Wednesday 25 August 2021

A Blog is for Life, not Just for Uni!

2016 was the last time I created a blog post as Claire-clutterbug! 5 whole years ago! What have I been up to in that time you may wonder? Studying.

My creative roots are still in all things yarnie, but I have been learning all sorts of new skills on the Artist Designer Maker degree course at Cardiff Metropolitan University and my horizons have broadened somewhat. I have learned metalwork, woodwork, ceramics, has been heaven! But textiles and knitting and crochet are still what make my heart happiest.

My studies have focused on why making is so good for our mental health.  It is something I think all makers instinctively feel but don't necessarily understand. Just look at UK Olympic Diver Tom Daley who has been all over the news and social media with his poolside knitting and crocheting during the Tokyo Olympics. It keeps his mind calm, relieves anxiety,  stops him over-thinking in the most stressful of situations. We might not all be Olympians,  but the mental health benefits of making can help all of us.

I won't bore you with all my academic research into making, but if you are interested in learning more about why knitting, crocheting and making in general across all disciplines makes us feel good, here are a few books that you might like to read: 

Why we Make Things and Why it Matters by Peter Korn

The Case for Working with Your Hands or Why Office Work is bad for us and Fixing Things Feels Good by Matthew Crawford 

Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

They all say it far better than I could put into words in a blog post. 

I will be having a bit of a rebrand to go with the new blog name - freshen things up a bit, but change is nothing to be scared of - lovely new things will be happening. I know it's been a bit confusing with me switching from Claire clutterbug to Claire Maloney art and design to Made for Making,  but that has been my journey and evolution. I have learned a lot over the last few years and want to enable others to make, by not only designing patterns but also setting up an Etsy shop where I will sell hand dyed and spun yarns, ceramic beads and yarn bowls, handmade paper sheets and sketchbooks, hand printed fabrics...things that I have made to enable further making. But that will probably be next year once my studies are complete.

For now, I will share with you the remainder of my academic journey (only the joyful making parts - not the stressy parts!) rather than keeping it between my lecturers and myself on my Uni blog 😊

But that's not really what you came here for is it?! You came here for the love of all things YARN.

So here's a couple of projects I included in my studies, and a couple of new patterns I am about to release on Ravelry in the next couple of days - hope you like them. 

Love & hugs

This is a new unisex cowl knitting pattern I designed based on traditional Welsh Blanket weave patterns. I will be making the pattern available on Ravelry in the next few days.

This is an intarsia cushion cover knitting patternI designed based on photos I took at Elan Valley of reflections in the reservoirs. I dyed my own yarns for this using only natural dyes, including indigo, cow parsley, onion skins, avocado and logwood. Again, I will be making the pattern (chart) available on Ravelry in the next few days. As it is just a chart, it could easily be converted to cross stitch or tapestry.

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