrilled when she opened the package containing a cowl, a cardigan and 2 pairs of pyjama pants even before she got to the next packages which contained a matching cardigan and pyjama pants for herself (she already had the matching cowl as she asked that I immediately cast one on for her one day after we’d got back from a very cold and wet walk).
Making the doll outfits put my crafting skills to the test, I hadn’t had my sewing machine out in about 18 months which was obvious when I started sewing, at least I still remembered how to thread the needle without having to look back though the manual. It did also feel a bit like being in the Great British Sewing Bee as I was working against the clock trying to get through pattern drafting, cutting, machine sewing and hand finishing for all 2 pairs of pants in less than 2 hours whilst my OH took the girls to the park. Did I mention I also had to do the set up and clearing away of all evidence within this time frame?
The next challenge was to improvise a pattern for the dolls cardigan to match the Joseph Cardigan I was making for my daughter. I think the end result was fairly successful, my OH even recognised it as an attempt to make a similar end product so it must have been close, I also had enough buttons so they could match too. Sadly the cardigan I made for my little girl only just fits her and I doubt she will get more than a couple of months wear out of it (note to self – read Ravelry notes on patterns to check issues with fit and sizing in future) but on the day it looked brilliant and made her happy.
Despite the challenges being able to get a good few completed projects under my belt this early in the year should help motivate me and keep me feeling upbeat and positive about crafting during any child related lulls in productivity in the months ahead.