I craft in public. Lately, it’s been knitting…so this story is another knitting story. I promise I do other crafts, it’s just knitting is uber portable for me.
Often, I’ve been told by strangers some variation of “I don’t have the patience to knit”. My response is always the same…I don’t have the patience NOT to knit.
I DO NOT have patience. I can’t stand waiting. My time is valuable, dammit!! However, since beginning crafting, and taking my crafting with me, I’ve been much more chill about having to wait in lines, or waiting rooms. I just make sure I have something portable with me. Take this hat, for example.
The life of the hat often begins on the yarn walls. I’m going to re-use some photos from before to show you. Here you see where it all begins…the Yarn Wall. In the corner, is the Fun Fur. If you look really closely at the photo of the Yarn Wall in the previous post, you will see the yarn in the very lower left hand corner.
The body of the hat actually was in the music room, but was hidden underneath a failed weaving project. See, underneath that cloth is the yarn I used.
I know I can do hats pretty much anywhere, so I had decided to make a new hat be my new carry along project. I wanted to try something different. And I was inspired not only by my yarn wall, but also by talking about my yarn wall. I wondered if maybe I could use the Fun Fur to make the hat look like it had a fur trim??
I tried a couple times to cast on. Oh, yeah, this is why I don’t care for Fun Fur. It’s not really all that fun to work with. So here I am at a
bored board meeting. I’m being unnecessarily snarky. Strangers may think I craft because I’m not paying attention. The opposite is true. I actually am better able to focus when crafting. I will discuss that in another post. This is actually the second attempt at casting on. I didn’t like the look and feel of the first time.
Here I am knitting in a bar. Poopie and I were at a friend’s birthday party last weekend. Those ladies in the background were not part of the group. Hat knitting is wonderful for bars. It is small, and I can knit the hat in the dark. Thank all that is holy, because the stupid Fun Fur makes it impossible to see your stitches anyway.
And here it is the next night at a concert at local venue. I have, apparently, a reputation for knitting at concerts. There will often be chairs set aside for me at house shows so I can sit in my corner and knit while listening to live music.
I actually took several more pictures over the week, but my phone ate them before I uploaded them to WordPress…so, my lesson for this post is…save your pictures right away. This hat came with me to stand in line outside of the Old Church in Portland for a general admission show on Tuesday. It also came with me to a City Committee meeting on Thursday. My knitting is also commented upon (I’ll assume positively) as I perform my civic duties.
Remember folks, you need to be involved. If you don’t like how things are going, get involved and change them. If you like how things are going, get involved to keep them going that way.
OK, off my soapbox, and back to my hat. The final trip the hat made with me was to the mountains for a snow weekend.
Here we see me close to getting it off my needles. You will see that while on a snow weekend in a cabin, and playing a tabletop game, I am finding time for knitting.
Turns out, the hat ended up very much as I had hoped. The Faux Fur look worked out, and it adds a stylish touch to an otherwise “boring” beanie. I’m not at all certain it was worth it, but I had the yarn, and was able to experiment. I, personally, wouldn’t buy Fun Fur, even for this, but since I had it, I’m glad I found a use for it.
While I have mentioned lessons and have jumped on my soapbox, the true lesson of this hat and post is that you can find time for crafting. I’ll be talking a lot about how crafting benefits me, and what I get out of it (besides the things I make). But, this is how I do it. Just one stitch at a time. Wherever and whenever I can, I make just one stitch. And then, the next time, I make another stitch. Each stitch is so tiny, it seems inconsequential, but put them all together, and you have a nice, warm, hat.
I’ve shared with you, Dear Reader, the beginning steps of my crafting journey. Being a journey, there are many steps along the way. There are also supplies needed. While I do not limit myself to yarn. I have a passing acquaintance with yarn *snigger*
Speaking of yarn, do you see the header? That’s a slice of my original yarn wall. The above photo is a larger view of the wall. I don’t honestly remember where I stole the idea from, but when Thing 1 moved out, I got my craft room back. WooHoo!! I took large pieces of pegboard, had O spray paint them, and hung them on the wall. While the local big box hardware stores had the pegs in stock, the costs were pretty high for something I wasn’t going to see anyway. I was able to find them much more cost effectively online. Since I am a six year old at heart, I am all about the instant gratification. I did buy a package locally to get started and tide me over. But, since I’m disgustingly responsible, most of the pegs were computer generated. I opened up bins, and spent a weekend putting yarn on my wall. It’s adorable–Poopie tells people I have 10% of my yarn up on that wall. Sure, 10%, that’s a number.
However, my craft room was overrun by *dun dun duuuuuuuun* guitars. And pedals. Lots and lots of pedals.
While I may have been pulling yarn out of secret stashes, Poopie was pulling out guitars…dafuq? And my craft room was less *my* room, and back to not my room. But, Poopie loved how the yarn wall made the acoustics in that room work for playing and recording. So when Thing 2 moved out, and he moved all his crap out of *my*
crap craft room, he said I could have a yarn wall in there, as well. He even hung it himself. So now, I have two yarn walls!! I think Poopie may still be telling people it’s 10% of my yarn. I’m still letting him.
What my yarn wall has done has been to give new life to my yarn. Before, it was in tubs. I really didn’t know what I had. Plus, I’m basically lazy, and trying to find something, even if I know I have it, just sounds like a lot of work when all I want to do is craft!!! Now, the yarn is up on the wall, visible. So, it’s pretty before I’ve even turned into something. Even yarn I will never use, that I bought “on sale”, or was given to me is pretty. I also have less of a tendency to only know about 5 of my 6 balls of yarn, so I can better plan my projects. I have been doing a much better job of using what I already have, and choosing projects to match my yarn rather than the other way around. Which means I have been purchasing a lot less yarn. And yarn that no longer speaks to me gets to find new homes which will be better at loving it.
Granted, I still buy sock yarn every time it goes on sale, but that’s for another blog. “Staples” yarn (cotton, sock, and baby yarn) live in the music room since I don’t generally get to go in there to get inspiration. Other yarns live in my craft room, where I can make plans for it. (insert diabolical laughter here)
Notice what you don’t see up on these walls? My Red Heart. I haven’t taken my Red Heart out to breath. It’s still languishing away in obscurity.
Yes, you do see a motorcycle wheel to the left. My Red Heart is still in the garage. I used to have tubs of yarn I got from an estate sale on my back porch in addition to what lives in the garage (and other secret locations). The porch yarn moved to the craft room wall when I got the music room yarn wall. But not my poor Red Heart. The porch yarn was pretty obviously not where it should be, and the tubs were getting brittle because of the elements, so that took precedence.
I want to be clear, I’m not ashamed of my Red Heart. I just know that it is sturdy and can handle being in it’s vacuum sealed bag (see, I am protecting it). The other stuff, though, it needed to be unpacked. I needed to go through it and see what I could use, and what I no longer had a use for. I *know* my Red Heart.
All in all, I am very happy I’ve unpacked my yarn. Don’t tell Poopie, but there is still a lot left to unpack.
So, the lesson of the yarn wall is to unpack your shit. You don’t know what you’ve got if you don’t examine it. Find out what you’ve been overlooking. Find out what no longer works for you. And remember, just because it’s not for you, doesn’t mean that someone else can’t love it. Unpacking your shit can be painful and time consuming, but it is worth it. And don’t beat yourself up if you can only take it in small doses.
OK…I’m starting my first blog post. I have no idea what I’m doing. When have I ever let that stop me? OK…often. I’m human. But, I’ve been inspired.
There have been a lot of little and not so little things that have prompted me to make this (for me) giant leap. I miss writing. I used to write short stories, poems, and who knows what else. However, one of the “drawbacks” with being surrounded by incredibly talented people is that I end up comparing myself to them, and find myself coming up short. So, I let it slip by the wayside. Now, I *could* journal. But I am so weird about that, I get to thinking that I must do it daily, or I must do it a certain way, or…. Yeah, like I said, weird. Somehow, I never got into letter writing. Plus, many of these posts would be super weird to be received as a letter. I can imagine Margot’s phone call now. She would be all worried that I’d suffered a stroke, or something. That’s not actually true. She would be super happy to receive even the most rambling of correspondence.
Some good friends have a project starting, and they asked for some help. But, for reasons unimportant to this endeavor, I need to have a blog, or a podcast. Since I sound weird recorded, and DO NOT need the TV 10 lbs (not to mention my technical skills, time, and capacity for terror are not sufficient), I am blogging. I was already kind of kicking around the idea of a blog, but wasn’t really sure if I’d have anything to say. It probably would have stayed just an idea except I was asked for help. I’m still working on saying no to people. I’m getting better. According to the people I’ve said no to, I’m too good. I still think I have some ways to go on that, though.
I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll start at the beginning. At nine, I learned to crochet from my Aunt Char. My first project was a potholder. It’s a super simple pattern, and great for beginners. However, my tension was all over the place. I’m not sure where you, Dear Reader, are in the crafting spectrum, so if I over-explain, I apologize. Tension is how tight or loose you work the yarn. Uneven tension creates uneven fabric. In my case, the potholder was not the flat, double-layer fabric it was intended to be. Rather, it laid flat on one side, and the other side had a mound…like a bubble rising from inside. My dad made fun of it. I cried. My mom said (not for the first, nor last time) “Don’t worry, honey. We’ll take it to Grandma Bonnie.”
The next time we went to visit my grandma, we took my deformed, red variegated Red Heart monstrosity to her. I reluctantly passed over the potholder, and she was so excited. She told me how the bubble actually made the potholder fit better in her hand. Even at nine, I knew she was lying to me to make me feel better. It was hideous, and should be burned–except it was Red Heart, it would just melt. Except….
Except, she kept that stupid potholder until literally the day she died. And she used that potholder. She didn’t keep it to pacify her distraught granddaughter, she kept it to use it. And use it she did. When she died, that thing was frankly gross…and not from my handiwork. It was like the Velveteen Rabbit. Nothing had worn off of it–did I mention it was Red Heart? and not the cool stuff we have now. The nasty stuff from 30 years ago. It was stained and melted, and just really unusable for anything. My grandma wasn’t lying to me. She wasn’t trying to make the best of a bad situation. She just really thought it was cool that the potholder conformed to her hand.
I’d love to say I learned from that something profound, like “even in flaws, perfection can be found”. I was nine. I learned nothing. But, clearly, the experience stayed with me. And I built upon it. Just like anything else.
I know this post doesn’t have pictures. I’m learning as I go, and I wanted to get a post out so I could see how it works. Also, I have no pictures of the potholder. Who takes pictures of potholders? Remember, when I was nine, digital cameras were not even thought of. And if my dad laughed at the potholder, he would have been furious over wasting film and processing on it. Even by the time grandma passed, digital photography was just beginning. We ended up throwing out the potholder. I’ll try to do better on future posts.
Huh, WordPress says this is over 700 words already. See, I do have lots to say! Not sure how much is interesting to you, Dear Reader, but this felt cathartic to me.