Saturday, 24 October 2015

I can make versus I should make

During an idle afternoon at work this week I was Googling on the themes of productivity, having too many projects for the time available etc. I came across a number of pages aimed at writers and artists who have way too many ideas for plots or art than they have time or mental energy to create. I quite liked a blog post I stumbled across (sorry, can't link as would probably never find it again) where a woman talked about trying to prioritise her ideas and avoid the trap of "I could make that" whenever she saw a new craft idea on Pinterest or on someone's blog.  She was trying to resist the urge by asking herself if she wanted to make the new thing more than she wanted to make the old things currently in her queue, but also did she really want /need the new thing.

This has happened to me a lot in the past, when I end up making things just because I happen to have the things I need to make it (using up stash, having the right tool), or because it's cute, or because someone else seemed to have a lot of fun making it. When I had a lot more energy to tackle things, and better faculties (eyesight) this wasn't really a problem.  Now that I have decreasing quantities of energy, faculties and time, I feel like I need to be smarter about what I decide to make.

This is a long-winded introduction to the revealing of the finished Completely Pointless handbag, otherwise known as a design called 'Bloomin' Sweet' by Clare Scope-Farrell in the July 2012 issue of Simply Knitting magazine.

I am at a loss to explain why I made this (DH asked me). It's not practical, it's too naff to take out in public unless it was to a knitting event, it was incredibly fiddly to make and took absolutely ages to make all the components and to assemble, I have no idea what I am going to do with it.  And yet when I look at it, I feel pleased and happy.  I think there is something wrong inside my brain.

I have a small collection of vintage needlework magazines which are full of this sort of completely useless needlecraft-for-the-sake-of-it fancies, aimed at the woman with too much time on her hands presumably.  Maybe I was one of those women in a past life.  Or a contributor to the magazine.

I have also finished, apart from weaving in ends and washing it, the Gradient Baby Surprise Jacket. I think this is a much better use for this yarn.

I've started knitting the 'Knit like a Latvian' Latvian mitten kit i bought on etsy a few years ago.  I thought it came with a pattern but really it is just a 'recipe' so I'm following the chart and hoping for the best. It's quite challenging as there are more than two colours in a lot of the rows, so I spend a lot of time untangling the yarns.  It is also knit on stupidly small needles - it called for 1.5mm and I only had 1.2mm, but I've now gone up to 2mm because it was coming out a bit tight on my hand.


I finished quilting all three table mats and we have been using ours this week.  It looks nice.

I sent the third one off as a surprise gift to my older friend. However, I don't think she liked it as I have received a letter that only refers to it in a couple of lukewarm sentences: "Thank you for your surprise gift, I like the colours and I'm sure I'll find a place for it."   Hardly the rave review I was hoping for, sigh...   I hope m-i-l likes hers better when I give it to her for her birthday next month.  This is why I generally show things to people before I give them, to check that they like the colours or actually want it, after some major letdowns in the past.  Anyway, it was nice to be quilting things again and I am going to pull out the Christmas tablerunner I made a year ago and quilt that soon as well.

I also put together the Cosy Afternoon BOM quilt. It's come out nice, sort of a modern/vintage vibe going on, light bright colours and cheery - they are fresher than in these photos which were taken under artificial light. The quilt is 64" square.  I'm going to the Malvern quilt show tomorrow on a coach trip with a quilting group from another town, and I will look for wadding for it.  I think I already have some backing material.

Other stuff
I've done a bit of dollshousing this week, still on the Repair and Refresh mission with my collection.  I've got my new glasses now which is helping with the smaller stuff. At the moment I am fashioning a few replacement 'teeth' for the sawtooth gingerbread trim on top of a miniature conservatory which broke off and vanished in the move.  DH drove me to a little dollshouse fair by MGM fairs in Market Harborough today.  It had more stalls than I was expecting and was pretty crammed together as the church hall wasn't that big.  I enjoyed it but didn't buy anything apart from a secondhand book.

I've only got four more days of work (yay!) because I have to use up two days leave next week, so I'm hoping to do lots of hobbies. I'm also thinking of visiting Luton Museum which some of my older bobbin lace books praise for its bobbin lace collection. No idea if any of it is still on display but I thought I might go have a look while I can still travel for free on my current season ticket.  I'm negotiating my working pattern with the new job at the moment, I had asked for Tuesday-Friday so I could still do the bobbin lace group on Mondays, but they want me to take Tuesday or Thursday off which I think is going to make for a really bitty week. I suppose if they won't change their minds then I will take Thursday off. I think having Tuesday off would just feel like having two Mondays every week.

Hope you are looking forward to some crafting time next week as well!


swooze said...

I'm confused about your job. Is this a new company or the same one at a different location?

Daisy said...

I think I've always felt too much time pressure to get sucked into making projects I'm not sure about - juggling work and everything else means I can't think of any projects where I'm not sure about them once they're finished (with the exception of a few where the fit has turned out to be a bit dubious etc!).

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