I have a recent FO to show, but I honestly haven’t had the chance to take good (or at least acceptable) pictures yet to post it on the blog. The days have been busy with work and most of them it’s been raining and dark, so I couldn’t take any semi-decent photos to show here. It’s been better since yesterday though, and we’re planning to go to Ikea on the weekend to buy a bedroom chest of drawers (which we need to stop having to store the bed linens and towels on the spare bed, where they inevitably end up covered in cat fur. Luckily Ikea has some cheap and nice options as I’m hesitant to buy furniture here if we’re planning to move), so this can be a good opportunity to wear my new FO and snap a few pics.
And before that, let me show you two of my home decor projects. One is a work in progress (and will be for a while!), another one is a quick, easy sewing project. As I mentioned, it’s been quite dark recently with occasional bursts of the sun shining through the clouds, so the colours may vary from picture to picture.
Alright then. Maybe some of you remember that a few months ago, I’d started a new crochet project, Scheepjes CAL: The Rozeta Blanket. Unfortunately, as I soon found out, something about stranded crochet work made my shoulder tendonitis worse (and I’m still not quite fine yet, it’s a persistent and annoyingly painful thing that decided to stick with me!) and caused pain in my wrists, too. I tried to get back to this project a few times, with bad results. I’m sure it’s something about my technique – I noticed that I’ve been very tensed and strained while crocheting it, and although I’d tried, I really couldn’t relax my muscles. In the end, I decided to frog the project and give up on it.
I still wanted to make a new crochet blanket though, for my Dad, and I found this pattern: Cornish Comfort by Helen Shrimpton. I think it’s a bit on a feminine side, but then my Dad really doesn’t care about that, and I chose the blue-cream-brown version, as his room is mostly decorated in navy blue (random piece of trivia for today: in Poland, we don’t categorize houses or apartments by the number of bedrooms, we use the total room count, without separating the living room and bedrooms. Usually, the largest room gets designated as a living room, and the rest depends on what is needed, but for instance, children’s rooms aren’t called bedrooms, they are just rooms, and there’s more space for bookshelves, desk, toys, etc., compared to Ireland where the bed always seems to take up most of the room space. So for example, when I tell my Mom I’m in a two bedroom flat now, I need to “translate” it and say I’m in a three room flat).
I’m only 20 rounds in, but so far, so good – no unusual tension in my shoulders or my palms, and I’m enjoying the rich, three-dimensional texture. It’s going to be gorgeous, I’m sure of that, even if it’s going to take a while to finish it.
I also mentioned a quick sewing project. I learned to sew, both by hand and with a sewing machine, when I was a child. I can’t even really tell when exactly – my Grandmother was a seamstress and I used to spend a few weeks every summer with her. I remember her stash of fabric scraps that she let me use to sew for my dolls (it was my small private paradise with all those colourful pieces of fabric), she also let me use her machine and taught me how to do it. I loved it! My Mom also had a sewing machine and allowed me to use it; she wasn’t a professional seamstress, but at some point when I was maybe around 13, she did sew on the side, as a source of additional income, and she let me make some simple items so I could earn my pocket money.
It’s been years since I last tried machine sewing – our machine broke completely more than 20 years ago, and my Grandma had passed away even earlier. But I’ve still been hand sewing occasionally all this time, whenever I needed to fix a hole, or shorten a new pair of jeans or a dress (not uncommon, as I’m not very blessed in the height department). I’m not claiming I’m very good at it, I just know the basics and feel confident to fix or adjust a piece of clothing if necessary.
I honestly miss having a sewing machine and how convenient it is, and I keep thinking about purchasing one more and more often. Reminding myself how to use it is another crafty skill I’d like to pick up. I find myself browsing Etsy, looking for beautiful, colourful linen and other fabrics, thinking about all the things I could make. Hand sewing takes ages, and it’s less sturdy than machine work (although thinking about all the historical garments that are still intact in the museums today and knowing that they were made by hand makes me rethink that…), and I just don’t have the patience. Maybe, if around summer it doesn’t look like our moving preparations are progressing much, and we may still be staying in Ireland for some time longer, I’ll buy a beginner-level, cheaper machine and just use it for as long as we’re staying here. I could always sell it later or just donate it to someone who needs it, and if I find out I enjoy sewing as much as I think now, I could get a more advanced option after the move to Greece. The fact that we have more space here than in the previous apartment and I could easily set up a sewing corner surely isn’t keeping these thoughts at bay!
But enough of this lengthy intro, let me show you my very easy and fast project: a Spring tablecloth! I’d had this piece of Indian cotton for a while in my wardrobe, and I always thought that it would be good to add some nice border around it and turn it into a table runner. Moving here woke all my nesting instincts up, and I decided it’s time to do it finally. But this fabric is so beautifully embroidered, that any border I could think of just seemed like too much. So I decided only to secure the edges using overcast or cross-stitch. I’d actually started, and then I felt that it was still too much, so I ripped the seam out and used a simple, basic running stitch this time. It took very little time and effort, and I have my new tablecloth in Spring green 🙂 All it needs is a bouquet of daffodils (but that’s not going to happen, they are toxic for cats, and my two felines have to taste every plant around even though they have their cat grass) to complete the Springtime look!
As you can see, I didn’t do a stellar cutting job, as I don’t really have any tools, not even a good ruler! But at least I had a great helper 🙂
I have another piece of very similar fabric, but with different embroidered motif and in a cheery, Summery yellow. I’m thinking to make a narrow table runner and a few placemats of it. But maybe this should be done when I finally have that machine 😉