I believe we have the start of a beautiful thing going on right now. After dabbling a bit with the small loom recently I took the plunge and attempted to warp up the big floor loom.
It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It took a few days but it was more a case of go slow and making small errors that caused tangled threads. So here it is, my 4 shaft floor loom. Warped and ready to go.
After a week that ended with me a bloody mess, because the brain, this weekend has been an utter joy. My birthday gift from the lovely Mate was tickets to the Soul Craft Festival held this weekend at the Meat Market, North Melbourne. As per its name, it was a festival for the soul for those of us who craft.
There was a section of couches to chill on, a great big hall of long tables for eating and chatting at, a food vendor whose wares looked wonderful (I’m skint so I took my own food both days), the absolutely required marketplace, the long workshops (again, skint so didn’t do those), a small gallery of works, craft dating, and then two stages and several demo spaces where talks and demonstrations ran every hour. It was up to you where you took it. You could chill with your friends, rampage around the marketplace, attend every demo or talk, or just space it out with a bit of everything. The general layout was easy to navigate, it got a wee bit noisy from time to time but was pretty good overall*, a jumper was required as the venue is one of those large open layout ones that are a bit cool (but not cold) at this time of year in Melbourne, and the decorations around the place were a really lovely touch.
It was also eco-friendly. You bought your own bags and washable coffee cups, everything was recyclable. They asked us to go as cash-free as we could and avoid printing tickets or the timetables.
So, starting with the important things… STASH!!! I was in ferret shock. So many vendors, so much pretty, and all Australian. My favorite thing was the number of Australian farmers and eco-friendly yarn producers there were. I was especially stoked to run across a permaculture farmed wool! Eeeeee!! I have a memory like a sieve so here are the business cards I took photos of.
And of course I added to my stash! Check out this beautiful hand dyed wool I’m going to be making a jumper out of:
Onwards to the talks. I attended a few. Being my first baby-free weekend in the 5 months Rabbit has been with us I was pretty tired and I found myself leaving the house later so I could sleep in and vaguing out pretty badly in the later afternoon sessions. That’s on me, not the presenters. There was a full complement of speakers and topics to be looked in on (see the program here). There really was something for everyone and every speaker I saw was a delight. The ones I particularly enjoyed were Refashioning Your Wardrobe with Jane Milburn, Why We Don’t Need Talent to Make with Felicia Semple, and The Ongoing Practice of Stashless with Felicia Semple. Each of these needs a separate post to articulate the why and my feelings about them and those will be coming.
This was the festivals very first year and I really hope they run it again. Would I make any changes?
In the negative? No. There was nothing I would take away from the festival.
I would add a tiny handful of things to it:
A quiet zone: while it wasn’t hugely packed in or crowded it was busy enough to be very much over stimulating to someone with sensory issues*
A skill share space: Somewhere that we attendees could comfortably sit and share our skills with each other. Many people just struck up conversations, but for someone shy like myself a place we could go to trade hints and tips would be a fun way to network.
An Open Stage or Curated Discussion Space: Probably due to Confest, but by the end of day 1 I really wanted to get up and talk about things and get opinions etc. We could ask questions of presenters but somewhere a bit less formal where attendees could do a 30 or 40min presentation, or run a discussion on a topic dear to them would be really beneficial for community building I think.Look, overall, I loved this. Every minute of it. I will be there next year if it runs again. I’d love to take a master class even, although I had so much fun as it was I don’t need to. I really do recommend the Soul Craft Festival to anyone who passionately loves their crafting.
*Of the two days Sunday was quieter and probably the best option for anyone with sensory issues to attend.
Not a lot happening here right now. Still waiting for Rabbit to arrive and I’m at the so pregnant I hate everything stage of it all. I’ve run out of steam for real chores and cleaning so been doing some odds and ends of crafting.
My small rigid heddle loom setup on a white work table.
My handmade baby blanket pinned out to block so it maintains shape.
A photo of the jewellery board. A cork board I’ve covered in a purple scrap of fabric and have necklaces and earrings hanging off.
I HAVE SET UP MY LOOM!! I had to wait until the Christmas tree was down as it was sitting on the table the loom was going onto. The loom is a small rigid heddle loom for me to start practising with before moving onto the big four heddle floor loom I have. I’m happily digging into a pair of rigid heddle beginner-friendly books before I get started with it. I’m really looking forward to starting with it.
Last night I washed and blocked the baby blanket I finished crocheting last year. It was my first ‘large’ project and I’ve definitely ballsed it but it was a learning experience and I’ve figured out how to do it right next time. I’m still a beginner and I’m proud of my first attempt!
And this morning I dug around and pulled out a scrap of fabric and made myself a jewellery hanging board. It’s a cork board covered in fabric (the fabric is stapled to the back of the board to keep it there) with some gold string to hang earrings from, and gold pushpins for necklaces. In doing this I located jewellery I didn’t know I even had.
My only cleaning so far today has been getting the dust out of my jewellery box and stripping the bed as my mate climbed all over it in his work boots while he was putting up some roller blinds in our room.
Using a Pump water bottle to model the tiny newborn beanie I made today. It whipped up reasonable fast for a slow crocheter, someone faster could probably do it in a few hours. Click the picture to be taken to the free pattern.
It’s the stupid little things in life that can really make you happier in your own skin. In my case a long needed haircut taking me from feeling weighted down to light as a feather (and apparently looking a lot younger. Admittedly the rabbit ears from the Bunny Bonnet and silly face help with that).
Long and worn out
Back to short and snappy.
Among other things I find that having a wardrobe that fits and is ‘Me’ also helps this along.
Oh, and I didn’t post it but the Bunny Bonnet is done.I have a button to add to it. I highly recommend it for anyone who crochets. The pattern is actually rather simple and quite clear.
Honestly I need to get better about planning my individual days around the hot weather. By mid-morning it’s hitting 30 degrees (86f) and my pregnant ass can not be fucked dealing with anything housework or movement related. At least, that aside, today has been a good day for sitting behind a screen and doing some forward planning.
I spent the first hour or so this morning flicking through the CSIRO Low-Carb Diet. I bought this due to the gestational diabetes – the less carbs I eat the better my blood
glucose levels are, and in the long term the less risk I have of developing type 2 diabetes (which runs in my family). I spent some time this afternoon putting together a meal plan for next week which looks actually viable and really tasty. I need to try and include 2 serves of fish each week which is… awkward with teenagers in the house who hate fish.
**The one thing I did note about this book is that it is in no way low FODmap friendly. I’m experienced enough to make the adjustments where needed but if you’re newer to the FODmap diet try cookbooks especially for it. I only found one low-carb and low-FODmap cookbook and it looked dodgy as sin.**
I moved on to crafts from there, which has been lovely, and planning out my 2018 gift list. It’s currently far smaller than it will be, but it’s a start. I’m also looking at my current maker list and making sure I’m on track for that. I have 5 current projects:
The bunny bonnet for Rabbit that should be finished this week.
The waffle weave crochet blanket to go with said bonnet.
A blue lap blanket that I think will be a gift.
Mum’s gift (she can find this so it goes in as secret squirrel) – Starting this week with view to finish mid-Jan (I may be overly hopeful here)
A devotional carnelian bracelet made for my work with Hekate which I finally got the beads for and will also start this week once I have the appropriate threads for it (it came threaded on the string) >>
After a bit of debate I have re-enrolled in the class I dropped earlier this year when I first become pregnant. I was so sick that I couldn’t keep up, and that will be starting late February so there’s time to settle Rabbit in prior to kicking off.
So, yes, today has been a good day for planning. I think, over the years, this isn’t really something I’ve taken the time out to do and that’s reflected in the lack of achievement of goals both in professional and personal fields. My Mate is, thankfully, a very strong planner and their influence is rubbing off.
I have the weirdest fucking dreams. If they were more fleshed out I’d be a novelist. Today I wasn’t feeling well and slept for hours – pretty much all afternoon – and had a dream.
It was America, and the cities had been built so densely that the roofs had been turned into a roadway that covered the entire country and had parks and things grown on top of them. The middle class to very rich lived in closed neighbourhoods of varying levels of sprawl with filtered air and the poor in dense, cramped conditions sans air filtration. People were mostly poor.
My dream followed a young woman walking across the roof-road as a traveller. She was middle class and kind of naive and sweet. There was an interaction with a poor family that lead to her lighting incense in a crowded temple etc.
It was weird, kind of post apocalypse, very cool idea though.