Thursday, 31 March 2011

KnitCroBlo Week - Day 4

Today’s topic is Where are they now? We’re looking back at past projects. What actually happens to a knit/crocheted piece once it’s finished. Are gifts cherished, or shoved to the back of a wardrobe or cupboard to never see the light of day again? Do we actually wear all these lacy shawls we knit?

I’m too scared to go snooping around to find out if my few gift recipients use their gifts or not. To date, I’ve only gifted a few things to people who aren’t Jamie.

So I guess we should talk about FO’s I’ve kept! I think the most successful projects, in terms of daily use since completion, are the Remote Control Caddy (free pattern available from this blog!), the sofa throw and the sofa cushions . The remote holder is a lifesaver. We are so bad at losing remotes, standing on them, sitting on them. Even the cat sits on them. So having somewhere safe for them to hang, out of the way, while still being in both of our reach, well, that’s a great thing to have.

It has stretched somewhat, since I first nailed it to the wall.

I think I will pull out the bottom pins, and hammer them back in a bit further down, to pull the corners back straight again. Other than that, though, I think it is doing alright.

My first crochet project, the project bag has done sterling service since completion. I carry my projects around in it when I take them with me to work or to role-play night. Everyone loves it!

I do try not to make things that won’t be used. I think so far, the FO that has seen the least amount of use is this poncho:

I made this with the leftover yarn from the sofa cushions. Brown and cream, held together, with a rather chunky 10mm hook. I ran out of cream just before the end, so the final row is finished off with two strands of brown held together! Not one for massively showing off, but it is lovely and warm, so I have worn it a bit around the house. I just don’t find ponchos to be a particularly easy item to wear. I have another one I bought years ago, which is crocheted also, and I hardly wear that either, but I love them to bits so won’t get rid! In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I made more, they are so easy and quick, and look impressive. Plus, you don’t have to worry too much about them fitting!

Don’t forget, this post is part of KnitCroBlo Week, search in Google for “2KCBWDAY4” to find out what has happened to everyone else’s FOs!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

WIP Wednesday 34

It might be Knitting and Crochet Blog week, but that doesn't mean I'm going to abandon Tami's linky party! Thanks mostly to my being super organised about writing the 2KCBW posts in advance, I have had a chance to get some crocheting done this week.

Introducing.... new projects!

Yes, I've failed spectacularly at progressing with, or finishing, any of my existing WIPs, and started a few others! One was so quick I got it started and finished at the weekend, so unless you've been stalking my Ravelry page or Twitter, you wont see that till Friday.

First up, more cable adventures.

After a fair amount of deliberation, I decided the only way forward for the cabled gloves was to buy more yarn, and finish them off properly. Of course, as soon as I got the yarn home, I started on a matching hat. And now I'm playing with ideas for a matching scarf/cowl type thing. So the gloves haven't changed since last week! Plenty of yarn left for it all though, these balls of Hayfield Aran are huge.

I'm also working on another blanket, for yet another baby that's due this year. Using up the lovely pale yellow DK I was given for Christmas, although I don't think I will get through all five remaining balls with this blanket!

So far I've used up the two part balls I had remaining after the elephant, and started on a new ball. In total there are 35 rounds to this blanket, I'm on round 15 I think. I quite like this pattern, it's very easy to do without concentrating too much on it. Even easier when my shiny new stitch markers arrive, and I can put them where the increases go each round. Hopefully they will arrive in the post today.

That's my WIP progress, head on over to Tami's to see if anyone else has progress to report!

KnitCroBlo Week - Day 3

Before I get started, I just wanted to say a massive thankyou to everyone who has popped in to read and commented so far this week. It's been so much fun reading everyone else's posts, and I've certainly added more than a few new blogs to my reading list!

Today is all about Organisation. Tidy mind, tidy stitches is the official topic header. I expect we’ll see quite a variety of posts on this topic today!

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

I like to think of myself as being quite an organised person. I like for everything to have a place. However, I am extremely messy and lazy, so once I have organised everything, it rapidly falls apart and becomes a mess again.

A place for everything, and nothing in its place should be my motto.

Of course, organising your knitting/crocheting is far more than just where it’s kept. I have my nest, my area of the living room you see above, where I keep my yarn, books, tools and WIPs. It’s also where I do most of my work, so everything is close to hand.

When I started out, I didn’t have much to keep organised. I was working on one project, I only had the materials and tools needed for that one project. As time has gone on, I have built up a little mini stash of spare yarn, mostly leftovers. I have not yet got to the stage where I go into yarn stores and just buy yarn because it’s pretty! I can’t get my head around that. Of course, my collection of tools has expanded as the projects have come and gone, as I’ve needed a variety of different hook sizes and so forth.

Staying organised is really more about keeping on top of the projects I’m working on. I’ve gone a bit crazy of late; I currently have eight WIPs on the go, whereas before I would have maybe one or two. Admittedly, I’m only working consistently on one or two at a time, so a week may go by before I touch a project again, if I’m not in the mood for working on it.

Ravelry is a great tool to stay organised. I can keep track of my library, my stash, my hook selection, my finished work and my current projects. It’s also a great planning tool. I’ve built up quite a queue of patterns that I’d like to have a go at someday. But because they’re all in my queue, I don’t have to keep remembering them. When I get to a stage where I want to start a new project, I can search my queue instead of the whole database.

Ravelry helps keep my stash in check too. Because of the yarn information on the site, I can easily narrow down my selections for projects where I need to substitute yarn. A lot of the patterns are American and suggest using yarns not readily available in the UK, so substituting yarn is fast becoming an essential skill for me. Searching through Ravelry means that when I finally get to the yarn store I know I’m only looking for one or two yarns, I don’t have to search the whole shop, peering at ball bands and trying to remember what gauge I’m meant to be working at. I don’t get distracted by pretty yarns that are no use to me, either, which keeps my OH and my bank balance happy!

One thing that does annoy me though, is when people don't bother using Ravelry's features to the full. I have to substitute yarns a lot, so it's really helpful to go through the finished projects and find ones using the yarns I'm thinking about using, to see exactly how much it will use etc. So often I see the projects without vital details, like how much yarn was used, or which hook size was used. Or people who say "I made some modifications to the pattern" and then don't say what they did differently! I try to make sure all of my projects contain information that is not only useful to me (e.g. keeping accurate track records of how much of a particular yarn I have left in my stash) but for other people. I want people to find my project pages helpful, so I make sure they contain all the information I would want to see. I just wish everyone did the same.

And of course, keeping track of everything’s progress via WIP Wednesdays and FO Fridays means that I stay on top of my active projects, and make sure everyone gets some attention at least once a fortnight, to save on embarrassment when I have to announce for yet another week “I still don’t have any FOs to share”!

Don’t forget, this post is part of KnitCroBlo Week, search in Google for “2KCBWDAY3” to find out how my fellow bloggers keep their crafts organised. Who knows, might all learn a thing or two from each other today!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

KnitCroBlo Week - Day 2

Today’s posting topic is all about skills. What new skills have I learned this year? It ties quite neatly in with last year’s topic of “what new skills do you want to learn this year”, so I expect a lot of today’s posts will include a look back to last year’s post, and seeing if people actually learned the skills they wanted to.

For me though, this post will neatly tie into another of last year’s topics: Why did you start? Because this time last year, I had no idea I’d even be interested in crochet. Let alone obsessed with it.

I have learned so many new skills this year. But I have also rediscovered old ones. My Gran taught me to knit when I was little (more on that, later on in the week), but I didn’t have much of an interest. A terrible, ten stitch wide garter stitch scarf was the best I managed. I soon abandoned it for other pursuits.

It would be a long time before I picked up the needles again! Back in 2006, I suddenly had the urge to knit Jamie a scarf. I had in my possession a wonderful red-and-white striped scarf that Gran had knitted for Dad, many years previously, to wear to the rugby (red and white being the Welsh team colours, of course). It's a whopping 75" long, 8" wide, with alternating 2" stripes.

I had bought myself a fleece scarf branded with my rugby club’s logo, but Jamie didn’t have one for his team. Rather than buy one from the Ospreys’ shop, I thought “I know, I’ll knit him one, like Gran knit one for Dad”. I rushed out to the shop (in this case Jacksons, the wonderfully old-fashioned department store in town that has a craft section, including a huge yarn selection. Think Are You Being Served but less camp) and bought knitting needles and yarn. Black and white yarn. I have no idea what yarn it is; I suspect it is acrylic of some kind.

Armed with my purchase and printed instructions on how to knit and purl from the internet, I set about re-learning how to cast on, and do basic knit stitches. I also did a brief tutorial in colour changing, as the team’s strip that year was black with white stripes. The end result was this rather ugly scarf:

Which, while warm, is too wide and too short to be really useful. It’s quite stiff fabric, and it feels a bit like a neck brace when you wear it! However, during the process of making it I found myself bitten with the knitting bug.

A second scarf, from a fun scarf knitting kit, proved to be my undoing. Stupid novelty yarn! This was a disaster. I started out by casting on too many stitches, and stubbornly refusing to start over. I dropped stitches everywhere. Eventually I abandoned it and went back to painting miniatures and cross-stitch to get my creative fix.

See, I did finish it eventually
 Fast-forward a couple of years. As part of a Christmas gift, Jamie’s parents gave me two scarf-knitting kits. I started working on them; Fontana stalled massively. Marbella was lots of fun, although I needed the assistance of my knitting friend Em to cast on the crazy novelty yarn. For my birthday last year, though, I was gifted a pattern for a bag (future MiL knows I like bags, you see) as the pre-made version she had intended to get me was sold before she could buy it. So she figured if she got me the pattern, I could make my own!

Having never crocheted before, I ran straight to my knitting friends and cried for help. Luckily, Tams does crochet, so she showed me the basics, and encouraged me to give it a go. “It’s easier than knitting!” she said. And she was right.

I used exactly the yarn and hook specified. I got horrendously confused, because I’d learned crochet stitches from the Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Happy Hooker book (US terms) and the pattern was from Simply Knitting (UK terms). My first square came out huge because I’d used US trebles instead of UK trebles! After a short while peering at the pattern photos, I soon figured out what the problem was, and quickly rattled out 24 blocks.

I was hooked. And I’ve gone from strength to strength through the year, constantly looking for new projects to challenge me.

As you can see, I’ve accomplished quite a lot! There’s still plenty to learn though, so this next year will be about trying new patterns, branching out into more complicated amigurumis, and trying my hand at knitting beautiful lace shawls.

Don’t forget, this post is part of KnitCroBlo Week, search in Google for “2KCBWDAY2” to find out what other new skills have been learned this year!

Monday, 28 March 2011

KnitCroBlo Week - Day 1

The 2nd Annual KnitCroBlo Week is finally here! Are you excited? I sure as hell am. I’m no stranger to linking blog posts to form a little posting party, we do it on here every week with our WIP Wednesday and FO Friday posts. But KnitCroBlo is much, much bigger than that. Tami’s linky parties have up to 30 regular participants. KnitCroBlo should hit hundreds of blogs, right across the world.

Enough of the preamble! Let’s dive right in to today’s blogging topic: A Tale of Two Yarns. Which neatly ties in to last year’s Day 7 topic: What a Yarn.

Yarn. It’s a funny word, isn’t it? Growing up in the UK, I have a tendency to call it all “wool”, even though I now know that is massively incorrect. Of course “wool” is only yarn made from sheep fleece. Ravelry has opened my eyes to the huge array of materials yarn can be made from, both natural and man-made.

Budgetary concerns have kept me at the low-end of the yarn market so far. The vast majority of my projects made to date have been made from acrylic yarns (or blends with 50% or more acrylic fiber). There’s a lot of talk and opinion about acrylic yarns. I encountered the term “yarn snob” in the Ravelry forums, meaning a person who only uses expensive, natural fibers and turns their nose up at acrylics regardless. Then there are folks like me, who are happy to hook with the cheap stuff, and love it for its machine wash- and dry-ness. It’s great for baby stuff, and for amigurumi too. It comes in fantastic bright colours, which do not fade. It is warm. Very warm. And did I mention cheap?

My 100% acrylic of choice so far has been Sirdar Bonus DK. It’s £1.90 per 100g in Hobbycraft, and comes in a wonderful array of rainbow-bright shades. Where else could I find the eye-wateringly garish orange I used in my tiger striped starghan?

How else could I afford to attempt such an ambitiously sized project as my enormous granny rectangle afghan? I’ve had a go at calculating how much yarn I have used/will use for this project, it’s something like 2 balls of each colour, plus probably 4 balls of black by the time I am done. The total cost of this blanket is going to be less than £30. I couldn’t afford the yardage needed in a natural fiber.

one of these days I'll take a new photo of this

Not forgetting of course the number of small ami’s I’ve made using acrylics. Or the charitable crocheting I’ve been able to do using my lovely, cheap yarn.

I have been branching out, and made a number of projects in other yarns, notably Wendy Happy sock yarn (a bamboo mix) and the King Cole sock yarn (wool/nylon mix). But I am yet to step up to the heady heights of a pure merino, or cashmere, or alpaca.

I do have lofty yarn aspirations though. I hear a lot, in the Ravelry yarn forum, about some of the more popular “posh” yarns. The name Malabrigo comes up a lot, in particular the Malabrigo Lace yarn, 100% pure baby merino wool from particular sheep bred in Uruguay. There are over 13,000 projects loaded to the Ravelry database using this yarn. It has an average of 4.5/5 stars from user ratings. It is a very light weight, ideal for lace projects, as demonstrated by the many lace shawls knit using this yarn on Ravelry.

See how beautiful it is!
This pic belongs to Ravelry user LindaLovesLace

This pic is ElaynaKnits's
Gorgeous stuff. However, I am scared to try it, because I have also been reading that it felts really quickly, even with just light wear, and possibly even when you’re still working on it. My hands get very hot when I work on my crochet, so I’m terrified of spending upwards of £10 per skein on this yarn for it to be ruined even before I finish the project. Perhaps I will have to knit this yarn, instead of crocheting it. That might save me some problems.

There’s also the fact that “posh” yarns like this can’t be machine washed. Hand-washing is not something that  gets done very often in my house, and I don’t really have the space to lay things out to dry flat. So I don’t want to spend all that money on yarn to make an item that I will only use until it needs washing the first time, at which point it would get shoved to the back of a cupboard and forgotten about.

I have heard equally nice things about Knit Picks yarns, with the added bonus of more exclusivity in the UK, as only Great British Yarns stock it here. It’s also cheaper than the Malabrigo. But the Knit Picks Shadow lace yarn I’ve been eyeing up (only £7 a skein) is also 100% baby merino, so wouldn’t that have exactly the same issues as the Malabrigo?

There is so much to learn about these different yarns. I can see the only real way I’m going to find these things out is to take the plunge, buy some, and see what happens. I have a rather nice shawl pattern in my Ravelry queue, which I’m thinking the Knit Picks Shadow will be perfect for. Perhaps I will treat myself on my birthday!

Jane Austen shawl by yarnishness in Malabrigo Lace

Jane Austen shawl by Arianabeads in Knit Picks Gloss Lace

Don’t forget, this post is part of KnitCroBlo Week, search in Google for “2KCBWDAY1” to find and read the rest of the bloggersphere’s contributions to today’s topic!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

WIP Wednesday 33

I think Tami's right, Wednesday does seem to come around remarkably quickly at the moment!

I've been so busy lately, with work and study, that I've been so tired I've not done much crafting this week. So I don't have masses of progress to show.

I mentioned at the weekend that I had hooked another pair of gloves. I'm calling them my Levelling Up Gloves, as they have taught me how to do cables in crochet.

This is the pattern as it stands. See the massive thumbhole? I'm not sure I like it. Won't my thumb get cold? I had thought to make a thumb cover by picking up stitches around the base of the thumbhole and doing a few rows of dc, maybe tying in the cable pattern. Not a proper, full on thumb, but just raise the edge of the thumb-hole to cover the fleshy bit that is currently exposed, if you see what I mean.

Trouble is, I've got hardly any of the yarn left! Making the pair, going as short as I could for the wrist/cuff, used up the last of my Hayfield Aran. Now I have a dilemma. I have a tiny ball of the purple, just a few grams. But I have a larger scrap ball of the brown, about 12g or so. I could try and eek the purple out for two thumbs, but it's unlikely. Or I could use the brown, and have brown thumbs. Or start in purple, and change to brown so it's like a brown stripe over the top of the thumb... Or just go buy another huge ball of purple (400g) and then have to find something to do with the rest of it!

I'll let you know how I get on with that.

Now then, you recall the Granny Rectangle?

Well, it hasn't got much bigger than this since I last photographed it. I think I've finished the black round I was on here, plus the next purple round and I'm now working on the next green stripe. It is slow going as each round takes aaaaaages.

I have come to a decision though. Once I've finished this set of five stripes (colour, colour, colour, black, black) I am going to stop working in the round. It will be wide enough. But it won't be long enough. So I'm going to extend the short edges out further, working granny stripes in rows, continuing the colour pattern. I'm not sure how many more times, a full repeat of the colour pattern takes a lot of rows! I will definately end on a black though, and then edge the entire blanket with sc or hdc. So an end is in sight!

My other WIPs are not so tangible. I've been playing with the layout of my blog. Added an About Me page, and a page for my own designs, which currently stands at one simple remote control caddy. But when I get time this year, I am thinking I might have fun making some more original things. I am also hard at work planning my posts for next weeks Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.

For more exciting WIP updates, you know where to go...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Signs of Spring

Spring arrives


Blue flowers

Leaf or alien?


Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

I briefly mentioned it the other day but thought I should say a bit more about it for anyone who reads my blog and isn’t a fellow knit/crochet blogger!

I mention Ravelry a lot. It’s a wonderful (free) online resource for knitters/crocheters, including a huge pattern and yarn database. There are also extensive forums, creating a wonderful online community that brings together knitters/crocheters from around the world. There are thousands of groups dedicated to all sorts of random things, and forum threads on all sorts of wonderful topics. My favourite finds so far have been the 9+ month long thread started by one Raveller asking for support on taking a pregnancy test, leading right through to her finally giving birth to her daughter a few months ago, and the thread discussing the development of a knitted pattern for a blanket based on Escher’s tessellating fish. If you are a knitter/crocheter and not already a member of Ravelry, get yourself over there and sign up. It’s awesome.

I digress. There is a group on Ravelry called The Blog Hub, for people like us who like to blog about our craft. It’s a great resource for advice on blog layouts, topics, advertising, technical issues and anything else we can think of to ask each other! It’s also a great place to go to find new blogs to read, as the lovely moderators maintain a list of group members’ blogs. As the group has over a thousand members, you can imagine that provides us with a lot of reading material and inspiration!

Last year, the group’s fabulous mod Eskimimi organised a week long blogging event called “Knitting and Crochet Blog Week”, where everyone came together and posted according to a list of seven set topics for the week. A very clever tagging system was developed to enable people to Google search for everyone’s posts (seriously, go to Google and search the term “knitcroblo1” to get about 1,700 results for Day one of last week’s Blog week). Overall, the week seems to have been a huge success.

So it should come as no surprise that this year Eskimimi has organised another one! All of the details, including the new topics and this year’s post tagging system can be found on the relevant pages on Eskimimi’s site.

For various reasons, I did not take part last year. I only took up crochet in May last year (a few weeks after KnitCroBlo Week), and only started blogging at Christmas! I’ve been on Ravelry since May as well, after my good friend (and fellow fiber artist) Em pointed the way, but only discovered the Blog Hub group in February, after a fellow blogger happened to mention it on her blog.

Happily, I joined the group in time to see Eskimimi get the ball rolling on this year’s KnitCroBlo Week, and am looking forward to getting involved. Because of work and studying, I won’t have time to blog every day on spec, so I have taken a sneaky peek at the topics and started planning/writing my posts already. Day five should be very entertaining; I can’t wait to see what people do for that one!

As I missed out last year, and the topics have changed, I am doing my level best to incorporate the topics from last year’s Blog week into my posts for this year. Luckily, most of the topics cross over with this year’s list, so it’s not that difficult to get them all in.

So don't forget to check back in next week, the magic starts on Monday 28th March!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Time to level up

I was thinking the other day about what I would write for certain topics during Knitting and Crochet Blog Week (click here for details of that!). It occurred to me that since starting crocheting in May last year, I've pretty much covered all the basics there are. I've done granny squares, plus several variations; I've used most of the basic stitches, worked flat and in the round. I've done household items, clothing, and several small stuffed animals. I've worked with a variety of yarns, chunky, aran, dk, fingering; hooks ranging from a huge 10mm down to a tiny 2.5mm. With my daffodils project, I've introduced the final "basic" technique of filet crochet, working with a very fine crochet thread and a teeny 1.5mm hook.

It is time I levelled up.

I got searching on Ravelry, trying to discover what sort of projects I could get stuck into that would be a challenge, requiring new skills. I settled on cables.

I've chosen this free pattern for a pair of cabled fingerless mitts. I've got a bit stuck on gloves, it would seem! Yesterday afternoon, while we watched the final day of Six Nations rugby, I did the first glove.


I found the cables a breeze, once I'd got my head around how they worked. Another case of things looking far more complicated than they actually are!

The pattern as written leaves a massive thumbhole, so I am going to modify slightly and create a thumb to keep my thumb warm. More on that on Wednesday, I think.

This weekend I have also made mini progress on my other gloves, the two pairs of afternoon teatime fingerless gloves that have been sitting around waiting finishing. While in town yesterday, we popped into John Lewis and picked up some buttons!

So, when I am less shattered (I have just got back from a whole day learning about inheritance tax!) I will have a go at attaching buttons with crochet, and making button holes. More new skills to learn, which I am sure will come in handy for future projects too.

Friday, 18 March 2011

FO Catch up

I've missed out on a couple of FO Friday link-ups now, mostly due to bad timing and being horrendously busy. So time for a catch up.

Secret Birthday Project is first up. I've been holding this one in reserve for an FO Friday for weeks, but I couldn't dare share until I had gifted it. Well, it was a birthday present for my mother, who turned 60 this week. I sent it last week, and spent days eagerly awaiting confirmation that it had been received, but of course, she didn't open it till her actual birthday, which was on Monday!

Pattern: Carisbrooke Stole by Deborah E. Burger (rav link)
Yarn: King Cole Zig Zag 4ply in lilac (749)
Hook: 5mm
Started: 10th February
Finished: 1st March

I really enjoyed making this. The pattern was great, the yarn was lovely to work with. It worked up quickly, and striped beautifully. The only modification I made to the pattern was to edge the whole piece with a basic sc border.

This was the first time I tried my hand at blocking. I pinned the ends out on my ironing board, sprayed them with water till they were fairly damp, and left them for two days or so. In terms of growth, it didn't have much impact, just a few inches wider and longer at each end. But it neatened everything up wonderfully, which you can see here:

Unfortunately I don't have the space to even consider blocking the entire piece, so this one just got the ends only. My next lace project is likely to be a shawl, so I should have more luck blocking a whole project in one go.

Avalon Top is another eagerly anticipated FO! Last time this featured, it was awaiting sleeves. Well, as I said last week, I started on the sleeve and decided about six rounds in that I didn't like them. Who wants a top they don't like? So I ripped back, and finished off the sleeves with a round of 9sc in each ch5 loop.

Of course, once the sleeves were done, all it needed was the ends weaving in and perhaps blocking. This is where we hit the real stumbling blocks to me finishing anything. I hate weaving in ends. So it sat for a while, all forlorn on my dressmaker's dummy in the corner of the living room. I swear it was looking sad on purpose, to make me feel guilty. I succumbed this weekend, and wove in all my ends on Sunday. I was so pleased, I decided to ignore the curling of the bottom border and sleeves, and wore it to work on Monday!

I'm very pleased with it.

Pattern: Avalon Top by Doris Chan (rav link)
Yarn: Wendy Mode DK in Vanilla
Hook: 5mm
Started: 6th February
Finished: 13th March

Fontana Scarf Mark II was a quick and easy project. I am so pleased with it. Almost as soon as it was off the hook, it was claimed by Jamie.

Pattern: Simple Textured Crochet Scarf by Andrea Lyn Van Benschoten (rav link)
Yarn: Zettl Fontana
Hook: 8mm
Started: 3rd March
Finished: 5th March

That's my FO's caught up with, time to catch up with everyone else! Lets see what Tami and the gang have on offer today...

Also, this week I'm hooking up with Fibers on Friday, another linky party hosted by Beth over at Visions of Sugar Plums.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Inspired by others

When I started this blog, my vision was to post all sorts of exciting things about all of the crafts that I enjoy. Over the last two months, however, I've got so enthusiastic about crocheting that I've not really done much else in the way of craftiness, so have little to post about.

In an attempt to live up to my claim for being a jack of all trades, I am going to share with you some of my older work in other crafty areas. Hopefully, this will provide the much needed kick up the bum to get me crafting in other ways again. I must confess, this post is wholly inspired by a similar post over on my friend Ro's blog.

I've never claimed to be a great artist, but I do enjoy picking up a pencil or paintbrush every now and again. It runs in the family - my maternal grandmother, great aunt and great grandfather were all painters. While I'm not great on doing original pieces, and my composition sucks (I don't do backgrounds, generally), I do well copying images.

I am very fond of Winnie the Pooh!

Alongside Pooh and his friends, I have turned my hand to other cartoon characters. I don't think I've got them all scanned in, and a lot of them are in a box in the attic at the moment, but when I was at university I decorated my room door with loads of these little cartoons.

Occasionally I try and draw more serious real-life things. I'm not always convinced I do a good job. This drawing I did not long after its subject passed away:

This is Mitzi, she was almost fifteen when she was put to sleep, on the day after Boxing Day.

I've done paintings too, but not very many. Gran taught me to paint with watercolours, this is the most complex thing I did.

It's a copy of an oil painting by Cezanne called Mountains in Provence. His is much better than mine, of course.

I'm sure I've got some more recent work lying around the house somewhere, it just doesn't seem to have made it into the scanner yet! I will have a scavenge and see what I can find.
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