Old Friends Return

Some of my things from Austin I don’t miss at all, while others have left a bit of a hole in my heart. Today some of my favorite things returned and it feels good.

My petit point flowers from 1993

I had most of my needlepoint wall hangings at the Bobcat house. This one was in my bedroom (as were the other old friends). I made it in 1993 when Declan was a baby. Today he brought it back to me.

It’s so pretty

The six-sided frame was made by my ex and his friend. They worked so hard in the garage of our sweet house in Champaign, Illinois, ciphering the angles, cutting the wood, and staining the frame. This may be the only thing he ever made for me, so I’ll treasure it always.

These two pictures I made after Anita got here, I think when we were in the casita. I made them for the Bobcat house, though. They were in my bedroom. The fun donkey has a yellow background to go with my old bedroom, which no doubt is white now! I really enjoyed making these, and I’m glad I’ll get to look at them every time I go upstairs from now on. Lee was very kind to hang them so quickly!

What’s this?

My knitting friends know that these two old friends are among my favorite things, and I’ve missed them! It’s an umbrella swift and ball winder that take loose hanks of yarn and turns them into pull-skeins, which we like to call “yarn cakes.”

Finished products.

You may recall that the yarn for the macho granny square project came in hanks. I wound the first two by hand, which my watch thought was an elliptical machine workout.

Before. These are hanks of yarn. Fancy yarn comes in hanks that you must wind yourself.

I mentioned that somewhere in the stuff from Austin were these useful items, but they were hard to find, since the boxes weren’t organized. Well, by gosh, they’re organized now and my equipment and art showed up! It’s going to make finding things for the pool house and another project that’s coming up a lot easier! Maybe I’ll find some old kitchen friends!

Squares in progress. This will be cute!

Meanwhile, we’ve been getting some pretty good rain. There is even some water in the front pond again, which means there’s been runoff. If the predictions are right, we’ll be back to green grass and full ponds next week.

Not impressed? Well there was just the barrel last week.

Or, knowing central Texas weather, it will flood soon. Our old friends, the floods. Better than droughts and fires!

It’s so nice to sit outside.

Off to start a fun weekend. Wow. I am becoming a little more social!

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.

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