My ADD Crafting Spoiled – By Traffic!

So many of my podcast acquaintances are major multi-crafters. They not only knit and or crochet, but do a ton of other stuff, like spin, sew or weave. I have thought about getting involved with each of these crafts, but I’ve not yet taken to one in particular.

Sewing

I taught myself to sew back in the late 80s. And I mean totally taught myself. This was long before You Tube or Craftsy, or any of that stuff. I bought a small Brother machine, read the instructions, and as most teenagers do, fearlessly just started seaming stuff together. I made a big blanket for my then-boyfriend (and by blanket, I mean some big squares sewn together with some batting between – this was NOT quilting), and I had a lock on drawstring barrel bags, one of which I still have today. Not exactly practical except for something like a change of clothes after soccer practice, but cure all the same. Then I went to college and all that, and I have NO idea what even happened to that machine. Like most of my stuff I left at my mom’s, I am sure someone got it for a steal at Goodwill.

I took a great little sewing class over at Fabric Bliss in Denver last year. The intro class included sewing a tote bag, and I have a thing for bags. Mine was particularly adorable – see below. The next class was on boxy bags, like sock project bags, and I had every intention of taking it, but my schedule just didn’t allow me to do so before the end of the year.

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Here’s the thing about sewing – it requires precision. You have to measure, cut and sew ON THE LINES, and be pretty accurate. It requires patience. To get a glance inside my personality, you should know I don’t do things like outline blog posts, or make talking points before I give a speech. I just go with the flow. Precision and patience just are not my forte. Also, sewing requires space and a whole lotta tools. Not just good scissors, but a marking board, and an iron (seriously – an iron?), and accessories.

Needless to say, sewing and I don’t have a future. I’ll just buy your project bags off etsy, so keep up the great work!

Spinning

Then there’s spinning. That seems really cool. Make your own yarn! And with all the podcasters talking about how much they are able to spin, it seems fun and actually sort of easy with practice.

This has been on my radar for a few years. When Knit Picks first came out with their drop spindles and some videos, it looked SO easy. Then there’s the Instragram enabling, where people seem to be able to sit and spin (on a drop spindle) at their kids’ swim meets. I could totally do that. I ordered a learn to spin kit from Hilltop Cloud, and patiently awaited its arrival from the UK. I told my foodie friends on Facebook that they may grow their own herbs, but I was going to spin my own yarn.

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#fail. I tried a few times. I watched a zillion videos. I tried and tried, and I was not great at it. OK – I sucked. I know, I know – practice 15 minutes a day to get better. But that’s 15 minutes I could be knitting, so the box remains in the craft cave. Many people say that spindle is much harder than spinning on a wheel, and a part of me that says I could totally do that, but the other part of me thinks that the hundreds of dollars I’d spend on a wheel could be spent on vacation at Stitches. Or on beer on the beach. Next….

Weaving

So this was it. Weaving! I could start small with a super low investment, and I could make some cool tartan scarves and stuff. One of my favorite local yarn shops, The Recycled Lamb, has a huge weaving selection and a ton of classes. Done. This was going to be my new craft.

I started trolling for a simple 10 -15″ loom – the Cricket Loom, so I could just try it out. I used to bead and weave in high school (gosh, I really was crafty), but I never really got into weaving. When I lived in Phoenix, the mother of one of my clients was a Navajo weaver, and I always wanted to be able to create something a fraction as beautiful as her art.

Score – I found a Cricket Loom on Craigslist for $60. Less than half of retail, and it was just up the road in Ft. Collins. I was off work early on Friday, so it would be easy for me to head up there – a quick 45 minute drive – and back, and still have time to make dinner and the like.

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Except there was traffic. For the entire 40 miles on northbound I-25. One teeny, tiny accident, but loads of traffic. And I didn’t have the number of the seller – she had mine, but she hadn’t sent me hers. We were supposed to meet between 4 and 4:45 pm. Traffic had finally opened up at 3:50, when she called. She decided she couldn’t wait, and if I could be there by 4:00, she could wait, but no longer. So I pushed it faster. And she left. Right as I pulled into where we were supposed to meet, she called me and told me she had left and I could come back the next day for it. It was 4:06.

I took it as a sign from the crafting universe. I wasn’t meant to spend that money on a loom.

Traffic was even worse going home, and the normal hour drive took nearly twice as long. And I was annoyed.  I spent part of that money on pizza for dinner, and another part on a new Vera Bradley handbag from the outlet. Dang it, Universe!

Knitting and Crochet

And so….for now, I really am not so much of an ADD Crafter. I knit. Upon occasion, I crochet. I don’t even cast on that many simultaneous projects, because I get anxious around them!

That said, I did just learn about the Xyron Sticker Maker, and I may go down that rabbit hole for a bit. I’m so obsessed with my Erin Condren (affiliate link) planner, and learning I can make stickers so easily could be a slightly dangerous thing. And I can’t wait….stay tuned!

#GetOffMyNeedles

I’m rather impressed by folks who can have 7, 15, or heck – even 30 WIPs. Having several projects going simultaneously makes me anxious. I know that sounds silly, but we all have different, random, and often silly triggers, no?

The other day I had three pair of socks, two shawls, one scarf, and (technically) two sweaters on my needles. I also wanted to cast on one or two additional shawls. Then I realized I have a goal of 15 pair of socks in 2015, it is nearly mid-February, and I have completed none. Zero. Zilch. I can usually tear through a pair of socks in 10 days or so. I also had wanted to finish my Brickless shawl for Valentine’s Day, and I was maybe 30% in, and the yarn cake looked like I hadn’t knit 50 yards!

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This wasn’t an inspiring feeling at all. It was somewhat overwhelming. I feel less inspired to work on any of the projects when there are so many in progress. Part of it is my ADD – where I just look at things and can get overwhelmed. That’s definitely not the feeling I want in knitting!

So I resisted the urge to cast on all the things, and focused on getting a few off the needles.

First of all, I had to finish my vanilla socks. IMG_1281.JPGMade from some really old stash yarn, they are cute, but the colors really don’t do much for me. The pinkish-red is kinda gross. But they are a super simple knit, and I only had the leg to do, so it was an easy knit. Except for the darn 1×1 ribbing on the cuff.  I also had to get them off the needles because my white project bag REALLY needed a bath – I mean, who uses a white project bag for car knitting- where you throw the bag on the floor when not using it. In Colorado. In the winter. Duh.

Done. I actually wove in all then ends and got them washed last night. They came out pretty cute, and the yarn bloomed up.

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Next was the Brickless. I bought some pink yarnIMG_1275.JPG and was in love with it at the store. Then I realized it had a ton of orange in it, and while knitting, it felt like lace weight (it was nowhere near lace, but it just felt that way). Add to it the fact that I had to frog the whole thing because I forgot to be a leftie (SSK rather than K2Tog) on the lace portion, and I was less than inspired. But it is a Valentine’s Day knit, so I had to finish it.

IMG_1285.JPGI went from slogging through this knit – so sure that I was going to have to add another repeat to it, in order to use all my yarn, to playing yarn chicken. I actually brought my scale downstairs last night and weighed the yarn after each lace repeat. I knew I wasn’t going to have enough for the final pattern repeat, but I did as much as I could of it, and cast off with about 10 yards to spare. For a knit I wasn’t loving, I think I like how it turned out. I really have to block it – this soft yarn doesn’t hold any shape, so it will be interesting to see what it looks like – it definitely wasn’t the best yarn/pattern pairing.

Right now, I think it looks lovely on my middle dog, Veruca Salt.

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Once I finished my Vanilla Socks, I packaged up a new pair. This one would be either vanilla or slipped stitch using my The Lemonade Shop Stormy Day. And then I looked at the stack of project bags on my floor. There were quite a few. And while I could have cast on and started some toes, I decided to focus on my current projects instead. I mean, how many pair of socks does one need concurrently?

The goal of this week is to get at least one pair of socks off the needles (I’m looking at you, Avalanche), so I can cast on Another Door Opens, and ideally those Stormy Day socks!

Meanwhile, it’s back to work, where I also have several half-finished projects and need some inspiration to finish those as well! No pressure or anything.

 

Good Lord, I Am Boring

Like so many other folks, I put some 2015 goals on paper a few weeks ago. They are totally benign, like do a Half Ironman Tri, and declutter the house. And of course, the majority of them were about knitting.

One of those knitting goals is to start a podcast. Like Jen over at Commuter Knitter, I find myself talking to podcasters while I listen in the car. As if they can hear me. Also, I like to hear myself talk. Clearly.

Today I took the baby step of downloading a podcast and mixing app for my phone. I figure I can practice for a while, knowing I use a lot of speech crutches. I mean, I have a lot to say, I know I do.

Newsflash: I am boring. Really, really boring. And talking about myself is hard. Really, really hard. Did I mention I’m boring? Seriously.

So in the mean time, I’ll work on updating the blog, and I’ll keep talking to myself while I sit in traffic on the way home, and perhaps I’ll learn to be a little bit better of a verbal story teller. Baby steps, right?

Perspective

The last week has been a tough week.

The man lost a good friend, and then one of his former MLB players, only one year his senior, passed away yesterday, way too young.

Today marks the second anniversary of my nephew’s suicide.

And today, I met my friend’s mother. As a guest in our shelter.  (more…)

Fear and Loss

The man hasn’t been feeling well as of late. We first thought it was his gallbladder. He lost about 30 pounds pretty quickly during our 90 Day Challenge, and that can bring on gallbladder troubles.  After lots of tests and trips to specialists, it isn’t his gallbladder, but they don’t know what it is.

(more…)

Courage

One isn’t born with courage, one develops courage. You develop it by doing small, courageous things, things that cause some mental and spiritual exertion. – Maya Angelou

Sometimes (Albeit Rarely), It’s Not About Me

Me in 1991 and 2013

Me in 1991 and 2013

Every time I set foot on my private high school campus, I suffer a major panic attack. Not for any real reason. I mean high school sucks for everyone. We’re goofy adolescents, and there’s seemingly unlimited drama.

I had some great friends in high school, and I still keep in touch with a few of them – the ones I want. That’s what Facebook is for, right? There were about 44 people in my graduating class, and I keep in touch with about 4 of them. For the rest of the class, I really have no feelings.

Except for total panic. (more…)

Beyond the 90 Day Challenge

November, 2013 to May, 2014

November, 2013 (look at that GUT) to May, 2014

Well, I’m back after a little blogging hiatus. I’d like to say it was because I was SO busy with a special event at work, which I was. In part. I’d like to say it was because I was SO busy hitting the gym at least two mornings during the work week, which I was. In part. I’d like to say it was because I wrote a kick ass post on productivity apps over at CarriePackard.com, which it was. In part. But really, it was because I simply have had nothing to really write about. I haven’t been really inspired, which is good and bad. I don’t have anything I really needed to rant about, and I didn’t have anything really exciting to share. So I simply didn’t.  (more…)

It’s better to look good than to feel good, I always say.

Well, I don’t always say that, Billy Crystal did during a time when Saturday Night Live didn’t suck. Here’s a classic clip of him with George Steinbrenner that I love.

Anyway, that’s kinda where I am in this 90 Day Challenge thing. I think I’m looking pretty good! My jeans are sliding on effortlessly, and I don’t mind the whole eating healthy thing.  For the most part. (more…)

This Post is About Poop. Yep.

Kinda. OK – this post involves poop in relation to weight loss. Because it makes a difference on weigh in day. Seriously.

So far, so good on this 90 Day Challenge thing. I’ve been hitting the gym four days a week, and increasing my lifting. On Saturday, I was silly and did three sets of 30 lunges, because it felt just fine at the time. I couldn’t get myself out of a chair, and I was a lost cause getting off the sofa or out of the Snaab. It was a great feeling though, to know that I pushed myself for a change. While I’ve been eating pretty darn well, I haven’t been pushing the weights as much as I could or should.

Which brings us to another Tuesday, and another weigh-in day. (more…)

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