17 Jan 2012

Hestia's Drawer of Shame

So, my good friend Ania bought me a book on Glamorous Knits for my Christmas.  You've got to love my friend's faith in me - she actually expects me to knit something from the book.  She actually CHALLENGED me to knit something from it.

'I'm a bit shit at knitting.' I confessed on facebook.

'Do you want me to organise a knit-along with my daughter, to keep you company?' came back the reply.

Reader, her daughter is 9 years old.  Not even *I* can take being bitch-slapped by a 9-year old at knitting.

'Find me some wool.' I asked - utterly clueless.  One doesn't call it wool any more, it is YARN.

Viv, another crafting genius with more faith in me than is good for her, found a lovely wool yarn and with some clever recalculations from Ania regarding how many balls I would need, I ordered - right then and there - before I could change my mind.

The wool yarn arrived and it was gorgeous! I couldn't WAIT to get cracking - so off I trundled upstairs to find knitting needles in the correct size.  It's funny that, isn't it?  You don't knit, but you are fairly sure that somewhere in your home you WILL find the right-sized needles for your project.....

Anyway reader, I came across a TON OF SHAME.  And because I am prepared to share EVERYTHING with you (other than the spartan details of my cob-web filled sex-life) here is My Drawer Of Shame......

This is a supermarket bag so old that the supermarket no longer exists. It is filled with jewellery made for a craft fair.  Now, this must have been around 1993, just after Tartarus and I separated.  I was looking for things to do and went to an art class. With my mother.  There I met the most wonderful artist called Linda and at some point she persuaded me to take a stand at a local craft show.  I made loads of jewellery from fimo plastic (you melt it in the oven or boiling water).  I did it for charity.  The earrings were £2.00 per pair.

Another plastic bag - this time filled with bits of material.  I can tell from the patterns that this was the 1980s.  Tartarus had bought me a sewing machine for my Christmas and I bought lots of material to experiment with.  The following summer, we got engaged and went to Greece on holiday.  I had made myself several pairs of shorts - long shorts, almost like skirts.

It was only a few months ago that he confessed that he had hated those shorts and wondered about the wisdom of getting engaged to someone that would not only MAKE such monstrosities, but actually WEAR them.

Threads for a long-forgotten embroidery project.  I keep 'em neatly, don't I?

This is an Indian outfit.  Purchased at a wee charity shop in Shawlands in Glasgow where there is a big Asian community.  I think it's a very full skirt and a sort of veil.  I thought it might be a good Tarot reading outfit for when I wanted to turn on the 'bling'.  I washed it by hand and pretty much ruined it.  But thought that I 'could do something with it'. Think this was about 2003. I 'haven't done anything with it.'

Cut up denim for a rag-rug.  Which never made it out of the carrier bag.  You cut/rip into strips and braid together.  Then you wind into a cartwheel and stitch in place.  Yeah, that's the THEORY.  Again, this is a 1990s project, I'm sure.

Red ladybird fluffy stuff, purchased when Sonshine was in a pushchair and was SUPPOSED to recover a small granny-ish looking footstool. I thought I'd change it into a furry ladybird.  I don't know WHAT I was thinking.  But I clearly didn't do it and the footstool became my bum-rest for my intermittent bouts of meditation.

This is one of the projects I am most ashamed of - it was an embroidery kit. For a pram cover.  Just for the record, he's going to be 12 this year.  I was enjoying the sewing....until I started watching Gone With The Wind whilst sewing and instead of that balloon going UP the way, I started sewing it ALONG the way.  The unpicking almost broke my heart.  It certainly broke my spirit and the project was shelved.  But it really is beautiful.

Knitting patterns.  Are these yours, cos they're not mine.  So Eighties.  I did actually persuade someone to knit me that checkerboard style jumper.  I wore it to death.  It was blue and pink. I *know*.  My taste is dubious.  But it was the 80s and none of us had taste, right?

The Bag.  This is the bag that, in the event of my death, one of you must immediately remove and destroy all the contents. It is full of bad poetry, love letters, break up letters, valentines, poems written to me in Elvish....yeah, can you Burn Without Reading please.

Tadaaaaah!  A tapestry cushion cover.  Of my own design.  For a cushion.  Clearly never made it any further than off the frame.  But ALMOST finished.  1990s.

Another shameful project.  A Disney picture that was supposed to be for Sonshine.  It came with a Setifikit from Disney and EVERYTHING - Even the correct Disney colours for Pooh.  I don't even know where this embroidery project is, but the threads and the pattern are in a Somerfield bag in The Drawer Of Shame.....

But putting all THAT aside - I did find the right-sized needles and began the Knitting Project:

Here's my knitting project on Day 1:

And here it is today..... Day 4:

I have GREAT hopes that this one will be completed.  Great hopes.......

So, am I the only Bad Crafter In The Village - or do any of you have a similar Drawer of Shame?


  1. My dear, you'd make a rubbish murderer - you're supposed to destroy the evidence .....

  2. I usually throw my unfinished projects out almost immediately, cruel but much neater. I'm really impressed with your collection though, it gives me a vicarious pleasure - what could have been.

  3. Oh God.
    I have the same parallel bags and boxes and drawers full of the same unfinished stuff. I have an embroidered picture,1/3rd done, with rusting needle still stuck in it, I began in '85 after a rather nasty break up with a psychopath(don't ask). I kid myself I will finish it one day but as it is on black cloth, my eyesight is not up to it now...
    But I keep things, because I am sure on day, they will either be finished or I will reuse them.

  4. I love these. All of them. Is it wrong that I want them? I have a full suitcase of shame.

  5. LOL Actually, my daughter is 8 years old :D

  6. Look, Ania, don't make this any WORSE for me. EIGHT - and makes jewellery and managed to complete her junior NaNoWriMo of 9,000 words???? Does she plan to run for Parliament?

    M - show me your suitcase of shame.

    Zen - oooh anything on black is an eyesight killer! But finish ONE of those unfinished projects this year?!

    Kim - I keep thinking that I'll go back to them. But I never do...

    Viv - I hazn't actually DONE the murder yet - honestly, he's away back to work. But I know where there's a space in the loft that has a 5' drop that you would NEVER know was there and will be ideal for the body. Until it starts to drip.

    Ali x

  7. There is a unique shame to finding things in the craft drawer that were never even taken out of the shopping bag. I've been there.

  8. Patience - as long as you shove the bag under the bed and never look at it, it's not so bad. But when it builds up to the level that you are hiding them in drawers....it's time to take action.

    I may attempt to complete one or more of these abandoned projects in 2012 lol!


  9. Oh Ali - I tend to chuck things out or recycle where possible otherwise things like this get me down. 'Wadders' they're called apparently - I love a new word!

    Your new knitting looks fantastic and as you say that's beautiful wool/yarn LOL! Keep at it - the book looks great! xxx

  10. Oh. My. God. Ali. I actually thought you'd been round my house and had been at my cupboards!

    I have fimo jewellery in a drawer.
    I had that knitting, started when DD was a baby...half finished jumper in beautiful pink "yarn", size 6 months (shes now 14.
    I have not only some embroidery wool in a tin, but a cross-stitch I started before DD was born...destined for her nursery...its beautiful but half finished.
    I also have the material and while you managed a Celtic knotwork cushion, I still only have the pattern for one I designed as a rug.

    And that's just the tip of the ice-berg.

    Your secret's safe with me...one for all and all for one...as long as you dont expect me to finish anything ;)

  11. Sage - *clutches her to my bosom* We're not alone, look, loads of folk are rubbish at finishing things!!!!

    Mrs E - Actually chucking them out would be the best idea, but see then I'd need to admit that I Failed. And I hate doing that. So if I just think about them as not finished 'et', then it's aaaaalllll ok!


  12. ''ideal for the body. Until it starts to drip''

    It's why clingfilm was invented.

  13. I think the shorts story made me laugh the most, although I do wonder how your carrier bags have survived so long. After thinking I had Mice in an upstairs cupboard I now realise that Tesco carrier bags do indeed disintegrate after a few years and one filled with old second hand uniform decided to do just that as I walked across the playground to donate it to the school one day!

  14. ali, at first i thought you meant "drawers of shame" which would have been my 20's, but no, i don't have one: we've been moving roughly once a year for almost a decade, so i have nothing extraneous in my stuff.

    but wait, let's be honest shall we? i have a large bin filled with paint, pencils, books and canvases on which i USED to paint nudes (and not too shabbily if i do say so myself). i have not produced a painting in years. i suck. but because everyone knows me as An Artist i keep this stuff hoping that one day...one sunny day...

  15. Are you kidding? Our house is full of unfinished projects stashed away in bags under tables and in drawers. Our house is an unfinished project for christ's sake. Bring some with you, we can have an unfinished projects party and invite some friends.

  16. Ali - This made me laugh! I have an embroidery tea cloth that I started in 1994. The only thing left to do is the centers of the flowers - four little stitches each. But it's really tedious, unlike working on the vines and leaves, so I haven't done that part. Maybe I'll just use fabric paint to make the centers and call it done . . . .

  17. It's so reassuring when other people leave a trail of unfinished and abandoned projects. Makes you feel better about your own half-finished and not even started plans.

    I used to work for a textile and yarn importer many years ago and I can assure you that, at least in the World of Wool, c. 1990, in the northwest of England, your use of the word "wool" is entirely correct. Fusspots would point out that knitting wool is often not pure wool, but the word "wool" was used to indicate yarn intended for the domestic market, whereas "yarn" was used for thread used commercially.

    Crikey no wonder I never had a girlfriend the whole time I was doing that job.

  18. Loony -deep knowledge of yarn should net you a few admirers, surely!? I know who to come to for queries over a pint!

    Unknown - get that project finished. Think how virtuous you will feel on completion ! Like a cross between the virgin Mary and Martha Stewart :)

    Wally -sounds like a plan!

    Polish chick - THOSE drawers are long gone (see old blog post about burlesque! Lol.). I demand to see some Art!

    Mrs fab -carrier bags either disintegrate within weeks or outlive methuselah!

    Viv -don't give away ALL your murder tips!

  19. I don't know whether my partner would be reassured that I am not the only hoarder of unfinished, hopeful and doomed projects... or not. I know it drives him mad. You really made me laugh.
    Must get on. Have a pair of curtains to make (fabric sitting around for maybe three years already...). Oh dear.

  20. I have a cupboard of doom. It is slightly more organised, but in no way more finished, than your drawer.

    Remember the beautiful embroidery I did for my SIL? That looked very accomplished? Well, it was supposed to be a whole tablecloth with four of that design on!

    Better to start and not finish than never to try!

  21. LM - a cupboard of doom, I LIKE it! That embroidery project was VERY ambitious, and it was LOVELY when you finished it. I was well impressed!

    Louise - pull yourself together and get on with making those curtains *boom-tish*


  22. oh my! I went to art college, my whole life is an ufinished project.......I once made a (very small) living making fimo jewellry also with highly-toxic-off-yer-head-resin and broken Christmas balls....oh bring back the 80s!! But I do love to knit .....see my arm warmers in last year's Wuthering Heights.... especially baby stuff so I don't get bored. I have an old pattern book that shows you how to knit gentlemen's underpants ........ your knitting looks fab, loving the yarn.........x

  23. My house is too small for a drawer or cupboard so they are scattered throughout. However one project does stand a chance of being finished now as I have a deadline and that might inspire FEAR. But it involves finding my sewing machine, buying osme xtra fabirc and thread and finding some motivation so it probably won't.


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