Saturday 27 February 2021

...#twopointfiveinchsquares and two triangular square hats

Yesterday was Day 27 of The 100 Day Project - the Instagram-based creative challenge I set myself nearly 4 weeks ago. I'm surprised and proud to report that I've actually managed to sit down every single day and come up with 'something' to fill a 2.5 inch square of cotton fabric with. I like some squares better than others, and it bothers me a bit that there's such a mish-mash of styles rather than a coherent 'signature' look, but I'm telling myself that it doesn't matter, I'm only a quarter of the way through the project, and who knows where I'll be with it all when I get to Day 100. The important thing is that I have lots of little green shoots of ideas poking their way through the top-soil of my imagination, which is what I hoped would happen, because I'm going to be a retired person in four and a half weeks, and I will need plenty of projects to keep me busy!
In between winding down at work (starting to tie up loose ends before I leave) and doing my daily squares I've also been knitting voraciously, most recently making a couple of 'Blunk The Hat' hats, ingeniously designed by Martina Behm. I can't begin to comprehend how she came up with this pattern - it makes my brain hurt to even try to imagine -  but suffice it to say that it's amazing how one big knitted triangle, one big knitted square and two little knitted squares can come together seamlessly to make a one-of-a-kind custom-fitted hat. This pattern works for any sized head (newborn to adult), using any kind of yarn. The two below were made from 4-ply sock yarn (top) and DK yarn (bottom), and I absolutely love them both. [Thanks to my daughter for agreeing to model the DK version on one of our daily park walks - so much easier than trying to take a selfie of the top of my own head!] 


Saturday 6 February 2021

...the 100 day project

A third lockdown is wearing on
Another snowfall has been and gone
Daylight lasts longer every day

I was catching up with Ann Wood's wonderful blog a couple of weeks ago. In her most recent post she recommended the online (Instagram) 100 Day Project as a potential way of getting into the habit of daily creative practice. Since I'm early-retiring at the end of March*, I thought this might be a good way to start (now) as I mean to go on (then). 

I really enjoyed painting the fabric for my patchwork lavender sachets before Christmas, so after a fair bit of pondering about what my project should be, I ended up ordering a little stack of pre-cut 2.5" cotton fabric squares, with the idea that I would embellish one per day in whatever medium (sewing, embroidery, fabric paint/pens/crayons) took my fancy.
I signed up to the project (it's completely free to join in, but you can also opt to subscribe to newsletters and daily prompts for a small fee) and created an individual hashtag for myself (#twopointfiveinchsquares) on Instagram. The project offically started on January 31st, but I think it's the type of personal challenge one can set oneself at any point - the main idea is to do a little something every day for 100 days.
I've completed my first six squares (below), just experimenting with different combinations of fabric inks, paints, pens and crayons, to get a feel for how they behave on the cotton. I already know that my ironing board cover is going to be ruined by the end of the 100 days, as I'm keeping the iron handy to 'set' things as I go and the inks have a tendency to run! I've been using photos I've taken/things I've noticed during the day as source of inspiration for my little doodles. Observations so far:
  • Daily practice is a real struggle for me! Maybe because I'm still working full-time during the day and I'm tired by evening, which is when I've been doing my squares. By day four I was having to force myself to go and sit at my workdesk rather than just slumping in front of the TV. 100 days is going to be a real mountain to climb!
  • Self-imposed rules are necessary to combat perfectionism (only one square of fabric allowed per day, regardless of whether or not I'm happy with the result).
  • I enjoy thinking about what the day's image will be, and 'nature' is the recurring theme!
When I haven't been doodling I've been knitting - yet another Antler Toque - for myself this time. It's been sooooo cold lately, I felt I needed a really warm, chunky hat, and this pattern definitely delivers that! The background fabric is a duvet cover I bought in the Asda sale for dressmaking purposes. A single duvet cover provides around 4 metres of fabric - an absolute  bargain for just £7!

*Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!