Allotment · Card making · crochet

Fruitless Friday

I haven’t got anything pretty to show you today, not one thing. I do have inky fingers though! In my day job I spent so much time encouraging little people to explore art and materials without worrying about a product-it was fascinating to watch. As an adult doing my own crafty thing I focus so intently on the product that the process gets a little lost or neglected. I so wanted to make a card this morning and I got all of the things out of the cupboard intently. Two hours later I felt I had achieved nothing-my cards went in the bin and so did all of the paper scraps I’d practised on. I was stamping, something I do quite rarely as in all honesty I’m crap at colouring the stamped images in (at least not in that beautiful watercolour/alcohol marker way). The ink I used was not giving a clear stamped image so I tried a different ink to see whether it was the stamp or the ink causing me bother. It was then that I discovered that pigment ink works a lot better than dye ink. This is unfortunate as I only have pale green, pale pink and bright pink pigment inks and I’m on a cardmaking stuff buying ban! However it was a worthwhile test, even if none of my ink colours went with the card theme I was going for. I shall remember that when my buying ban ends. (It was self imposed!) When I loosen those purse strings I may also purchase some watercolour paper as that seems to give better effects with stamps too.

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My other voyage of discovery today was crochet related. When watching tutorial videos to find out why dtr was not working well for me I learned that I have been working yarn under and not yarn over (as it is supposed to be). I was a bit gutted-I have always worked that way, it’s how I was taught as a child. It explains a lot about why my gauge is so ‘out’ compared to patterns, and why my stitches slant. I made a second square for my blanket using the same pattern and stitch count and ended up dropping a hook size to make it even nearly the same size as the first. Even with the same tension the whole piece was much looser. I’m not that keen on the effect-I guess I need to perfect the yarn over technique now I know how to do it ‘properly’. The positive is that the blanket will give me a chance to practise lots of different stitches the proper way. Another example of why process matters so much!

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Needless to say, today has left me feeling a little disheartened about crafting. As a teacher I try and encourage a Growth Mindset (here’s a link if you want to know more about it) but in real life as an adult it seems hard to accept and move on from mistakes-my perfectionist tendencies get the better of me. I am working on it though as mistakes are part of everyday life (at least for me!) They say you learn most from mistakes-if that is the case then I should be a genius after today!

My rubbish day continued at the allotment when I discovered the slugs had feasted on my miniature calabrese. Despite my wishes to keep things there chemical free we decided to lay down some slug pellets as otherwise we will have no plants left. I also prepared a bed for the courgettes and put pellets down there to kill off any pests before we take the three remaining plants in a few days.

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I think a good night’s sleep tonight is in order and hopefully I will be better at crafting tomorrow. (And a bit less grumpy!) End of term bugs have caught up with me this week too-apparently even supply teachers get run down.

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6 thoughts on “Fruitless Friday

  1. Oh dear. Pour yourself something comforting/warming/47% proof alcohol. I cannot help with the crochet (you know that, right?) but for the stamping, possibly. I recognise the stamp so know it is polymer/acrylic. If you rub over the surface of the stamp with a white eraser it seems to make it much more receptive to the ink and your dye pads should work a lot better. I heard it on craft telly as a fix for first time usage, but if I get bad results I now do it every time I stamp. Sorry for the long reply, but hope it helps!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fellow perfectionist here: when I start to feel like you do after a day of mistakes/learning, that’s when I know it’s time to step away at least for the rest of the day. I almost always feel better after a night of good sleep and a fresh start, and if I don’t then I try to do other things until I’m willing to forgive myself for the mistakes or even laugh at them, and not hold myself to that high, impossible to obtain standard. I hope tomorrow is a better day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Many years ago, while watching a colleague knit, I discovered that I had been knitting the purl stitch “wrong” my entire life. That explained why I always knitted into the back of the loop instead of the front… I relearned to purl correctly, only to discover a few years later that the way I was taught wasn’t wrong as such, just a different technique used in a particular country.

    It may well be the same for your crochet stitch.

    Now I can do both techniques when either one is called for. But I agree, the growth mindset is hard.

    Liked by 1 person

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