The joy of craft classes

DblCrochetI’ve taken a couple of craft classes recently: decided I’d learn something enjoyable before Uni holidays end and my mind fills up with real study. I did Beginners Crochet and Adult Sewing. Took my kid, M, along to a class for toddlers too, before her school starts. Love her swooshy painting, she had fun. Also in the photo, the double stitch crochet square I’ve finished in spare moments.

It is lovely doing a class: being with other people excited to craft; discussing by pointing, touching and showing; hearing things you never thought to ask (machines can knit, but there are no machines that crochet, it’s always totally by hand). And it’s such a confidence boost to know most of my self-taught ways are actually the “proper” way!

I’ll be back at my desk, in my usual creative space next week. But I must say I’ve enjoyed being out and about.

My creative space #002

DeskLeft002Thank you so much for your comments last week! I had fun. Mind if I do it again?

1. Kid’s art. Still not on wall, but looking nice and colourful in the morning light.

2. New library books. I can never borrow just one. Also, I’ve been trying to dig out all the Bendigo Woollen Mills shade cards I have – I don’t think the website does the colours any justice. And, to be honest, Bendigo’s prices are really reasonable, particularly if you have ideas involving a lot of yarn…

3. Yes, I drew that background! (Sorry, couldn’t help myself!)

4. Kid’s heights and other measurements, in case the sewing urge strikes. The littlest is nearly a metre tall! (She’s just turned 3.)

5.  Chinese dictionaries, balloons, pencil case. I think this weekly showing-my-desk-thing might be good for me: I actually tidied the Christmas pudding into the storage cupboard šŸ˜‰

6. Ideas.

DeskRight002

7. Went to IKEA on the weekend. You’ll be pleased to hear I bought a little bin (see 9 last week). And I bought a random orange tin I’m not sure what I’ll do with, some more kid’s bowls, some finger puppets … as well as the drawers we really went to buy.

8. Crochet project. I’m really enjoying it.

9. Sewing machine, still untouched.

10. Yes, dear patient library, I will return it on time! (Hate it how the length of time you can borrow changes if someone else requests the book. Even though it’s totally fair enough, I’ve requested books too)

11. The books mentioned yesterday.

12. Stain on the table, although I try to be careful. Argh! (I did later manage to scrape it off)

quick note for Sydney amigurumi fans

I visited Kinokuniya Sydney today (for Japanese language study purposes ONLY … not). I noticed they currently have 3 – 4 rather nice amigurumi books in stock. The books are around the $30 AUD mark, a couple of copies of some. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen most of the books online, nonetheless, they are good looking and have clear photo instructions.

So, did I buy some amigurumi books? Umm, no. Why not, I hear you ask? Well, several reasons. There’s a definite upper limit to the amount of cuteness I can handle. Sure, I like cute stuff, but there’s a point at which the head is just too big, too distorted. I think my limit is rather lower than other people who are interested in “crafting Japanese”. (By the way, there’s an interesting post on that phenomenon here). Also I’m rather enjoying figuring it out for myself, and thinking about exactly how I want MY amigurumi to look. And I’m being a bit careful with money.

What I did buy was a magazine, “country craft” 2006 Spring edition. I noticed a lot of (French??) country style inspired magazines actually. Wonder why?

Yay, I finished something, an amigurumi!!!

And I’m rather proud of her ;D. She was inspired by these photos of a vintage amigurumi on needle book / Claire Milne’s blog. Inspired, because my little amigurumi girl is rather different. Same green, same flat face and little stubby arms. But she has peachy / red hair, skinny legs and looks overall a modern Miss. Not quite as demure as she looks, I reckon!

Details: She sits 5.5cm or 2.25 inches high. Green chenille, peach mohair from Lincraft, other wools from Kmart, wooden bead from empire beads, painted with nail polish.

I think she might be the prototype for a few other little amigurumi people / animals.

Mood: Spent all Saturday struggling with the green chenille. No way could I crochet with it! I tried different sized hooks, no luck. Went through all the wools in my stash (which is very small, only 5 balls really), no luck. Different sized hooks for each ball, no luck. Then on Sunday … suddenly, no problems!

Dunno why, but my best guess is – all that changing my mind was good practice, got my eye in so I could see where the loops where in the funny chenille. Or I was over tired, and stopped fighting with the crochet, just went with the flow ;D