A lighter post today. It felt good to talk about something that's important to me- charity and empathy, and even just selflessness. I live in a modern Britain that seems to be all about image, the 'cult of self'... and not about helping others, educating our children in basic things like being polite and helpful and being happy. I am a happy person. And very happy to invited to join in with the current blog hop! The very lovely Kim from the colourful What Peggy Said blog invited me to join weeks ago (sorry, Kim) and last week Georgina who writes Crafting not Cleaning also nominated me. So how could I say 'no'? Kim's blog is bursting with colour, and I adore her beautiful illustrations. Like me she is a retro and vintage lover, and her instagram feed is full of inspiration, as are her photographs on What Peggy Said. I first met Georgina at A Crafty Day two years ago, and she writes TWO blogs in between her time teaching and crocheting, sewing and looking after her two daughters. Two very different blogs, but linked by a love of craft and learning.
Like me! So, here's a small peek into my crafty mind...
1. What am I working on?
I am coming to the end of a project I started randomly a couple of months ago. Those of you that follow me on Instagram will remember that I picked up some random odds and ends of Drops Paris Cotton and started hooking up this beauty...
Since then I've seen countless V-stitch blankets pop up, including a beautiful bright one that Kim has made for her Basset Hound, Peggy. I've been dragging this out, squeezing it in around commissions from Simply Crochet magazine, and making a lovely Mina dress for a IG friend's little girl. (I'll tell you more about that later this week). I found some abandoned projects in my ottoman the other day, so stuffed and stitched up some cloud cushions, and dug out some yarn for I-don't-know-what-yet. But I see many more V-stitch blankets on the horizon!
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don't know that it does, really. There is a limited number of crochet stitches, and there are certainly trends that I've seen come and go on Instagram. However, I think that any project is personal as it's handmade and chosen in very personal colour palettes.
I've enjoyed working with these brightly-coloured acrylic yarns for my crochet lately, but my best-loved projects are the ones that have cream as a dominant colour. I prefer using cotton yarns, and love vintage colours. In fact the V-stitch blanket is my favourite colour palette yet- the right mix of cream, scandi blues and greys, with vintage mustard, pale pink and brown. YUM. I am pretty sure that I'm the only crocheter that insists on using MUSTARD in EVERY project, ha ha!
In both my knitting and crochet I have definite ideas of what designer's patterns I like, and what my favourite yarns are. I guess these things make my work mine. But really, my original patterns both here and published in magazines and my book are what make my work differ.
3. Why do I create what I do?
I love to find a way of making something I'm inspired by, and love sharing my discoveries in this blog. I am so inspired and encouraged by blogs, and that's ultimately what my crafting is all about- encouraging, inspiring and sharing so that readers can go and adapt and create things for themselves. I've recently become obsessed with sewing- the idea of making something made-to-measure, in my style and in fabric I've chosen is really enticing.
I also love having something to do with my hands. The bonus is that I have something unique and handmade- and you can't put a price on that. Well, you can, but I can't be bothered!
4. How does your creating process work?
It starts with a seed. Usually a colour will sing to me, and tell me what it needs to be. I love Pinterest and magazines, so when I see something that inspires me I begin to think about what materials I'll need and start researching the perfect yarn or fabric. Then I wait, and think for a week or two- sometimes longer if it's an original idea for a pattern, for example. Then I'll collect and gather my materials, and refer back to the pin or magazine, and try to forget about it so I'm not too influenced- I don't want to just copy someone else.
An original pattern idea is trial and error- sometimes it works out beautifully first time. But that's very rare. I'll start making a dummy version, before checking the pattern by re-making it in the final materials. Lots of frogging, cursing and frantic scribbling occurs. However, if I'm following a pattern or working on a longer-term project like a blanket, then I get stuck straight in and never look back! I rarely make the same pattern twice, unless I really love it. Then, finally, I share it on here! my little diary, so I don't forget what I made. ro how my house looks- it's in a constant state of flux!
Now, the idea next is for me to invite three other bloggers to join in the blog hop...so you can visit them and perhaps find new blogs and inspiration. However, I think all the people I would have invited have already taken part! So why don't you go visit them anyways? They are Lazy Daisy Jones, Bobo Bun, and Vintage Sheet Addict. Three inspirational women, all of whom are multi-crafters, and all of whom are totally different and unique. And of course all the blogs right there in my sidebar still continue to inspire me each day.
I hope you enjoyed that rather self-indulgent post! It was nice to sit and think about my creative process, it's inspiring in itself. So go ahead, I now invite YOU to join in the creative blog hop!