Crochet · Sewing · Sustainable Crafting · sustainable living

One month of sustainable makes

At the beginning of January I took the decision to start to make a concerted effort to start using up my stash. I have two, one small one in Portugal and a bigger, mother stash, in Bristol. I suppose in the era of David Attenborough and thinking more about what we have and how we use it I started to realise that I had to use up what I have and buy less.

I’m in the fortunate position, that I do have stashes, and so am able to embark on this project / adventure with the minimum of hardship in the first instance. My aim is to create one off pieces that showcase how recycled fabrics and clothes can be used to make new ones.

The ‘Mother Stash’

So for January, I have created one and a half brooches! The flower for January is the carnation. A quick google search discovered a fabulous video by Sheeru Knitting. I made the first one in 3 ply wool and once I’d got the general gist of it made a few more using my favourite thread! I confess that I just did a spiral for the stem, as trying to join rings when you’re using such fine threats was somewhat challenging! But other than that, the pattern is exactly as shown on the video.

Carnation Crochet Brooch

I found the pattern for the leaves in an old Irish Crochet pattern book, Priscilla Irish Crochet Book 2, that I downloaded a while ago. It is still available via a variety of websites. I’ve typed up the pattern exactly as it is in the book and added it to the pattern area of the website. I did have to buy the brooch pins, but as I hope to make one for each month of the year, they will soon get used up and so was the only purchase I had to make to create the brooch.

I also made some bunting for Valentine’s day. I had enough fabric in Portugal to make the bunting pieces, however, knew I would have to wait until I returned to Bristol for the button embellishments and the binding for creating the finished bunting. I did have to buy more binding, as I only had enough in my stash for the one piece, but that is the only additional purchase I had to make.

My intention was to sell the bunting in my Etsy shop. But I’m not going to lie, I am incredibly lazy and to be honest, really can’t be bothered with the faff of taking the photos and loading them up and then having to take them down again, if they don’t sell prior to our return to Portugal. So I donated them to my local charity shop instead. I realised as I did this, that it was probably more in-keeping with what I wanted to achieve from my creativity. I love making things, all kinds of things, but I don’t really want to be constrained by it being a business, or having to write patterns in a specific style. I also have a low boredom threshold and the thought of making multiples of the same thing terrifies me! So, in the long term, I am just going to enjoy making what I can and donating where I can. In situations where I create my own designs, I will publish the patterns for other people to make them.

I’ve loved making things using what I already have and look forward to carrying it on throughout the year. During February, I am hoping to make another crochet brooch, but other than that, just enjoying trying new and different crafts and seeing where it takes me!

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