Crafty? Have I Moved On?

This runner is in our house, so I still use it!

The UU Lent word for today is craft. Do you know me personally? Have you been to any of my houses? In that case, you know I’m pretty fond of crafting. It’s in my blood. I come from a long line of knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, needlepointers, and quilters. Oh, then there’s the great aunt who tatted for a living, because she was confined to her home (her fun mental illness was kleptomania). My mom and stepmom were both trained artists, too. This post has a lot more on this topic, with lots of photos.

Knitting was my favorite thing to do most of my life. It filled my little hands with motion, and my little hands love to be in motion. No wonder I type all the time, right? I also loved to teach people to knit, because I felt like I was giving people the tool they needed to end boredom forever! You can’t be bored if you have yarn and needles, well, at least in my opinion.

My currently almost-finished project.

I have to say that I knitted so many darned pairs of socks that I got bored with them. But, I could probably do it again, now.

I designed these.

Tainted Love

This was made in 2012. Still gets worn by the recipient!

Why did I stop knitting so much? Well, if you need to know, it’s not because of the Yarn Store Incident. That just got me to never want to knit in public again.

No, I realized that I valued my knitted products as precious representatives of many hours of my life and hated to lose them. I also got really sad when I spent hours knitting things, only to find them not appreciated.

Examples:

I loved this sweater.

Moths. My house in Round Rock had a moth infestation. Suddenly all those wool socks I’d knitted in complicated patterns with expensive yarn had moth holes. Let me tell you those are hard to fix. Worse, my rainbow sweater made of amazing Swedish yarn got yarn holes. THEN I found that my unused hanks of yarn were all holey. That just made me sick. I felt like I’d wasted a lot of time and money.

Shrinkage. I love my spouse. I don’t love that he repeatedly has washed woolen items in the washing machine and made them unusable. The one that killed me was a sweater in really precious yarn (organic, vegetable dyed, blah blah) that I hadn’t even worn yet. I sat it in the wrong spot, so he blames me. Then he machine washed my hand-woven placemats. My loom misses me.

The only time I wore it. It shrank real good.

Cleaning the Teen Pit. When the female teen who lived at our house for three years moved out, there was a huge amount of clean-up involved, since she only took a few things with her. When I found things I had worked really hard on for her all squished and stuffed under the bed, my heart broke again. Then I found more in my son’s room. They were both people who loved clutter, but wow.

The teen who received these wore them for years. I was really surprised.

And to be honest, most stuff I knitted wasn’t that good.

Luckily my needlepoints look fine. A dog did eat a pillow I spent $100 to have made. And it was a picture of a dog. I put it on a shelf.

This does not suck. My favorite needlepoint. The canvas was from Ireland.

But, I think crafts are good for you. You make a beautiful AND useful object when you’re crafting. And really, it’s more about process than product, at least for me. I do wish I’d finished more of my projects.

One of the placemats I wove. There were a bunch. It was fun.

Moving on. I WILL finish the thing I’m making for Kathleen.

Self Care: Dog, Yarn, and Cow Edition

Hear ye, hear ye! I’m taking today off. I am not doing regular work, volunteer work, or family stuff. I’m having a self care day!

I even gave the Bitmoji new glasses and shirt.

Much of my day will be spent looking at these guys.

A symphony in earth tones.

Or this guy.

It’s my scarred-up white haid!

Vlassic is out visiting Jim again so no picture, but I got all emotional about losing him last night and got all weepy. Harvey immediately ran to my side and started licking me. Then Penney came. Vlassic licked me, too. That was the first time I really cried in ages. I don’t think it was actually about Vlassic, but about losing all my lost loved ones.

So that made me decide to take the day off. The rest of the family went on a trip, so it’s just me and Lee until dinner, which will be pizza with the Sunday dinner gang. I’m gonna take a bath and do my hair, read, and knit! Yes, knit!

Yarn from Blue Mule, near Round Top.

It’s going to be a cowl you can also wear like a shawl someday. It’s called Nomad. It’s on Ravelry.

It’s not too hard, not too easy.

The most strenuous thing I’ve done today is go look at the chickens and the young cows who are currently behind the house. They just love the chickens and the dogs.

Y’all don’t scare us.

They are such friendly young ladies. I think they were the first ones born here after the pink mamas showed up. They are all named 18. Or they’re new. I don’t know. I just enjoy how friendly they are.

Got any food?

I enjoyed taking some portraits, and hope you like them, too.

I hope your day is peaceful, or that it’s fun, whichever you need. How are you doing self care today?

I’m just gonna snooze.

Life Is Complicated: Fiber Arts Department

I can see why so many people I know are staying away from online communities, even though they provide such great ways to stay in touch, make new friends, and feel less isolated. It just seems IMPOSSIBLE to create a community where people treat each other with respect and dignity. Name calling and blaming seem to be the rule rather than the exception in today’s society in this country.

Case in point

I’m a member of a fiber arts community called Ravelry, which was founded in 2007. Back when I spent much of my time knitting, teaching knitting, and designing patterns, this was like a second home to me. I’m sure many of you readers feel the same, since I have so many knitting friends (before Ravelry we had some wonderful email lists, and some grumpy ones).

That’s right, I showed up early.

I’ve been very proud of the founders and their team, who have truly created a wonderful resource for fiber artists, and have continued to add features and branch out. It’s like Facebook, but with a focus…and generally with more kindness.

Continue reading “Life Is Complicated: Fiber Arts Department”