Monday, October 18, 2010

The Crafting Love/Hate List

My friend Lory had a great post last week on her blog The Mom Blogs about what she loves and hates about being a SAHM. It got me to thinking about what I loved about crafting, particularly when T commented last night about how happy I sounded singing to myself as I stitched. And I thought it might be fun to put them down. So here they are, in no particular order:

1. Sewing, knitting and crochet make me happy. They represent a little bit of magic in my world - I just relax when I've got a needle or hook in my hands, or when I'm in front of the sewing machine. No matter how awful my day in the office, no matter how tetchy the kids are at bedtime, once I pick up the yarn or the fabric a little part of my soul lights up and I am happy.

2.  Etsy. I could browse for hours. I spend a fortune getting lovely things delivered to my door. (My bank manager is not a fan.) I adore how I can see something beautiful and different on sale in California or Texas and it is in my hands within a week. I just love waiting for those parcels to arrive!

3.  Yarn. Scrummy, soft, vibrant yarn. And fabric - oh, the fabric! The colours, the textures. The snuggly softness of fleece and the cool elegance of cotton. I could list all my favourite collections but really, I'd be here all night and I'd bore you to tears. And it goes without saying. Obviously.

4.  Crafting books.  All those fabulous photos providing oodles of inspiration. I have a veritable library at this stage. Some I use all the time. Some I pore over but make very little from. Some are purveyors of knowledge on all things technical. Some are purely indulgent. But I love each and every one of them (almost) as much as my children.

5. Recycling. Since I started sewing, in particular, I find it hard to throw anything out. I cut buttons off everything. I have a stack of kids' jeans with various tears and holes in them just waiting for me to get an idea to use that denim. Its made me look at things in a whole different way.

6. Gift giving. I have had the most unexpected pleasure making things for other people. My kids. My husband. My niece and nephew. My friends. There's something really enjoyable about slipping a cuddly fleece monster into your little boy's bed when he's asleep at night and his delight when he wakes up in the morning to find it beside him. Or of seeing a baby all snuggled up in the blanket you stitched night after night on the sofa. Its amazing seeing people make use of something you've made for them.

I could go on and on but maybe I should provide a bit of balance?

Things I hate about crafting:

1. My sewing machine. I am counting the days till I can go shopping for a new one. It has served me well and it is one I bought when I started out sewing and did the job perfectly. But I am just doing too much sewing now for its capabilities and it doesn't have all the features I would like and it is protesting way too much for my liking.

2. It takes over your house. If you are not lucky enough to have a dedicated space, that is. I do most of my sewing at the kitchen table when the kids are in bed and knitting/crochet/hand sewing on the sofa in the living room. Or sometimes the sofa in the playroom. Or sometimes in bed. My house is invaded by crafting supplies. Is it just me? I have some shelving to store my stuff but even still, its not working. I found crafting books in the bottom of my ironing basket yesterday. Plus a few fat quarters that I had been looking for all week. Really, I need my own little room. A cosy little space with a table where I could leave my machine permanently set up. Enough shelves for everything. A little refuge from the madness of everyday life. But unless someone wants to buy me a winning lottery ticket I'll have to keep dreaming.

3.  Thread. I am a messy sewer. I cut off thread and throw it on the floor, to sweep up later. Except that before I sweep at the end of the evening, I have walked in and out of the kitchen 3 or 4 times and I have managed to pick up a gazillion threads (and tiny scraps of fabric and fleece) on the soles of my shoes or my socks and then I deposit it bit by bit all over the house. There is thread EVERYWHERE. Especially upstairs which is carpeted. T has threatened to make me vacuum the stairs myself if I don't tidy up better in the evenings! Solutions? Send them on a postcard please...

4. Asthma and allergies. I cannot work very much with "real" wool. My skin can't cope with the feel of lambswool in particular and my lungs dislike anything with wool content. Which is a crying shame, because I love wool. I adore the softer wool yarns and occasionally, when I'm feeling very rebellious and devil may care, I knit something up quickly in one. And then I cough and wheeze for a month afterwards :-(

5. Stabbing myself with needles. This happens much more frequently that I imagine it should. I even managed to stab myself with the blunt end of the needle one night (figure that one out!). My fingers are toughening up but its a slow process. And I can't abide thimbles.

6. Dropping stitches. Particularly if I'm doing a lace or cable pattern. And ripping the thing back. Two years ago I had to rip back the entire back of a cardigan (for myself.) Unsurprisingly, its still sitting in the bag. A UFO if you like. Will it ever be finished?? I keep saying next spring....

Ok, so that's my roundup of crafty likes and dislikes. Feel like sharing yours?


Lory said...

You rule

Nic said...

Hi there. I'm a friend of H's who pointed me at your blog. Nice to meet ya. Re those denim jeans, I have a great plan to make a denim quilt out of jeans parts - pockets, zips an' all. (A kid sized version would be quicker than an adult sized one.)

I'm a knitter (obsessed), not a sewer, so you might make more progress with that idea. You could include funky fabrics too!

Kimberlee, The Spunky Diva said...

Great list. Thankfully (unthankfully) my sewing has to be contained to one cubby thing, since I have a baby and toddler. To much stuff that is a hazard. Can't wait to have a room, or be able to leave stuff out again.