Coming out of 2012 (“the year that didn’t really happen”), I had just one goal for 2013 – make more stuff. For once, I completed every single ONE of my goals! ;)
I actually made a lot of stuff this year – learnt a lot of new skills and vastly improved some old ones. I have documented just a fraction of them for posterity though – my first goal for 2014 is to build a light box to photograph them properly ;)
In each section, they’re vaguely in the order in which I did them but I jump about between crafts like a manic grasshopper on blue Smarties and Kiaora ;)
- Jacobean tulip – my first taste of crewel embroidery with this kit from Coleshill
- Team CB – our terrace of houses in long stitch
- The masterwork – another long stitch project – portraits this time – which I designed and stitched pretty quickly but which I’ve not actually got around to blocking and framing.
- Tomatoes embroidery – a DMC kit
- Garden corner – another DMC kit – a bit more advanced than the tomato one and I felt it helped me “level up”
- House Peach – cross/half-x stitch, a Game of Thrones parody for our house
- Tiny needlebook embroidery – a very small crewel kit I’ve had for a while – I was very proud the neatness of the back of the work — it was perfect!
- Ann Perkins blanket – after falling in love with it on screen, I decided to make my own version of the crochet blanket on the sofa at Ann Perkins’ house in Parks and Recreation. Due to a bit of a miscalculation, mine ended up a bit big so doesn’t quite match but I like it all the same. It took about two months of pretty intense evening work to get it finished and left my hands stiff but it has already been very useful this winter!
- Plum solid square blanket – a glutton for punishment, I went just about straight into this after the Ann Perkins blanket. Solid squares in plummy colours. Another very useful blanket!
- Three mini cat blankets – two log cabin designs (inc the one above), and one using granny squares, made from leftover yarn from the other two blankets.
- Slubby jumper – my first piece of crocheted clothing for me. A very simple design, which I made a bit more interesting using the variable weight yarn, Drops Love You 3.
- Orange peaked hat – a late addition, made in the last few weeks (had to wait for extra yarn & a cold to clear itself). This pattern, made in Drops Love You 4.
- Felted mini pods – two little pods following this tutorial to learn about felting using resists. My first one was my favourite and I keep my make-up brushes/pencils in it.
- Felted cat cave – which was a pain to felt and the cats almost immediately ruined by sitting on it, sigh.
- Wet felted bag – didn’t turn out as planned but I like better now.
- Little felt balls for the cats – a very quick – but popular! – little make when the new lazy cats were playful kittens. Old lady Carla got to try them out first!
- Two pairs of wings and a crocodile mouth – stylised costumes for the drama summer showcase – appalling craftswomanship!
- Sewing class trousers – I did a sewing class at Hive in the autumn term and as a class, we made pyjama bottoms. As I already have plenty of garish pjs, I made grey linen blend “lounge pants” instead.
- New purse – my old homemade purse was getting a bit tatty so I made a new one using some leftover fabric from the “lounge pants” and some of the new, fancy finishing skills I learnt in class.
As well as sewing, I also started a pottery course at Hive in September. I’ve been idly wanting to play with clay for years and I’m very much enjoying it – I doubt I’ll ever be particularly good at it and most of my work is rather rubbish at the moment but it’s fun and I am slowly getting better (it’s a very long winded process – making progress takes weeks and weeks!). I’m on another two courses – a general class and one on Raku – for the winter/spring and summer terms and I’m going to continue working on my own stuff outside of class too.
- Gradient bowl – press mould, coloured with slip and clear glaze: my first make!
- Small doily saucer – press mould, with crochet doily imprint
- Cat figure – my first sculptural work – I love him :)
- Large doily saucer – as above, with a more delicate imprint
- Dimpled plate – press mould plate with very pleasing dimples!
- Yarn bowl – hump mould (ugh)
- Four square curved plates – very simple tiles for testing glazes/glaze techniques
- Cubist chicken – second sculptural work – he’ll go in the garden
I’ve essentially finished some more things as well — I did a load of glazing just before the break but they haven’t been back into the kiln for a final firing yet. They’re finished as far as I’m concerned though – just got to wait for the kiln to be run (this week or next).
- Cone pot – my first coil pot at pottery – (pictured pre-firing)
- Small plate – press mould, kinda – used the bottom bit of a mould for a bowl, and scraped it out further
- Brush pot – cylindrical slab pot, decorated with dimples
- 11 plant labels – more glaze experiments
- Natural dyeing – I went on a one day Natural Dyeing course in at the start of the year and dyed lots of little samples. Gorgeous colours but I’ve not done any more at home since.
- Unnatural dyeing – not really a make but a good partner to the last one ;) Dylon-ed some thread and a load of John’s vests & pants. He hearts his bright pink underwear ;)
- A self portrait that actually looked like me – doing a history of art Coursera course over the summer inspired me to practise my drawing. I spent at least an hour drawing each night for a few weeks and leveled up pretty quickly. Must get back on it.
- Silk spinning – out of the nine (9!) short courses I did at the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate in November, my favourite by far was the Silk & Spindle workshop with Ruth MacGregor. I’ve been spinning quite a bit over the last few weeks – refining my technique and experimenting with mixing in different fibres (eg, merino wool, alpaca, and working with silk noils). I’m going to crochet up all my little samples into squares for a patchwork blanket.
- Writing – not really a make exactly but anyway: I wrote a short piece for performance in the summer (the thing that needed bird and crocodile costumes) and I “won” NaNoWriMo in November. I’ve been working on some other stuff too but they were the only “complete” things.
Still in progress
Like all crafters, I started way more things than I finished. Though often useful as learning tools (such as my silk ribbon flower broach and the stumpwork butterfly, both from the Knitting & Stitching Show classes), some of them will never be finished. These ones though, I hope to finish at some point.
- French knot circles – a fun embroidery project: once I conquered French Knots, they fast became my favourite cheer-me-up craft. For some reason, they calm my crazy brain like nothing else (well, nothing else aside from video games).
- Oliver’s first blanket – I started a solid square blanket for my nephew but had to stop working on it because of drama – and when I came back to it, I had no idea what my plan was! I have a bag of squares – I’ll make some more squares and finish it at some point, though probably won’t be for him now.
- Oliver’s colourful blanket – I was on target to finish this before he was born, then he was a couple of days early and I lost my immediate motivation. It’s about 90% done, but finding cat-free time to finish it is proving difficult! He’s four months old now though, so I should probably finish it at some point!
- Day of the Tentacle scarf for John – *very* nearly finished: it’s wearable, and has been worn, but it really needs an eyebrow and flailing arms to be complete.
- Scarf for D – a long-promised scarf for our friend D
- Two ashtrays, a low oval pot for succulents (coiled) and a large coiled plant pot with a swooping edge – I’ve been working on improving my basic smoothing/shaping techniques with these. They are all ready for the kiln to be taken to bisque, then glazed.
I have a metric bajillion plans for future makes in 2014 – hopefully I’ll do a better job of documenting them as I go (for reflective learning as well as ta-dah showing off ;) )