Thursday, 10 February 2011

Thrilling Craft Adventure Meme #1

On this dreary Thursday afternoon (it's been raining for hours), I'd like to welcome you to the first in a new series of memes.

This week's meme will focus on when I started various crafts

I figure that starting at the beginning might be a good place to start :) I started knitting when I was under 10 years old. My mother taught me to knit, and I was encouraged by my grandmother. I had a few creations which make me laugh now, but I got the hang of it quite quickly. I remember getting frustrated because if I wasn't sure of a pattern, I'd have to wait until my mother was around to help out. I knitted on and off up to secondary school, then for health reasons I had to stop knitting.

It was a good 8 years before I could knit again, and I loved being able to create baby clothes for people. I learnt how to knit socks (not as tricky as they look), lace (which is so pretty). I've met some passionate knitters, one of whom I'm firm friends with and meet once a month. I still haven't cracked fair isle (I think that's the one where you use lots of different coloured yarn. My current solution to it is just to use self-patterning yarn!).

I then had to stop knitting again, then started again. Then stopped last year until January this year. I'm so happy to be knitting again. I love keeping busy, especially when watching TV/dvds. When I don't do something I feel lazy. I'm mostly knitting for other people at the moment. Quite a few friends are having babies, so I'm knitting up a few gifts for them. Next week I'll  hopefully have photos of one knitting bundle for a friend.

As far as I know my family don't read this blog, so I can announce that I'll be giving people knitted presents this year. Predominantly scarves, table cloths, coasters and table mats. I'm on the hunt for nice patterns! I'm eager to get started on a shawl for one of my expecting friends, the colouring of blue and green is perfect for her.

Knitting is quite clever. I mean, you are creating something from nothing over than a few sticks (of various lengths/shapes) and yarn. Note it is yarn and not wool. Wool is a yarn. Acrylic is a yarn. There are so many materials that yarn can be made from. I love cotton and bamboo yarn, oh and alpaca yarn. I'd love an alpaca herd to guard ducks and chickens. I have neither of those now, but maybe one day. Alpacas are excellent guard creatures.

I also sew. Well, I'm a beginner seamstress & quilter, although those are both on hold now due to health reasons, I'm really enthusiastic about them and hope that I can improve my skills. I'd love to be able to make quilts for people.

Ever since I was little (possibly before knitting, but I can't remember which was first) I've been doing cross stitch.

I remember my very first sampler, which was a nice cream, and the fabric had little x's all over it, telling me where to stitch. I remember using different colours for the alphabet and for the numbers, and I think I used red for the border, and I'm sure there was something else on it, perhaps a picture or something. I haven't got it any more.

Cross stitch is mostly simpler than embroidery, but it is an art form that needs mastering. After all, most work needs outlining with backstitch. You learn which order to use light and dark threads (I can't quite remember which way round it is at the moment). You must secure your thread neatly on the back, learn not to trail your thread if there's a large section which doesn't use that particular colour.

I've used cross stitch for presents. I will take pictures soon (I'm not convinced my camera is charged up), but I've made a penguin picture and a lady in a kimono for my parents. The penguin was a relatively easy kit. The lady in the kimono was much trickier. I learned that I hate - yes I meant to underline and embolden that - gold thread. It became the bane of my life as I was finishing it off. It split so often, or got knotted easily. I now avoid gold thread like the plague.

My parents have a Country Companions picture with 6 creatures in the cloakroom, and there's a cute elephant girl in the dining room.

I've had to stop cross stitching for health reasons, but I'm currently waiting for the arrival of one which matches the girl at the top of this blog :). I don't think I'll be able to do much at a time, although I might try doing it with my left hand so I can do a bit more. It'll still be fun though, and it's lovely to watch the picture grow (I now use plain fabric, and count the pattern myself. It's not as difficult as it sounds, although I have made a few mistakes in every piece I've sewn).

Crochet - I can do it, I learnt a few years ago. I'm not very good, and I find it takes an age to do it, but I want to learn so will be trying it again over the next few months.

Writing is known as the craft. How could I not mention that? I began writing when I was about 13  years old. I wrote a story and thought it was wonderful. I even sent it to publishers. I then wrote another story (which is waiting in the wings for its fourth major plot overall). And another. And another.

The frequency of writing has been up and down, although this year it is very much on the up. I'm determined to enter query land this year. All information about my writing can be found on my writing blog, Nayu's Realm  (not as funky a template as this one, but it serves it's purpose).

It's been fun chatting about craft this week, hopefully next week I'll have a few photos for you to check out (and a bit more detail on those projects).

I'd love to hear if any of you enjoy making things!


Cliona said...

I knit and sew too! I stopped for a while but I think I'm going to take it up again soon. I am learning cross-stitch at the moment and I love it, it's so fun! Can't wait for your pictures : )

Nayuleska said...

Yay! I'm starting cross stitch up again today. I was searching for my hoops, and discovered 3 cross stitch I'd totally forgotten about!