Thanks to RSI in my hands, I gave up knitting.
Well, except for machine knitting on the Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine and the second hand Passap knitting machine I bought that year to make socks on. Weaving continued, and I tried straw, card and inkle weaving. At a convention I did my first weaving demo.
After revamping my jewellery storage, I started making and refashioning jewellery in a big way. I did more stamp-making and wrapping paper printing.
In 2011 I’d tried a method of crocheting around twine to make a basket. I noticed through the Stat Counter that the photos had been pinned on Pinterest. So I joined up and for a while there I was quite addicted to it.
Researching family history caught my attention for a while. Unfortunately I never went back to it.
At life drawing classes I started drawing heads in preparation to start portrait painting, but I abandoned Sketch Sunday.
It was a year of working out what I could and couldn’t do with my hands. I’m pleased to see it didn’t entirely limit my creativity, and led to exploring crafts I might not have tried otherwise. I’ve not used the Passap much after that year, unfortunately. My attention turned more toward weaving.
The year started in a reflective mood, with me adjusting my wardrobe to allow for some weight I’d put on. (A few months later I started the Fast Diet.) I discovered I have a heart condition (very minor, as it turns out, but I didn’t know that then) and became officially menopausal, so it was a year for health discoveries.
In craft, there was a lots of culling of things – bags, books, clothes – and questioning what I spend my time and energy on. The Bond and I got to know each other again, leading to a handful of rapidly made garments, the making of weights, and buying another machine to make the double width Mega Bond.
After buying and padding out a dress form, I re-lined a jacket, made a dress out of a postal sack, and sewed up a Regency gown. A couple of quilts and a day bed cover also got sewn. I was officially over my dislike of sewing.
I painted two portraits – or three if you count the test piece. During camping in December I used the ponchard box for the first time.
The embroidery bug caught hold of me, and stuck around.
In a kind of personal challenge, I set aside several weekend days to tackle the craft to-do list, concentrating on sewing, printing, dyeing, jewellery-making and bookbinding.
We went to Japan for eight days around Christmas and walked so much that I got plantar faciitis. So much for walking more to prevent osteoporosis!
It was definitely a year for fidgeting creatively, switching from one craft to another. But also of stretching myself to try new things.
Because of the plantar faciitis I couldn’t get about much for months. Maybe that’s why, in a moment of insanity, I decided to participate in the Handweavers & Spinners Guilds’ mystery box challenge. Far too many hours went into making a rather ugly fairy. Whenever I get a hair-brained idea now I ask myself ‘is this another ugly fairly project?’.
More refashioning, weaving, embroidery and jewellery-making happened through the year. I did three portraits and two ponchard box paintings.
Then we bought a house. And moved. Oh, so much moving house. And fixing up the old one. And renovating the new one. And clearing weeds. And expensive landscaping. By the end of the year I was utterly worn out.
I took stock of my craft materials and ambitions, and did some culling and planning. Lots of tackling projects that had languished for ages came about from this. There was also weaving, refashioning, embroidery and jewellery-making.
After getting pedals onto the table loom I decided to tackle more challenging weaving projects with finer yarn, making tea towels for Mum. I tried pin loom weaving and made a tapestry hat – all do-able in front of the tv.
Pinterest changed in a way I didn’t like which led to a big rethink about where I get inspiration and ideas from. I decided I didn’t need it, and at the worst it was directing my creativity rather than being a source of inspiration. I closed my account and don’t miss it at all.
I sprained my ankle badly in February. Fortunately, it was better by the time the garage permit came through, so we could get stuck into preparations, landscaping and gardening. Which were exhausting. It meant not much crafting happened for a while. When I finally had energy I decided to make ‘100 cards by Christmas’.
At the end of the year I bought an 8 shaft Katie loom, deciding it was time my weaving got beyond twill and the occasional huck lace project.
I had my first weaving classes. Paul brought home an abandoned loom, and I fixed it and a friend’s loom up. But an old neck and back problem suddenly got much worse, and I’ve been struggling to get much craft or even work done since.
What a decade! Going over the last ten years’ blog posts has been very thought-provoking. It has me contemplating why I craft and make art – and blog about it. RSI restricts the type of craft I can do, and now this sudden worsening of my back problem has me questioning what I’ll be capable of, for work and creative fulfilment, into the future.