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.
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.
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!
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.
#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….
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.
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!