On Gifts

The subject of handmade gifts is always a topic that generates a great deal of feeling in the crafty community. There are the horror stories of people demanding blankets from colleagues they barely know, then ‘generously’ offering to cover the cost of materials to the tune of £10, or ‘can you spin my cat/dog/deceased relative’s hair’ requests. In fact, the problem is so common that Ravelry has an entire group dedicated to people who ‘knit only for themselves ‘and for people who bless us and hand us boxes of expensive chocolates, or money’.

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I always love the idea of handmade gifts. If I had time, everyone I truly appreciate would get at least a handmade birthday gift every year. Maybe even one designed especially for them. However, the reality of the processes is more along the lines of i) nearly forget birthday until last minute ii) panic, iii) try and be as thoughtful as I can last minute.

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Boston Yarn, Fish and Beads

Considering that there is a non-zero probability that I will combust at temperatures greater than 23℃, I do seem to spend my summers in some dreadful locations. This summer’s treat was heading off to Boston, Massachusetts because I was feeling terribly homesick for Kyoto’s hellish, humid summers.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the States and longer still since I’ve been to Boston. I was looking forward to seeing what parts I could remember and of course, visiting somewhere new means getting on the yarn shop trail.

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Book Review: Crochetopedia

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Crochetopedia bills itself as the ‘only crochet reference you’ll ever need’ which is indeed a bold claim for a book. It’s 244 pages of stitch diagrams, instructions and patterns but will this book prove to be the last crochet book I ever buy?

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Crafting while Travelling

I’ve been travelling a lot lately, which is always its own mixture of fun, frustrating, tedious and exciting. I enjoy getting to see new places and explore new scenery but I’m not sure I will ever miss being bleary-eyed at airports, checking I have my passport for the five thousandth time and hoping I haven’t missed a last-minute gate change.

Unfortunately, airlines have yet to have a row of seats with trestles so the embroidery addicts can bring their frames as they fly, so my Jacobean crewelwork is currently hiding under the tissue paper at home. However, I always make sure I have a few more portable pieces to break up the tiresome waiting that always comes hand in hand with travelling.

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Travelling with your craft supplies isn’t always easy. First of all, you can’t bring your entire stash. After all, you do need to leave room in your suitcase for all those exotic new fabrics and yarns you will undoubtedly find on your routes around cities that just happen to cross every craft store in town. The other issue is airport security can be a little challenging when the contents of your hand baggage might come in handy if you need to dispose of someone on the plane…

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