Handmade 2014: Double Day Pass Giveaway!

May 15, 2014

The awesome people at Handmade have give us two Day Passes to give away! Hooray!


All week i've been struggling to decide what sort of challenge I should set for you to enter the draw. I started thinking about learning new things and the challenges we face when attempting to learn a new skill or improve on our ability to make stuff. 

I find my most interesting stories come from my failures. I'll point out my mistakes to illustrate how it can be done better, share the imperfections to demonstrate that you shouldn't do it the way I did. 


The reason i'm giving away two passes, is so there's one for you and you can drag a friend along and share a fun day of learning. Of course you don't have to tell me if you decide to use both for yourself and make an indulgent weekend of it. A day pass gets you into 4 whole classes so you can really squish in some fun.

So, the deal is:

1. Leave a comment telling me about your worst craft disaster. Or, if not your worst, at least your funniest. 

2. Comment by 5pm Wednesday 21 May

3. Draw will be made at 10am Thursday 22 May, and winner will be advised by email


Good luck! And if you need some class-choosing inspiration, i've put together a couple of posts as food for thought. 


Ts & Cs: You may choose any classes you like as long as there are spots available and within the terms of the Day Pass, sorry folks no staff or staff families can enter, comments required by 5pm Wednesday 21 May, one entry per person, winners must arrange own way to Wellington.




Rebecca said:

Worst disaster? Three stitches from finishing a birthday present (the next day) ….. then the puppy hops on the couch and gets caught in it…….no words…..


jess said:

Does not even starting count as failure? In 2008, I decided I would get back into painting. Bought some acrylics and little canvases, and now, six years later, I have packed them while moving to four different countries without even opening the tubes, let alone painting anything. :|

Shona Atkinson Bird

Shona Atkinson Bird said:

I made a Bargello quilt a few years ago, and then had quilted it. Was so proud of it and it was stunning, but it did have a few blood spots from me pricking myself while hand quilting. I threw it in my washing machine (front loader) and left for work with a note to my mum to hang the quilt on the line back facing up so it would fade the front. Came home to find my mum sneaking out really quickly. Went to bring the quilt in and was horrified, because I had just thrown the quilt in the washing machine, my front loader heats water and it had wool batting in it. So it went from a twin size to a just bigger than a cot size. I was in tears, as it was all my fault for being in a hurry. My mothers dog though has a lovely quilt in her kennel.

Helen McLean

Helen McLean said:

Taking ‘craft’ in its widest definition, towards the ’handmade ’ end. I collected wild blackberries and made my first ever batch of jam. When it was all beautifully set in jars, I put my knife in to hit solid rock, had to throw it all out – including the jars. Very disappointed and put off jam making for many years.


sandra said:

I was making a dress for myself out of material i had been coveting for a long time. I cut it what i thought was my size but it was a little small so i let out all the seams and it just fit. The i put the sleeves in twice to get them right. Finally when putting the zip in the back there ended up being a 1.5cm difference at the top. But i kept perservering, finally i tried it on – i looked like i was poured into a sausage casing and the sleeves were so tight i could not lift my arms above 90degrees. Worst sewing ever


Sharron said:

Made a hat for my new niece without checking gauge etc. Proudly gave it to the new parents who tried it on and it fell over her eyes. It was big enough to fit a 5 year old!!!


Caitlin said:

I made my friends baby a little vest and hat with orange dinosaur spikes running down the back. I was so so proud but thought that the hat was maybe a bit small. This was the first thing I had ever given to anybody so I was super nervous.

I gave it to them and the hat wouldn’t even fit on a doll, let alone a 6 month old baby. His parents tried forcing it on but the band wouldn’t even get close to the whole way across his head. Plus it had taken me so long to knit it that he wore the vest about three times before it was too small.

Im only giving people scarves now. Forever.


Kristina said:

Bath bombs. How hard can they be to make, right? Excited, my friend and I bought the moulds and ingredients and made a craft date…

Several bombs in, I noticed that one of them was fizzing… aaagh too much witch hazel! I grabbed a desk fan, hoping if we dried them out quickly the premature fizzing would stop. I think it actually made them fizz faster.

My next brilliant idea was to put them in the oven for some serious drying power. They freaking BUBBLED like hokey pokey!

In the end, we took them out of the oven, broke them up, and called them bath salts… But we never tried to make bath bombs again.


Jess said:

A couple of weeks ago I was finishing I knitted cowl for someone’s birthday, it was the night before and I had discovered making your own material buttons, so after the knitting was finished I was sewing them in , it was one of those weeks where you are just tired! I was up to my last button and I sewed it on it was late and the deadline was the next day, I got the scissors to cut the thread off the last sewn in button and somehow I managed to cut my knitting right through my moss or seed stitch border, always get those two mixed up. I could have cried , it was the moment where you either take a deep breath get a needle and fix it or you fly into a rage and put your fingers where you cut the wool and destroy it! Thank fully that night it was the deep breath! Lovely cowl finished although the first button i sewed on went through the button hole so you can’t undo it, but that just means you know you made it ! And the fix it was under the other buttons so no one else will know


Jo said:

Until today my worst disasters have been shawls – I just jump in and think somehow anything I do will work out. I got my club wool and club pattern and cast on almost immediately. First time. I never used a stitch marker – I didn’t know what they were (mum was at my house lately and said she’d seen an earring lying and put it in a safe place, but it was a now used stitch marker)). I’d also never heard of a lifeline, other than in the utility operator context. So somewhat unsurprisingly my first attempt was a failure – and those rows are soooo long – it took a while before I realised. My second attempt was a bit more successful – but I lost it soon after it was finished. So I am now shawlless. But, probably by biggest failure was the cardigan my daughter wore for a winter when she was a baby – and today almost 18 months later when I was getting a bag of clothes ready to hand-on I realised that the sleeves were not in the right place on the back OR the left and right fronts were different sizes. In my then sleep-deprived state I thought something was a bit odd, somewhere in the back of my mind …

Nikki S

Nikki S said:

I was trying my hardest to make a unique pinata for my daughters birthday. Paper mache was not as easy as I remember it being when I was younger but then I was holding it all wrong when I had the super glue trying to sick on eyes and the superglue squirted out all over my hands, hair and face. It was a total disaster. It needed scissors and a lot of makeup


George said:

When I was first learning to spin, on my brand-new-second-hand wheel, I decided to try out some local alpaca, because it was so lovely. I filled two bobbins only to find that there was nowhere near enough twist, and all the fibre hand clumped together in a big old mess.


Rochelle said:

My worst disaster which remains evident in a wedding photo is when I sewed the material for one of the side panels of a friends wedding dress the wrong side facing. It went unnoticed at the fitting. It wasn’t until the day of the wedding after the ceremony when we were outside and about to have the photos that I saw to my horror that one panel looked different. Needless to say I’ve never tackled anything as important as a wedding dress ever again


Lisa said:

I’m a firm believer in fudging, but one particular craft disaster left me nothing to work with. It was the macrame years. I’d painstakingly knotted metres and metres of dun-coloured jute into … I don’t even remember what – probably a pot plant hanger. Deciding on creamy white for the finished article, I left it soaking in a bucket of bleach. Alas! I left it way too long. The bleach did its thing, and kept on going. It ate away at all those fibres until they were no more. When I finally pulled it from the bucket, the poor forlorn mess just disintegrated in my hands.

Ms T

Ms T said:

Ooh, where to start. There was the time 7-year-old me picked up my mother’s needlepoint to give it a go. Now I know that I was using the wrong stitch, but at the time it seemed like I was doing just fine. Fortunately, my mother just took several deep breaths and decided it was time for the sprog to get her own needlepoint to work on. (And really she only had her own crafty genes to blame.)

Or there’s the time I discovered that some wool has a mind (and will) of its own. I’d decided I’d make a hat for my friend’s birthday and that I’d have my first ever go at a) lace and b) using a circular needle. Yeah – gift + time limit + new skills = well, that was going to go well, wasn’t it? The first year ended in an IOU. The second year, after fortifying myself with lessons in lace knitting AND using circular needles (thanks, Tash!) and knitting a practice repeat in another yarn, I finally had to concede defeat at around 2 in the morning. I was especially mystified because the practice run had gone so well. And then the light dawned – it wasn’t the pattern (or even the knitter), it was the yarn! That yarn did not want to be that hat! The stash was raided and 8 hours later – yes, I did pull an all-nighter – the hat was done.

P.S. The yarn of doom still lurks within my stash awaiting something that is more to its liking.


Hannah said:

My disaster has to be my first cardigan for myself. I just kept on knitting, sure that it wasn’t too big, sure that the pattern would work out, trusting that it would all be OK… until it was all done, just waiting on the sleeves to be seamed. When I tried it on, at 38 weeks pregnant I had to admit that if it was too big for me then, it would NEVER EVER fit me again! That thing sat under the spare bed for months until my mum offered to unravel the lot.

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