Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Slow burning, overthinking.

I have so many WIPs on the go that WIP Wednesday should be WIP-every-day for me. I'm pondering getting them all in one place so I work through them and actually finish them however that can feel a little overwhelming and in a way less fun.

Who knows, maybe I'll get round to it.

Having said that, not all my WIPs are lost causes, though some are slow burners.

I started this blanket during last year's Tour de France. I'd made a garter stitch blanket for my nephew and had enjoyed the mindless knitting, perfect for watching men in lycra cycling up hills.

While having a stash sort out I realised I had accumulated a fair amount of aran weight tweed yarn. I did a fair bit of pattern browsing on Ravelry and decided on making another garter stitch blanket, this time for me.

The stripes are Paul Smith inspired. I considered planning the blanket out but instead decided to go with the flow regarding stripe thickness and colour changes.

I’ve got about 1200g of yarn to play with and am currently about 26cm in. I'm thinking about making a random stripe generator as I spend too much time dithering over which colour to use next and how many rows to knit.

Ah, the joys of overthinking.

And to prove I can finish things, here's my Creative Bug Draw a Day FO from yesterday!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

I want candy

Here's another one of my learn to draw sketches. One of the aspects I'm really enjoying about the online course is it mixes up simple and complex shapes. This encourages concentration for some challenges and giddy fun for others.

Yesterday's challenge was candy/sweeties. I decided not to watch the full tutorial before drawing as I wanted to see what I would produce without influence.

This isn't the most skillful of drawings but I had fun doing it and noticed it broke down some of my hang-ups (as I had with birds) around drawing well.

Better to get stuck in and try rather than do nothing. 

The birds

There is knitting action going on at the moment, I just haven't got round to blogging about it yet. I've also been doing more #CBDrawADay challenge. Here's birds from Sunday's lesson.

I wrote about how I was approaching Sunday's #CBDrawADay subject with anticipation over on my blog. I love #birds. I #bird watch. I have binoculars next to my garden facing windows at home so I look like a freaky Rear Window type when I'm just looking at who visits my garden. I go on holiday to places where I can do some serious birdwatching. I watch wildlife stuff all the time. Love it! This is something I'd like to be able to draw well, ie field guide illustration well. As Pam the tutor says at the end of today's video " Just go with it and have fun" which is something I found tricky, unlike yesterday's challenge. I started off drawing cartoon-like birds but started getting irritated when I couldn't get the lines right, especially the back between the head and the tail. I gave up on this approach and looked at pictures of birds and used this as my reference point. I did make myself draw without doing a preliminary pencil sketch which is something I'm trying to improve - hand-eye coordination and accuracy. I've also realised I need to slow down sometimes. I get impatient and when I rush my lines are wonky. I'll probably come back to this subject and try different species, maybe with #colour.

A photo posted by clarestorry (@gingerknits) on

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Loving cups?

"What! You don't post for months then you write two in a day?!?!?!?"

Yes, I hear you, my sly subconcious, and yeah, what of it?

So what if I blog like buses!

Anyway brain, get to it, your readers (hello dear reader, thanks for stopping by) are getting impatient.

I had a little moment of self realisation today. I was being a good student taking part in today's #CBdrawaday challenge. The subject is Loving Cups. Loving what? Indeed. To save retyping here's my Instagram post with my homework and thoughts on the actual topic.

A photo posted by clarestorry (@gingerknits) on

Ramblings about 'Loving Cups' aside, when I was making myself a post-drawing cup of tea I was thinking how I'd really got into the challenge today. I don't care for trophies, I'm not in the least bit sporty, I don't think I've ever won a trophy as they're generally not awarded for the things I enjoy doing and I find them rather brash, and yet here I was getting stuck into the World Cup, the Ashes and a Wimbledon monstrosity. BTW, ever noticed the Wimbledon men's trophy has something like a small pineapple on top?

I think because I was drawing something I'd never wanted to draw before and don't care about I let go of trying to get it 'right' and concentrated on the drawing process itself. Hmm, interesting.

Tomorrow's topic is birds, something I'd love to be able to draw well as natural history is a big passion of mine and I spend much of my free time bird watching. Let's see if I can let go of perfection and get stuck in to the drawing tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've got a strong urge to draw the FA cup!

Back (again)

A lot has happened since I last posted here. I realised about halfway through last year that my job was having a very negative impact on my life so after much trying to fix it, taking time out, reflection and soul searching, I quit.

Hooray! Best decision I've made in a long time. I miss my co-workers but that's about it.

I'm still getting my head round it as the side effects of my job have taken a larger toll than I realised. Hindsight is 20:20 and all that. I may write more on this later, or I may not. I started writing about it  just now and it turned into an angry and upset ramble so it's something I'm still working on.

Pushing that to one side for the time being, I'm taking a bit of time out from the rat race to rebuild me and work out what to do next. You'll be pleased to hear a big part of my rebuilding process involves craftyness.

Now, I have all the blog ideas, but don't always have the impetus to actually write things down. I've decided to start small, gradually incorporating new things into my routine so they'll hopefully become habit.

Regular blogging is hopefully next on my list. Somewhat ironic as my old job was running a blog site - ha! There's a warning in there...

One activity I really miss and have been meaning to start again for years is doodling. I used to doodle all the time when I was a teenager but lost the habit.

I've signed up with Creative Bug after seeing friends posting their sketches on Instagram. One of their many courses is Draw A Day which has 5min videos with a daily drawing challenge.

The price is pretty reasonable, I'm paying US $4.95 a month which gives you access to all their courses. There's currently a free 14 day trail currently available if you fancy a dabble.

A photo posted by clarestorry (@gingerknits) on

It feels a bit odd putting my first attempts online but the Instagram community is kind and friendly and it adds a little external pressure to take part.

I have to step back a little as there are many, many talented artists taking part and I have to remind myself that I'm starting again after a, ahem, thirty year break. It will also give me something to look back on when I've improved.

Check out #CBdrawaday on Instagram to see what other people are up too. I enjoy seeing the different styles and interpretations.