Normally I talk about tools on Tuesday but today I am beginning my craft area diary. I have a small area in our office/guest quarters and I have wanted to make it my craft area for a long time. I dragged my yarn into the corner and eventually my sewing machine and the tools of my trade but it was never what I wanted. So last week when my husband agreed to help I started the project.
New shelf, peg board and small cabinet
Folding table which I will use for crafting and vending
Now I think I’ll paint the walls before we put boxes up to house my yarn. More to follow!
I have a list of things that I try to avoid and using sock yarn is one of them. Obviously that means that I don’t make socks. Tiny work with my middle-aged eyes and there is often a problem. This time however I am making a scarf that calls for sock yarn. I am more than halfway through and I look down and see that I dropped a stitch. Thought I knew how to pick it up but I was wrong. So I started ripping out rows. Then I had to put the stitches back on the needles. Dropped more on the way so I ripped another row and then went stitch by stitch putting them back on the needle. Well, even though I should be able to tell I often end up with stitches twisted. Had to straighten them as I worked the next row. Did I mention that I think I dropped the stitch trying to knit in the continental method? So I thought I took care of the situation and now looking down I have two little snafus. Guess what I am not doing this over. I’ll let you see the finished project.
It seems no matter what the project is I don’t have the needle or hook for it. Partly because I leave half-finished projects all over the house with needles and hooks in the bags. This week I bought yarn to make this really cute hat and it calls for 16 in circulars. I don’t have any. I do however have a Denise kit and I am sure that there is a short enough cable somewhere. Problem is I can’t find my cables because they are in unfinished projects. If I buy more needles I swear the next project I’ll need another. Same with crochet hooks. I’ve even purchased duplicates of the most popular. Can’t find them either. I HAVE TO GET ORGANIZED!!!! Good Lord what a mess. Am I alone? Any suggestions besides finishing what I start?
Will involve doing something with the squares that I started for a baby blanket. Since I started years ago and stopped at least one year ago, I’m not even sure what yarn this is. Note to self make detailed cards about projects and make sure the notes include where you stopped if you put it down. Not sure of crochet hook, yarn, and where you left off ? NOTES please. Anyway I am going to try to do something with this stuff.
A pile of squares for a blanket maybe
Hexagonal blocks intended for a blanket. Didn’t go together well
Well technically buttons aren’t tools but as I have begun to make things like cowls, sweaters and such with button holes, the actual button has become important. Since I don’t sew I never gave them a second thought before. Now I find myself looking at my latest project and giving serious thought to what kind of button would finish the project nicely. If you live where a variety of fabric stores you may have access to lots of buttons. I don’t really so I went on-line looking for sources. There are tons of them! Some more expensive than other so here are a few for your to visit. It could be great fun!
It’s back, the desire to make felt. I was wandering through Barnes & Noble and of course made it to the craft section where this book jumped off the shelf into my arms. You can imagine my surprise. What other choice did I have but to bring it home with me.
Fabulous Felted Scarves by Chad Alice Hagen & Jorie Johnson
This book is so artistically attractive to me that even if it didn’t contain a wealth of information and instruction for many projects, I would still love it. It stimulated my imagination and made the desire to learn this process even stronger. I must admit though while the book wet my appetite I am still looking for a class of basic felting instruction before I dive in. I want to know all I can before I start. That’s just the way I am. Anyway if you are looking for ideas and visually stimulating pictures all rolled into one this is the book for you.
So a while back I made a vow to find and promote American made products that support my addiction to Knit and to Crochet. I mentioned my love for the Denise Knitting Needle system and I stand by the product which is American designed and made. Alas the system does have some limitations and as my skills improve so does my need for other needles. For instance I am having a love affair with socks and have discovered that there are lots of kinds of double-pointed needles.
Materials vary and you can buy needles made of metal, wood, plastic and acrylic. You can buy plain or fancy or some of each. While I haven’t gotten around to trying all of what is out there I have decided that I like the feel of wooden double-pointed needles. They are not too slippery which can still be a problem for me when I have projects such as socks on them. I am always afraid that my metal needles will slip out of the project causing great trauma for me!
Today in my daily internet travels I found Darn Pretty Needles by Dyak Craft. They are wooden and come in several patterns( All very pretty). They are made right here in Vermont best of all. I intend to order some and I will let you know what I think.
The other day I wrote about the Zen experience of knitting. I’ve thought about it and I have more reasons to knit. Middle Age is upon me. Well actually I am thoroughly bathed in it since I am approaching my sixtieth birthday. I had one grandmother that died from the complications of Alzheimer’s disease and one who died with dementia. Both were past eighty but still it gives one pause. And even though my Mom is still going strong at ninety-five, I think about ways I can stay mentally fit and for me knitting is as much a planning exercise as a doing exercise.
I love the idea of my projects as much if not more than I do executing them. Picking the right yarn, making sure that I have the right needles (often an excuse to buy more), learning the pattern or creating my own ( I am in the novice stages of this process). It is all mind stimulating. Every time I look at a new project I am enthused beyond belief.
I realize that my girlfriends are very sensitive to things that make us “look old”. Knitting in the mind of a fifty something woman connotes the end of an era and the beginning of the end. I have actually felt people moving away from me when I am knitting so as not to be considered one of those people. So what! As one of the Bergen Crafters said last night our get togethers may replace the need for a doctor’s visit, a sleepless night and other things that life in 2011 might bring. Rather than fall asleep concerned about the next days appointments, bills to be paid, work to be done in the house I now often fall asleep thinking about my next knitting project. Better sleep, less stress!
When I am knitting I am peaceful and quiet. I can knit at home on the train, when visiting friends (if they don’t mind). I do some of my best thinking when I have knitting needles or a crochet hook in my hands.
It has made me be patient, and deal with frustration better. In the past if a mistake occurred I would become frustrated and put the project aside never to be touched again. Now I am learning to deal with mistakes and ways to correct them. Sometimes that means starting over! Maturity without a doubt.
One of the greatest things that has come out of my knitting has been my joining the Bergen Crafters. I have found kindred souls! And guess what? They are all ages.