Craft! This time it’s personal

coil basket weaving
I often get asked about my crafting habits. Do I craft only for the blog? Do I share everything that I make? Do I make personal projects? So today rather than share a DIY, I thought I’d chat about what I’ve been making for myself behind the scenes, and why I don’t always share everything I make here on the blog.

Like any hobby that turns into paid work, some aspects of things that were once fun can become a bit of a chore. Don’t get me wrong, I love sharing tutorials here on the blog, but the reality is that I do see it as a job, and I try to do it as professionally as I can. Sometimes it means that the projects I share on the blog aren’t projects that challenge my personal skills or help me experiment with technique or processes. Blog projects need to be manageable for beginners or require me to be very confident with my skills so I can explain techniques fully. So when I’m learning something new, I don’t want to pressure myself with writing a tute for it, or having to take step by step photos, it takes the fun out of it.

Sometimes the projects I’m working on take a really long time, like over a year, because I like to pick things up and put them down depending on my mood. For me, making something involves emotional investment, I need to put happy feelings into what I’m making or that project will give off cranky vibes.

So in my craft basket at the moment are a few works in progress that I’ve been enjoying…

Coil Basket Weaving
Coil weaving
Last week at a craft group gathering one of the ladies taught us how to make coil baskets with raffia. She used to live up north and learnt her skills from indigenous weavers. The yellow raffia was naturally dyed with turmeric.
This is my first attempt, I’ve added some yarn scraps to add colour, but have run out of raffia so will have to source some more. I think it will be a tray with a little lip that comes up the side. Maybe some handles if I can work out how to make them.

I’ve really been enjoying the basket making process and am looking forward to experimenting with different natural materials. There are some basket weaving workshops run in Healesvile that I’m looking forward to participating in if I get the chance.

crochet motif
I’ve been working on this crochet blanket project since last year, I want to make a single bed sized blanket and it’s taking ages! I need about 250 of these little circle motifs that will then be joined by a clever little continuous joining method that I’m yet to try. I think I’ve made about 180 circles so far. It may very well be another winter before this one is finished. The great thing about this blanket is that I’ve been using lots of yarn oddments and balls that I find at the op-shop, which makes it lots of fun as I can mix and match colours to keep me entertained. I don’t think that one motif is the same as another.
The pattern is from here if you want to make your own.
crochet blanket

knitting yarn and double ended needles
Knitting is my kryptonite. I’ve tried so many times and it just stresses me out, but I’m willing to give it another chance and I think I’ve found just the project to get me going.
I’ve been taking ballet classes and am in desperate need of some fun leg warmers (that aren’t ballet pink). I found the perfect yarn and some needles at the op-shop, and I may be crazy here, but I’m going to try this pattern (or something similar) with double ended needles. Yes I could knit them flat and have a seam up the back, but that wouldn’t look as nice, so wish me luck and I’ll post my progress on IG with these. Hopefully one ball of yarn will be enough.

So that’s what I’ve been up to craft wise. What have you been making?


  • Kesh says:

    My craft of late has been tidying up and prettying up my creative space. It’s been neglected since we bought our house 12 months ago. Although the bad thing about tidying up such a space is the cleaner it gets the more inspiration I have to start/continue or finish numerous projects which means it starts getting messy again!?!?! Haha. I’m sure I’ll get there one day :/

  • Jasmine says:

    I’ve really gotten back into knitting and crocheting lately. I made one of those Miss Marple scarfs but it came out all wrong, I knitted a wavy gravy scarf out of op shop wool and it’s too scratchy! I crocheted a basket and right now I’m knitting mittens for my daughter. It’s been fun doing small, quick projects!
    I love your weaving. I’ve always wanted to learn how to weave. I’ve tried with bamboo when it’s green and bendy but it’s very tricky and painful!

  • Celes :) says:

    Right now I’m working on a hat for my husband, a vest for my little nephew (both knitted), a hand sewn mini quilt, a series of 12 hand embroidered dresses (doing the second, and it has to be ready by the end of August for a class I’ll be giving) I really understand you, my hobby has become my job too and sometimes it’s a bit stressing, but getting paid for what we love doing is really a blessing. Greetings from Argentina!

  • Bonnie Banks says:

    Wonderful post! Love that you share a peek into the general life of a craft blogger. I feel so very much the same way. I am so very new at blogging that I can get overwhelmed. I thank you for the insight which helps me to find a better way to pace myself. As for WIP’s, I have a paper sculpture in the works and another bottle sculpture. I am desperately trying to fill an order by the due date. The piece I HAD done previously has completely disappeared! Very frustrating indeed. The general routine of life has been a roller coaster as well. Thanks again so VERY MUCH for sharing with us. Greatly appreciated for sure!

  • Sarah Helene says:

    Long process to crochet about 250 circular try-color yarn motifs for a small blanket– GOOD LUCK. For the past 17 months I’ve been crocheting lapghans & afghans for our 2 new townhouses (with 2 adult sons). I’ve finished 13 so far plus 3 in progress. I’ve used repeated patterns & a variety of natural yarns (always bought at discount from websites) — 100% cotton, cotton/linen blends, 100% wool, wool/alpaca blends, 100% bulky silk, silk blends. In addition the past 2 months I’ve completed 4 shawls (started 2 to 3 years ago), so I can wear to concert & plays. I retired 2 1/2 years ago from teaching/subbing, so I do have TIME for this hobby. Sunday I started scarves using ladder ruffle yarn of wool & mohair (22 yds/skein), which I used 1/2 & took only about 15 minutes to “chain” crochet each of 4 different colors. I’m BUSY! I love to try new yarns & often create my own pattern designs. Sarah in Minneapolis

  • Anne Newton says:

    You may like to visit the Basketmakers of Victoria one Wednesday or Sunday from 10 til 3 and you’ll get lots of inspiration and assistance with your change of direction and handles with your beautiful coiled & stitched basket. The Cottage is at Wattle Park, Riversdale Road, Burwood.
    Basketry is back in fashion and has become the next big thing in art and craft. A raft of fabulous international and Australian basketmakers are teaching in Victoria in 2015 and Victoria is the host State for the National Basketry Gathering in March 2015.
    Phone me if you’d like any other info 0412 573 631.

  • Sophie says:

    I’ve rediscoveredy love of craft recently. After 5 years of madly trying to craft and raise money for paediatric stroke – my daughter suffered a stroke at 3 – I’ve decided to take the pressure off and craft for fun. I’m still a novice and so it’s nice to learn things slowly rather than feel a need to immediately perfect my skills so that the item is saleable. Today I made my now 8 year old some cuffed denim shorts with jeans buttons and hidden fly. She loves them and I feel like I’ve accomplished something a bit awesome. Thanks Cintia for your guidance and passion and talent – it’s come at a great time for me! X

  • Mick says:

    If you find knitting stressful, why work on such a difficult project (leg warmers)? I have taken up knitting after 40 yrs off and switching from metal, plastic needles to wood circular have been helpful to me. Non-wood needles just added to my frustration w/tension (yarn). I have even tried crocheting (w/t-shirt yarn) which I, in the past, avoided because I found I “didn’t get it”. Now I ‘get it’ (whatever it is), it clicked. I knit hats, on circular needles (simple patterns) with the last rows switching to 3 dp needles. I’m not real clear on this part, but because I don’t “get it” I wing it. I really need to watch some Youtube on this to better understand.
    Good luck

    • I’m actually really enjoying the challenge and even though I’m progressing slowly they are coming along ant I’ve learned a lot. Maybe the fact that I really wanted a pair of legwarmers was what i needed to spur me on.

  • Shara says:

    I really enjoyed this post 🙂 I also have a crafty career and need to remind myself occasionally to do something that’s just for me and has nothing to do with work, and it always reignites any joy that may have faded a little whilst work-crafting 🙂 Your basket weaving is so beautiful! I saw the results of the basket weaving course in Healesville on Instagram and have been so inspired! 🙂
    Your leg warmers are brilliant introduction to knitting in the round, and the yarn is perfect for something not “ballet pink” 🙂 I offered some unsolicited knitting advice on your leg warmer picture on IG, I hope you don’t mind!? I get very excited & happy when someone takes on a new knitting challenge and sometimes I can’t help but offer advice 🙂 Thanks again for a really enjoyable post 🙂

  • Beth says:

    On your leg warmers, you should try your hand at double needle tunisian. It’s great for making leg warmers! (I have just made myself a set without a pattern even, though granted they’re a bit different size wise. LoL, I just started with a circle of single chain that fit around my heel and began that way. The other side I added a few more chains because the first was fairly tight. As you go, add a few stitches every 4th stitch about when it’s ‘time’ for calves, etc. Then tighten up when you near the end of them. I’m sure there’s a pattern or three out there as well, if you feel more comfortable with that.

    I know, this doesn’t help your knitting concerns, but you could do one of each and see which you prefer. 😉 Then you have two sets. 😀

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