Tag Archives: crochet

My Hobby is Out of Control

I have dreams like some horror movie.  My fiber stash holds an uprising. Feeling neglected, it comes at me for revenge.  I bet it could smother me with little effort.  I don’t even want to count the yards of yarn, the pounds of fiber, the number of projects I am in the middle of.  I don’t have any idea how many knitting needles or crochet hooks I have.  And I certainly don’t want to have any idea of the amount of money I have spent accruing all of these piles of stuff and methods of storing them.

There are some yarns I am hoarding until something perfect comes up.  I have this beautiful purple/gray yarn that is destined to be a top.  I have some unbelievably beautiful sparkly yarn that is so dark green and purple that it looks black.  That one needs to find just the right project.  Then there are the 5 skeins of softness that would become a sweater, but they are in two different colors and I don’t really want a striped sweater in these colors.  And so these are hoarded.

And sock yarn?  Holy cow do I have sock yarn!  I have two skeins specially dyed for me in deep dark red and black, a lovely lavender, a red white and blue combo that will be super cool when made into socks, a lovely spring green, and many self striping combos.  But I don’t really want to make socks.

Then, there is the fiber stash.  4 pounds of raw alpaca, 6 pounds I came home from yarn school with, the multiple pounds from previous yarn schools, some silk that is too beautiful to risk screwing it up, bamboo with spins amazingly.

I work, I come home, I make dinner, and then I have to decide – what gets my attention until I am ready to fall down for the night.  Do I crochet one of the 3 blankets I am working on?  Do I knit this amazing shawl?  Do I spin what is currently on the wheel?  Sometimes, I just start something new.  Like mittens or socks or washcloths.  Something I could finish quickly but I don’t because by the next night I have forgotten about that.

Or I could draw.  Or paint.  Or sew. Or quilt.  There is too much.  Too much.  But don’t ask me to give any of it up.  It’s just not going to happen.  I swear, one day, I will be done with all the things.  Until then, let me keep worrying that it will attack me in my sleep.

Today’s drawing is Tanglepatterns.com String 027.  Link: http://tanglepatterns.com/2012/11/tanglepatterns-string-027.html

String 27
2014-11-19; tanglepatterns.com, String 027
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It’s a Slippery Slope, My Friends

Arts and Crafts are a slippery slope.  You walk into Michael’s, JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby and see all the stuff.  And it all looks so interesting and easy to do.  Today, I want to tell you about my fall down the side of a steep hill.  Or a jump off of a cliff.  Really, it’s all the same, isn’t it?  But let me start by saying that I was a crafty child and my undergraduate degree is in art.  So the leap was an easy one to make when it came.

I have, in my adult life, always been a quilter.  Quilting is a beautiful expression of art in fabric.  And I am a purist – piecing by machine, quilting by hand.  So my production level was very low.  I did produce some amazingly beautiful pieces – one of which was done entirely by hand, piecing included.  It was a baby quilt for my best friend’s first baby who will be graduating from high school this year.  It is still lovingly referred to in their home as ‘Aunt Maura’s quilt’ and is now put away as an heirloom.  The pride I feel when I hear that is worth every minute spent. In the last five years, however, fibromyalgia has taken over my life.  And most specifically my hands.  The movements and the grip necessary to quilt are no longer possible for me to do.  The devastation I feel about this loss is indescribable.  One of my life’s goals was/is to complete a whole cloth quilt.  I have one started and I just cannot continue.

At Christmas about the same time I was struggling with the realization that my hands were unable to quilt, my sister-in-law offered to teach my daughter to knit.  We bought her a kit for Christmas and Sue began to teach her.  I decided that since Sue would be leaving to fly back home, I should probably learn to knit so that I could help A1 if she should need it.  Ha.  I say again, Ha.  It turned out that the way Sue knit (she’s a thrower) did not work for me.  I was completely confused.  Several hours and YouTube videos later, I was knitting.  And A1 had long since given up.  An addict was born.  I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some needles and some slightly better yarn than Red Heart Super Saver and began making.  And knit and knit and knit.  Many YouTube videos taught me how to do new and exciting stitches.  And then I found Ravelry.  Oh, the love I feel for Ravelry.  Seriously.  I found my people.  They were so passionate about fiber arts and so encouraging about how easy it all was.  (Damned enablers)

Around that time, we moved from Iowa to Kansas.  The house we bought had a baby grand piano in the living room corner when we viewed it.  As we were moving in, a nosy neighbor (I have gotten to know her enough now to call her nosy) asked if we were going to put a piano in the corner also.  No, I replied.  I thought a spinning wheel would look amazing there.  What?  What just came out of my mouth?  I don’t spin.  I don’t want to spin.  There is enough yarn in the stores to knit with!  Within three months, I had a spinning wheel and was starting to produce my own yarn.  I really don’t know how that happened.

By this time, I have several thousand dollars worth of fabric, sewing machines, knitting needles, yarn, spinning wheel and fiber.  And as I am walking through JoAnn’s or Michael’s, a book on crocheting Granny Squares jumps (I swear it jumped) into my cart.  Crochet?  What the hell?  So, now I have crochet hooks and I am studying diagrams on crochet stitches and putting together granny squares.  Guess what?  You can produce a square faster by crocheting than by knitting!  I’m sold!  Today I am working on a blanket for my dad that is going to consist of the International Maritime Signal Flags.  And a star shaped afghan for my husband.  And maybe another blanket just because.  It turns out, I can crank out crochet blanket yardage really quickly using the yarn in my stash that I was unable to knit due to hand strain.  Slippery freakin’ slope.  Next, I think I may want to get a loom and try my hand at weaving.  The husband might just leave me at that point though.  So I am holding off on that for at least a year!

Today’s drawing comes from tanglepatterns.com String 012 – link: http://tanglepatterns.com/2012/08/tanglepatterns-string-012.html  Really not one of my favorites.  But I did promise to give you everything.

String 012
9/12/2014; tanglepatterns.com String 012

Full Disclosure Sunday

As today is Sunday, it seems appropriate to do some sort of confessing of things I have not yet brought up or glossed over lightly on this blog.  I have told you about being unemployed, about the crossroads, some things about the family.  So here are some new things that we need to talk about.

I am, against everything I have ever said, learning to crochet.  Crochet?  Bah, for old ladies!  Knitting is a far superior craft. So what prompted me to want to crochet?  I have no idea.  And it’s not like I really want to do it, I just feel like it’s what I am supposed to be doing.  Shopping at Michael’s last week, a book called The Granny Square Book jumped into my cart.  I swear it jumped.  Really.  So, now I have made my first granny square.  When I posted it on Ravelry, a friend with whom I had a pact to never learn to crochet accused me of ‘premeditated crochet’.  I am guilty.  Guilty.  Cannot be proven innocent.

I am on a diet.  Total cliché there, starting a diet in January.  The diet I am on shall remain nameless, but it does seem to be working.  However it is very expensive.  Do you know how much it costs to lose weight?  Hello!  No wonder it is such a HUGE industry.  I have told the husband that it is my goal to pay for the ‘stuff’ that this diet plan provides until I reach a specific weight which is about 60 pounds less than I was.  60 pounds is a lot of weight.  I have gained over a hundred since graduating from high school.  Granted, I had a serious issue with food and weight (often called an eating disorder) in high school and I needed some extra poundage.  But this brings up my point – did you know that being on a high protein diet makes you have the nastiest gas on the planet?  Holy cow!!  I can’t even stand being around myself.

I don’t like to clean.  Given a choice between almost anything else and cleaning, I will do the anything else.  Except for my bathroom.  For some weird reason, I do enjoy cleaning my bathroom.  (My own – no offers of cleaning your bathroom are forthcoming.)  I create little piles of stuff around the house.  Sometimes I clean them up, but mostly I don’t.  When the husband gets pissed about my clutter, I really just move a couple of piles to another location where he doesn’t go.  Then as I need something from one of the relocated piles, I just grab it, use it, and start another pile.  It’s a sickness.

Okay, confession time over.  Today’s drawing is tanglepattern.com String 006; link http://tanglepatterns.com/2012/06/tanglepatterns-string-006.html .  I particularly like this one and its anthropomorphic look.

String 006
8/28/2014; tanglepatterns.com, String 006