Whilst I have been labouring on my many unfinished wips, I’ve been thinking about why so many have been consigned to the bottom of the wip basket and, have concluded that it’s more than just the delight of casting on with new yarn.
This story will be pretty familiar to anyone who is a crafter but to my non crafting friends, this might come as a bit of a surprise and you’d be forgiven for wondering why I put myself through this all the time.
Almost every project I undertake goes as follows:
Buying the yarn or getting yarn in the post “Ooh lovely lovely yarn. Squeeeee. So excited, must cast on”
Upon casting on “Oh my goodness this is so amazing, I’m so in love with this”
About 1/3 of the way through “So so loving this. Whoo hoooo. Must knit/crochet faster”
About 1/2 way through “Hmmm. Is this going to look alright? Is it going to fit? Maybe I should have made something else with this yarn? Hmmm. I’m not sure I even like the yarn any more”
About 2/3 of the way through “Ugh. This is awful. I hate it. Why did I ever think this would work? What a colossal waste of time. I can barely bring myself to finish” and, if I’m feeling particularly grim, it’s at this stage that things get relegated to the bottom of the wip basket, never to be seen again (or at least only seen again when I can’t get any more unfinished projects in the wip basket and, like now, have a purge).
On completion “I love love love it.”
I know, I know. And let’s not forget, I do this to myself voluntarily.
The plus side of this behaviour is that, once I can bring myself to restart the wip, I’m nearly always pretty quickly into the gratification of completion. So, hurrah for finishing wips is what I say. Here is the latest one I’ve finished – my yarn eating crochet flower rainbow blanket.
I’m going slightly off topic this week. Still craft but not yarn craft. Instead I’m talking flowers. Those of you who have come to this blog via my Instagram feed will already know of my love of flowers in general. But this week, I’m getting specific with a love of flower crowns.
Some of you will know I work for a couple of hours each morning in a fabulous florist near my home called Green Parlour, owned and run by the very lovely Emma. As well as making gorgeous hand tied bouquets and selling pretty plants to the residents of Pangbourne village, she runs all sorts of fab floral workshops (see here for details) and when I saw she was running a flower crown workshop I jumped at the chance to go.
Flower crowns aren’t something you see a lot of outside of weddings and festivals but, amongst younger women, they are growing in popularity (my children now call their teenage cousin The Flower Girl because she once, ages ago, wore a faux floral crown, and they haven’t forgotten it, such is their lasting impact) and I wanted to learn to make one, because, well, I like to learn new things.
The workshop was on a Saturday afternoon and it was lovely to escape the usual chaos of my weekend for a couple of hours to sit in the calm of the flower shop and play. There were three other ladies on the workshop, all of whom had floral experience or had been on several workshops before. One of the ladies was looking for ideas for her daughters wedding flowers which was very exciting.
We started by learning to wire our flowers. Emma explained that wiring is a declining art because of the fashion for loose more naturalistic florals but they are still used in button holes and, in flower crowns. To wire a flower you need to remove most of the stem and attach a wire either by piercing the actual flower or by placing a wire next to the remainder of the stem and taping the two together. By this method you give each flower a faux wire stem. The advantage to this over keeping the natural stem is that the wire stem can be bent so this allows the flower to be positioned exactly where you would like it.
You need quite a lot of flowers to make a flower crown and wiring them, especially when you aren’t used to it, takes quite a lot of time. Eventually we all thought we had enough flowers wired so it came to crown construction. This involves taking a length of flexible wire measured to fit your head and starting at one end, lie the flowers along the wire so the flower stem lies on top of the wire. Then tape the flower to the wire. Lay the next flower head on top of the bit you’ve just taped with the stem lying the same was as the first flower, tape and repeat until you’ve covered the whole length of your wire. Make a loop at either end of the wire , add a ribbon tie and viola! Flower crown!
If you are thinking of making your own flower crown, you need consider that the flowers aren’t in water, and so they do fade quite quickly. This means you would need to make your flower crown on the same day as you were wanting to wear it. If I were to do this again (and I almost certainly will because it was so pretty), I would probably use more orchid flowers as they’ve lasted for a few days, while everything else was looking quite floppy by the next morning. If you didn’t want to try a full flower crown, a few orchid flowers glued to a hair comb would be a very pretty accessory and this is one I’m definitely going to try just the next time my orchid produces some flowers.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this change of scene this week. Next week I’m sure we will be back to yarn craft as I’ve been busy doing some more dyeing that I’m keen to tell you all about.