I am naturally very deadline driven. I struggle to complete anything which doesn’t have an external deadline. This makes it all the more shocking that I have been able to complete any part of the International Diploma. But this month I have been set a couple of challenges which I have been expected to complete.
The first was the submission of my first project for Part II of the International Diploma in Crochet. One aspect of this course that is keeping me motivated is that I will be able to write and publish my own patterns – once I know how to write them correctly! A key part of pattern writing includes grading patterns up and down sizes. This project required me to crochet an item that had been graded up two sizes from an existing commercial pattern. I had several reasons for completing this project first: I wanted to know how to grade patterns sooner rather than later; I really didn’t fancy completing it, but had learned during Part 1 that those projects and samples I had left to the end because they looked too difficult turned out to be the most interesting; it was probably the smallest piece I would be submitting as a project!
Besides grading the pattern I also had to add my own design amendments. I don’t have children and the only pieces for children I have made have been for this diploma. However, each time I have been quite dismayed and disappointed by the range of patterns available. They all still tend to be very traditional and so I wanted to add more of a modern twist. I thought about what children of my friends might like to wear and looked at sweaters in the shops for sources of inspiration. In the end I decided to add a little pouch pocket to the front of the sweater and amended the edging to be a little more feminine and delicate. I also added some beading to the bottom of the sweater to add a little sparkle! I was really pleased with the end result and received an excellent grading from Crochet Design for my efforts. I was really thrilled and this has given me the impetus to move on to my next piece.
Besides my crochet I have also been given the challenge to write a PDF ‘Step-by-Step’ guide for a sewn piece that people would buy for 99p. The deadline was 1st December – so I am a tiny bit late! After thinking about what to make for a while I decided on a few small Christmas items that could be sewn by hand. There are so many beautiful designs for hand sewn pieces, but quite often require use of a sewing machine, or assumes that people have quite a large ‘stash’ of bits and pieces to use. I wanted to make sure that the pieces were simple, required minimal materials and could be sewn by hand – specifically by the hand of a child who might be working with a parent / carer. As I child I remember making the most amazing Christmas Decorations with my Grandad – using last years Christmas cards, a stapler and some pieces of string. They were just the best decorations on the tree – not because they fitted in with any theme – but because we sat down together and made them. It was more the creation of these memories that I wanted to inspire – rather than perfection in a Christmas ornament.
The pieces I created are a small bag made out of felt; a felt gift-tag that can double up as a Christmas tree ornament; and a small drawstring bag which could be used for putting small gifts or bags of sweets in. The PDF can be found in my Etsy shop. This provided me with a further challenge, setting up the shop and filling it with stock. I have made a few Christmas items this year and have never quite got around to posting them in to Etsy. This challenge has forced me to complete the setting up of my shop! I can’t wait to start filling it with other items and to start publishing my crochet patterns there.