Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Wollmeise, socks and a doll

I haven't blogged for two weeks partly due to wanting to rest a RSI issue I've had with my right shoulder which resulted in a visit to the GP and then the physiotherapist. She's given me some exercises to do which are enormously pleasurable and relieve a great deal of tension. So as I am off work this week (on proper leave not sick!) I thought I would slowly do some crafting and blogging while making sure to stretch!

I picked up the latest issue of Simply Crochet and wanted to crochet almost everything in the magazine. This hasn't happened for quite some time and I have slowed down considerably on buying magazines. It's probably something to do with not wanting to knit an entire jumper and sometimes the accessory patterns in knitting magazines don't grab me. On the same day I picked up some sock yarn (Regia 4 ply which you can find here - although I can't seem to find the shade I used 07707). I started the crocheted sock in the magazine and so far it is working well. I've never crocheted a sock before and found it really easy. I love the colour - I found the shade in my local sewing and fabric shop.

This is my doll so far from the 'My Crochet Doll' book which I reviewed a few weeks ago. I think she's pretty awesome. Even without hair or a nose. Since this photo was taken a couple of days ago I've crocheted a scalp for her.

And finally this is the Naiada pattern knitted with Wollmeise. It's so amazing to knit with. Unfortunately every time I take a picture of it my camera makes it look a different colour but it's the Merlot colourway so you can look for yourself on the Wollmeise website if you are interested. Although it kind of looks different again on their website (NB Merlot is currently unavailable).

I've really enjoyed the simplicity of the pattern so far. It's very cleverly done and you only need to remember a three stitch sequence which is repeated over and over on right sides and then purl the wrong side. Quite simple, as long as you remember to look up each row! Of course this will need blocking and after this I will have two shawls to block. I have my eye on a blocking kit from Loop but I will think about that again in a few weeks perhaps.

For now I'm loving all my projects!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Jealousy within the crafting community

It seems jealousy is back as a major issue within the online crafting community. I'm seeing signs of distress and of a backlash against Instagram. It's sad because usually I love to see people chatting to each other about handmade and what they've achieved that day. Instead I'm seeing online bullying and I think that stems, partially at least, from jealousy.

Hestercombe House, Taunton

Jealousy is a feeling of wanting what someone else has. Within the crafting community online it is accepted by most people that they will experience these emotions and, for most people, the emotions stay on the surface and actually feed into their creativity and drive.

But for some, a small percentage of people, the emotions bury deep inside, particularly if they also suffer from feelings of low self-worth, anxiety or depression. It festers within them and it becomes dark. Their own creativity is neglected, sometimes completely. After all, why bother if other people crochet better, knit nicer things and make more sales on Etsy? What's the point of being mediocre?

I have experienced these emotions myself and have also been the subject of jealousy. Both have been intensely painful. I have felt the panic rise as someone seems to direct their irrational feelings towards a random skill I may have or something I have done. The irony is often that I've felt really sorry for them as I know how it feels to want someone else's job or intelligence or talent. Often people have no interest in hearing about the struggle the object of their jealousy may have suffered. Poverty, distress and illness are not written in a list on the front of your clothes as you walk around in life.

Recently I've realised taking action can solve some of these negative feelings. If you stumble across a blog where someone has had five books published, is seemingly rich and looks fantastic all at the age of sixteen, and you feel sick with envy perhaps you should start writing and networking. If a seller on Etsy is selling fantastically well see if they have done any interviews anywhere on the web and study their daily routine, where they go for inspiration and where they studied, then see if you can be inspired by them instead of feeling down.

Perhaps if it really annoys you so much take a break from whatever social media you use the most and go somewhere else instead? Pinterest is less overwhelming and jealousy-inducing than Instagram and can be a great source of creative inspiration.

Perhaps just switch the internet off completely and remind yourself other things are way more important.
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