Sunday, 16 May 2010

New faces, gifts and more ...

I (Crafty) literally don't know where to start.

Friday was possibly our most exciting meeting yet! I expect this post will come across just as jumbled as my head but I am not sure I even care. I just want to get it all out on the page.

So, um ... the most exciting element has to have been welcoming the first Crafty Baby, Nathaniel Joel who arrived on Tuesday and came along with his big sister and Mum and Dad for a drink at this week's ACC. As a group, our welcome gift has yet to materialise but Trago Lounge did not let us down. The staff bought the family a box of chocolates and a card to welcome Nathaniel to the world. We LOVE the staff in Trago, they are like a bonus part of our crafting family.

I saw many faces coming and going this week, I would guess that over 25 people came and went in the two hours I spent attempting to knit another square for Naomi's blanket. There were at least four new faces which was absolutely lovely. A new friend, Lisa came along and she found a stray Karen outside wondering where she should park. They happened to know one another already which was useful because they were both new to our group. I am slightly ashamed to admit that I didn't manage to speak to everybody this week but spent much of my time with Isobel, Jilly and Karen (another new face). I sat chatting with another unfamiliar face and, being utterly useless at these things, I omitted to introduce myself or get her name. How embarrassing?

The gift element arrived with Claire. Apparently our reputation as crafters goes before us. Somebody who had benefited from a box of 1950s patterns and two tubes of needles didn't have the heart to part with them and needed them to go to a good home so they have been left to us all at ACC. For me (and possibly Jilly) the most exciting part of this gift was actually the tubes surrounding the knitting needles. As a graphic designer I really appreciate packaging and typography. The tubes were old girdle tubes, one pink Playtex one, the other a Golden Girdle one. We tipped everything out for people to peruse and tried to get people to take what they wanted but Jilly and myself requested the tubes. Shortly before leaving I braved asking Jilly which one she would prefer so she is having the pink and I inherit the gold. My husband was quite impressed that I had got my hands on one of those and over the weekend I have discovered the reason that illustrative drawings were used in 50s underwear advertising and packaging instead of photography! You may already know this ... but apparently it was because photography would have been seen as titilating or slightly pornographic so illustrations of the women in girdles were used instead.

Anyhow, the birthday girls (Karen and Jilly both celebrated this week) tucked into croissants with their drinks while I knitted, Isobel crocheted, Nathaniel was the parcel in Pass the Parcel, and various other crafts took place. I saw Helen with some more cross stitch, and was aware of knitters and crocheters, I may have started something with this blanket for Naomi as there are three/four more blankets in progress and I suspect Priya *may* embark on one for her next project.

Just as I was toying with going home to do Helen a favour, my good friend Anna came along with Naomi (the recipient of my first ever knitted item). I adopted Naomi for quite some time, we are getting to like each other and I do like a baby that doesn't belong to me. It was lovely to have her just lying on me, taking in the world around her while I chatted with Isobel and Priya about the plans for A Crafty Day.

A Crafty Day is still a work in progress at this stage, but I think we will pull it off and members of A Crafty Coffee will have a real chance to get to know one another better and to try their hands at something different with more time to throw at creativity.

I do hope Coffee will add something to this post because she was on the other side of the group and between us we probably did spend time with everybody who came.

I can't wait to see who turn up with what crafts next week. I am determined NOT TO UNPICK everything I do at ACC next time. As Sarah pointed out, I probably need a t-shirt she has seen emblazoned with the following, "Shh, I'm counting".

TTFN Crafters.

Friday, 7 May 2010

And another...

A second post by Coffee in a row? No! Surely not? It is indeed. I am feeling much better at the moment (although still having lots of ups and downs) and so I am trying to take the pressure off poor Crafty, who is suffering today with ANOTHER of her headaches. Will these bliming headaches never go. Grrrr!

Another Friday, another A Crafty Coffee. I didn't do a headcount (I think we've given up on those - it's a shame really) but we had another good turnout - spreading out onto FOUR tables this week. The Trago Lounge was as welcoming as ever and no doubt plenty of money was spent (ker-ching!). A couple of us even stayed for lunch - yummy!

SJ (my mum :) ) was back from her holiday in France, having managed to make excellent headway with her cardigan - probably due to the peace and quiet she had in the middle of the Mayenne countryside. I on the other hand had barely done any more of my WiP despite it being very simple and easy to do anywhere and in any circumstances.

Crafty was hard at work on her delicious blanket, but sadly was seen towards the end of the morning unravelling all her hard work. What a shame! Still, she had a morning of lusting over a Cath Kidston magazine/catalogue that my lovely CPN gave me this week. Am I leading Crafty into bad ways?

EN (nope, still no baby) and AP were crocheting. AP taught herself how to make granny squares this week, and was expressing her amazement that her teenage daughter was interested in having a crocheted blanket herself!

Sewing? A was working on some very beautiful quilting, and produced the most amazing looking book on crafting and Jane Austen (covet, covet). CK and HK were both beavering away at their cross-stitches which are coming on very well. And LB got a decoration finished! We should have taken a photo (must, must, MUST take photos next week!). LB and EN's littlies had a great time playing with mine and Crafty's keys and pretending to lock us into Trago's, much to the other customers' bemusement.

R joined us right at the end of the morning, having had a very tough time of it recently. She was obviously struggling to keep a brave face on it, but thankfully Crafty produced a hanky and that helped her (I think) to share some of what is going on in her life. Clearly it isn't appropriate to discuss the details here, but it does amaze me how so many people have been brought together with similar issues going on in their lives. And I am also overwhelmed with the way people are able to come to ACC and share such personal stories, and to get love and support from each other. We hope and pray that R has a better few weeks, and gets to see some light at the end of the tunnel with everything that is going on.

Well, sorry to everyone else. I wasn't paying enough attention (must try harder!) but I do know that everyone was working away, as well as chatting. I wish I had had chance to go and have a look at what everyone was up to. Maybe next week....

Hopefully next week we will have some good news to share! Whatever else you do this weekend, enjoy your crafting!

Coffee x

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Long time no post...

Hello. Coffee here. Long time no post. In fact, it is such a long time since I posted I couldn't remember my login details. How bad is that? Sorry Crafty! And thank you for doing such a sterling job during my metaphorical, and sometime literal, absense. You are a star!

Well, Friday saw us back at the Trago Lounge, on the last day of April (can you believe it?) and with still no baby for poor EN, who came with her MIL for support. We had yet another great turn out with ACC spreading over its usual three large table areas. As I was sandwiched in on one of the tables I'm afraid I'll only be able to report what I could see from where I was sitting.

One of the excitements of the morning was the appearance of KB's finished granny square blanket. It was stunning. Lots of colourful squares crocheted together with Aran yarn which gave the blanket a subtle look. The joining technique was admired by many, with a long discussion about whether the 'back' of the work, with its raised pattern, was even better than the front! It is hard to believe that K only learnt to crochet back in January when ACC started. I'm hoping to add in a picture of Crafty with the blanket wrapped around her here. (Coming soon....!)

There were many more blankets in progress. ACC seems to have a craze for them at the moment. Crafty was continuing her beautiful coloured squares, AF was busy conferring with IW on the progress of her 'apple' square, and even I was busy with garter stitch squares for a rough and ready garden blanket which I am working on during my (many) 'brain not quite working' phases.

CK was carrying on with her cross stitch, which, as I glanced over her shoulder, seems to be coming on well. JE also brought cross stitch, but found the low light levels in Trago made it too hard for her to work. She seemed to have a good time chatting to SR though, who in turn was carrying on with knitting a creamy coloured, cotton shrug for herself.

We had a newcomer this week, SA, who I hope felt welcomed. She won't be able to come back for a couple of weeks due to work commitments, but I hope we will see her again after that. She brought the last of a series of four matching cardigans she is knitting for a friend who is expecting twins: one pink, one purple, one light blue and one bright blue. She was working this week on the bright blue one, which was a beautiful colour and matched her skirt! Am I the only one who LOVES it when people's work matches what they are wearing?

SA and I had a good long natter, carrying on long after ACC had officially finished, as S works in an area that is close to what I was previously training to do - a job that I miss very much and an area of life that I am still very passionate about and love to talk about. It was very interesting for me to hear about a slightly different area and an alternative angle on my previous profession.

Well, that's all folks. There was loads more happening at ACC this week, but I'm afraid I didn't pay enough attention to everything that was going on. But, coffee and other beverages were drunk, WIPs were worked on, there was A LOT of chatting and laughter, and, most importantly, relationships were made and strengthened.

TTFN. Coffee xxx