Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A collection of crafts

I worry that I'm a craft collector.  That I stay interested in something only for so long and then drop it only to add another craft.  I started out as an avid pot-holder maker.  I wove so many pot-holders on that little plastic loom I'm surprised it didn't break.  I'm sure there are some of you who received a number of my woven potholders.

Then I became an avid cross stitcher.  I cross stitched all the time.  I made stuff for everyone I know.  I even still have this butterflies on rainbows 4 piece thing I made in the 80s...I have no idea what to do with it as it's too small to be framed.  But I did a good job and it'll impress someone someday so I still have it.

In the meantime I also made these yarn things on a wooden loom mom had.  I think they were pot-holders and placemats.  I found it difficult because tying the knots tight enough was very difficult.  I also did these wonderful little images made with thread and golden pins. You wrapped the thread aroud the pins according to a numbered chart and pattern and it made this awesome picture.  I gave all of those away.  I hope someone still has one or two.   But those crafts didn't stick with me for long.

I also played around with crocheting and made a ton of granny squares.  I have no idea where those ended up.  I was a sloppy crocheter and didn't really know what to do after granny squares, so I gave that up as well.

I decided when I was in college that I wanted to be a quilter.  It took several failed attempts before it finally took hold, but I became quite an avid quilter for a while.  Quilting superceded my interest in cross stitch.  I haven't quilted sersiously since Hurricane Katrina.  I mourned the loss of this craft like I would mourn the loss of a close friend.  I don't know if I'll ever get it back in quite the same way.  I've tried, but it hasn't captured my interest.  I still have lots of fabric and am helping Alyssa learn to piece, but the passion just isn't there in the same way it used to be.

I remember trying my hand at needlepoint one night during the Academy Awards.  After watching the entire awards ceremony, I had completed only about 3 square inches. I decided that needlepoint was way too slow for my tastes....and gave it up only to take to it in a big way many many years later when I needed a mindless craft that felt a lot like coloring with yarn.  I wouldn't say I'm an avid needlepointer, but if you come to my house you might think so by the sheer volume of framed canvases I have hanging around the house.

I always wanted to learn to weave on a "real" loom...and finally in October of 2007 I took lessons.  I was hooked from the first moment I sat at the loom.  I loved weaving.  Unlike the other crafts I took up there were no major failed attempts...there were no stops and starts.  Just 100% passionate time spent at the loom...until I started working heavily on the dissertation.  Now that it's over I plan to become 100% passionate about weaving again.  That's what this week is about.

And knitting entered my life last year. I really struggled at first, but I like it quite a bit for its portability and accessibility.  Most people know someone who knits.  They have knitted clothes and understand the stretchy comforting quality of those items.  I really enjoy slowing down and really looking at and feeling the yarn and seeing the actual shape of a knitted item take place.  It's satisfying to really understand the process of construction.  I'm not avid yet, but it's close :)

I don't know what else is out there for my craft-wise. I have always toyed with the idea of opening a multi-purpose craft shop.  It appears that I would be quite adept at it seeing that I've put my hand into so many crafting pots...

Today's picture is of my work table.  The yarn sometimes speaks to me and tells me what it wants to be.  When it does I pick it up, put it together with all the other yarns that are needed to make magic happen and then I let it sit there and sing until I'm ready to work on it.  You can see that I've been doing quite a bit of dreaming lately and not much weaving.  That pile of yarn will soon become something beautiful.  I promise.  And I'll highlight it here when it does.

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