Baking · Crochet · Knitting

For the love of crafting

This week has been fairly quiet for me on the crafting front.  Partly because I’ve had a bad back, and partly because I focussed on baking rather than crochet.  It has, however, provided time for reflection.

IMG_2034A friend of mine here in Portugal was 40 earlier this week.  Buying presents for people is a little more difficult over here as generally people don’t go so overboard.  Rather than buy her something for the sake of a present I offered to make a good old-fashioned British birthday cake.  I always forget how long this takes, especially if, like me, you are going to make flowers out of sugar paste!  I had one lovely day making the cakes and the sugar paste flowers and a second when I put the cake and the decorations together.  These were perfect activities for a person with a bad back and minimal range of motion! The cake was very much appreciated and devoured at the party.  The only comment I would make – when the bakers in Bake Off complain about the heat in the tent- they don’t know they’re born!  And from my experience, things set just fine in the heat – having said that I did have days to make my cakes not hours!

IMG_0381Besides that I have finally finished the second hedgehog that a friend commissioned me to make.  This is the third hedgehog I have now made and I think it will be my last.  One thing this has taught me is that I do not crochet quick enough to make things to order.  On top of that, I don’t really enjoy making the same thing multiple times.  I enjoyed making the ones I have because they were for a friend’s grandchildren and so I knew they were appreciated.  I’m not sure I could be so enthusiastic about making things just for the money, not knowing the end destination.  I craft for love and I want those who receive the items I make to love them just as much.  When I think about things I have made over the years, Flop the Bunny for a good friend’s little boy, or a striped jumper for a colleagues baby, I knew that they were appreciated and that they have been loved.  For me, that is a really big part of making things for people. Hand-made things take time and you can never charge the true amount and hope to sell them.  Generally people like hand-made items, but not hand-made prices.

IMG_2042On that topic, I have been on the receiving end of a gift this week.  I received these lovely stitch markers for use with my crochet, which are also hand-made by my friend.  Far nicer than the plastic safety pins I have been using until now and I will think of her every time I use them.  The only problem is they look far too good to use!  A friend and I also went along to a crafting group at Algarve Shopping Centre.  I’ve only been able to go along a few times so far, but the group has been so welcoming and it’s great to have the opportunity to share ideas.  As a result of this week’s group I have been along to Aldi to buy some sock wool.  I’ve never knitted my own socks, but have always wanted to give it a try.  The wool from Aldi was not very expensive at all, so it’s the perfect opportunity to try.  So far I have cast on my stitches and completed one row!  I’ll keep you posted on progress!  Using 5 needles was incredibly strange, but I’m sure it will become easier with time.

Crochet has been a real journey for me.  From struggling with the basics via YouTube when I was recuperating from an operation, through Part 1 of the International Diploma,  and on to Part II, I have learned a great deal.  I have learned that I love creating my own designs, whether or not other people will like them too is another matter – but I have so many ideas that I want to put down on paper.  Only time will tell if there is a market for my ideas.  But in the mean time, I will continue to enjoy what I do and making different things for friends, be that sewing, crochet, knitting or backing – but making for money is definitely a no go!


2 thoughts on “For the love of crafting

  1. I know exactly how you feel with making things to sell. I almost never make the same thing twice and I can’t imagine having to make a lot of one thing. That would get very old very fast! The cake is gorgeous and what a thoughtful way to celebrate your friend’s birthday!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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