Taking Stock

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August was supposed to be the month of working on some of my big projects, like my two large embroideries, but it seems to be the case that life is very much what happens when you’re busy trying to make plans.

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My Jacobean crewelwork (remember that one?) is sat there glaring at me. There’s a section of raised stem band that I know I’m unhappy with and the best way to deal with it is going to be to just rip it out and try again but I’m struggling to face the thought of a sewing session that essentially starts by going backwards in progress. Even the small areas I’ve managed to stitch I’m erm-ing and ah-ing about keeping. Please don’t even ask about my Japanese embroidery piece…

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My loom is still sat in a sad state of being un-warped. There have been a few points where I’ve been wondering if I actually managed to absorb any information from the weaving course I’ve done and I’ve discovered the Ashford instructions for their own loom are really unhelpful. It’s typical as well that a lot of the tutorial for warping up gloss over what is probably the hardest part of warping, which is identifying the order in which the threads go. On the plus side, I feel when it comes to making my next warp I know a lot more now than I did then!

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However, a lot of unexpected travelling has given me the chance to work on my smaller, more portable pieces. I’ve really been enjoying Jacqueline Fortier’s ‘Coast to Coast’ fingerless mittens pattern. I’m using the Skeinny Dipping merino that I picked up back in Boston. It’s a really easy to follow pattern and I’m enjoying the mixture of cables and ‘cable relief’ rows in the pattern section. If you’re a left-handed knitter too, the pattern is actually symmetric so you can just knit it as written and, although the cables will technically go under and over in a different order, it really doesn’t make any difference.

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I’ve also been having a lot of fun with the Basics of Digital Photography course I’d signed up to a while ago on Craftsy. If you are looking for self-paced online craft courses, you can sign up to any time of the year that are usually really high-quality, definitely go and check the Craftsy website out. I’m an incredible camera newbie and the course has successfully taken me from ‘what’s a camera’ to fiddling around with ISO and white balance settings, almost as if I know what I’m doing. I’ve definitely got a lot to learn, particularly when it comes to framing and thinking about what really makes for an interesting shot but I’m enjoying getting better at being able to reproduce what my eye actually sees.

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Although it’s very impressive what DSLR cameras can achieve on their automatic settings and incredibly handy if you don’t have the time to set up everything manually for a shot, there’s something really satisfying about finally being able to take semi-decent pictures on manual settings. I’m still struggling a little to beat the accuracy of the autofocus settings on my DSLR but I’m getting there with photographs that don’t look like they were trying to capture the effect of having a couple of glasses of champagne.

I’m not sure starting new projects is the best thing to do when you’re suffering with guilt over unfinished ones, but sometimes I find sometimes find something new can be refreshing enough to inspire you to finish old pieces of work. I’ve really been missing stitching any temari at the moment, so I’ve wound up a few new base maris to be getting on with.

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What do you find inspires you to get back to crafting when you’re in a bit of a slump?

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9 thoughts on “Taking Stock

  1. Beautiful photos! I’ve purchased a photography course from Craftsy, I just haven’t started it yet! Never enough hours in the day. I was in a slump with my embroidery over the past few months, but after two weeks holidaying and not even having the chance to think about it I was very keen and eager to get back into it on my return. So maybe it was just a break away from normality that helped!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I have had a great break. Now I just need work to get out of the way! I’m currently working on two Tanja Berlin designs – a pansy (good to get back into the swing of things!) And her red fox.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oooh, I’ve just had a look at her designs and they’re gorgeous. I particularly love her goldwork pieces, although I love the rest as well. Have you tried any of her online classes or are you stitching from kits?

        Liked by 1 person

      • The fox I did was through an online course though I didn’t finish him! They are very good – she explains things so well and helps tremendously with your understanding of the technique. I’ve only used her kits, but chose the variety with the design not transferred so I could practice prickly and pounce!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe this is one I’ll have to put on the ‘to do’ list! I’ve been eyeing up some of Jen Goodwin’s online courses for a while now too. Prick and pounce is both very fun and a little stressful – I was dreading the thought of getting charcoal all over my Jacobean!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t say you’re in a slump, you’re knitting on small projects! There’s only so many hours in the day, right?
    I don’t usually do anything when my mojo is gone, I just wait for it to return (which it always does in time, with a vengeance). Since I work with fibre every day, I guess I don’t want to force myself to use it in my hobbies if I don’t feel like it, but that’s just me.

    It’s funny how when we’re so convinced we’re going to have more than enough time for projects, life seems to bite our resolutions to dust? I wonder if it works the same if I start claiming I don’t need a million pounds… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why can’t there be more hours in the day though? I think I’m just getting a bit frustrated with the so many ideas, very little time to execute them all.

      So true! I hope you’re right and I to will start claiming I would have no use at all or any need for a million pounds…

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      • I bet when weeks were 9 days long (Roman times!) people still complained about not having enough time 😉

        Let’s start right away! “I don’t need a million pounds. Don’t give them to me. I don’t need them, I say!” 😁

        Liked by 1 person

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