Sunday, 12 October 2014

Ponderings on Learning

I have been working on a test pattern recently. Slowly as I've been sick, that utterly exhausted and slow brain kind, ugh. It seriously shouldn't take 2.5 hours to cut something out. But when you lay the fabric on the ground, then have to take a breather to get your energy back, you know you aren't well (also, I didn't like the taste of even chocolate, but I don't like to dwell on that).

While I was making this garment, I was learning how to do new things and new ways of using my machine. I didn't realise I had a straight stretch stitch. Sure, it uses a heap more thread and takes longer to do a seam, but I really like the result I get from using it.

It meant I started thinking about how/what I learn. When I got my machine, I didn't go and work out everything I could do with it. I just kept using it how I usually would my old machine. Except for bottonholes, I love my one step bottonholer. I used to just avoid bottons where at all possible. I'm still a bit scared of them, but I'll go for it after doing several practice runs.

I don't go out of my way to find something I don't know and decide to learn it. Part of that is you don't know what you don't know. Instead, I tend to decide that I want to make something, then learn how to do it if I don't know. I like doing it that way, as it gives me the motivation to learn something new, and also the practical practise in doing it, rather than doing something for the sake of doing it.

That was it, just a little ramble on my crafting learning style. Curious as to how others decide what they'd like to learn, and how they learn it. Care to share?

Friday, 10 October 2014

Christmas Crafting already, I feel organised

I realised last week that it was October. For the past couple of years I've done '31 Days of Unfinished Projects'. I didn't even realise this year. Mainly I think because I'm no longer following any blogs that do it, so no reminders. I'm happy about this. Even though I do enjoy that yearly plunge into my UFO cupboard.

I'm working on Christmas crafting instead. Which is just crazy. Like I've got a little notebook, and have started writing in it what I'm planning to make for people for Christmas.

The main reason for doing this is I made a Brickless (seriously, I love this pattern, and I can say this even after frogging three times in the current one, once frogging 10% of it, half of what I'd done, for a mistake made 2 days earlier) for a friend after she commented on my one. I really should get around to finishing blocking them and actually writing about them. Anyways, she asked if she could commission me to make some for her as Christmas gifts. I said yes. Maybe I'm crazy, but she's a good friend, the one who always gives of her time to help me declutter and organise. Plus I needed a simple project for after dinner crafting. Bonus was I had the yarn for two of them already in my stash, yarn I'd been offered, said yes to because it was so pretty, but had no idea what to make into. So stashbusting for the win.

The other bonus of doing this, was I realised I really should work out what I'm going to make people for Christmas, so that I could make sure I had enough time to do everything. I really dont' need last minute stress this year. I've had enough stress this year to last me for ages.

We do 'secret Santa' in my family for the adults. It's not so secret anymore, it used to be, now we just work out who's doing who and go for it. My husband has my Mum, so I'm making something for her. Plus a sister commented on the Hungry Caterpillar Dress, so I am making her daughter a couple in that style for Christmas. Already have the fabric for one, even have it prewashed and ironed. By the time I add in my mother in law and aunty in law, that's a bit of crafting. I guess I like making things for those I know will appreciate it.

I kind of can't believe I'm talking about Christmas in October, but I'm still of the opinion that the only shops allowed Christmas stuff up before December are craft shops, because crafting takes time.

So I'm going to go enjoy the quiet that is currently my house, curl up on the couch with some tv and keep working on my Christmas crafting. Who knows, I might even get it all finished before the last minute....