Friday Fails and Fixes

In which she drops the f bomb (once)

OK,  I said yesterday I’m expanding, and so I am (that’s not a fat joke).  I *wanted* Friday to be Friday Fuck-ups.  But, I was reminded I’m supposed to be PG-13.  Apparently, you can only have one f-bomb in the movie to keep it PG-13.  I hope to be doing more Friday posts, so….I had to rethink.  Thinking in the first place can be rough.  Re-thinking…torture ;).

I wanted it to be in that same vein, though.  And here’s why: we see on social media (blogs included) the best facet of people’s lives.  When we meet someone in person, we meet their Facebook persona.  Life is *not* like that though.  As an example, I have an affinity for crafts, and naturally catch on. So, in classes, I soar ahead of the other students.  HOWEVER, I still have epic fails. They don’t see that in classes, and may think it always comes easy… which it doesn’t.

Comparing ourselves to the online versions of people is an awful thing to do to yourself.  I have had it described to me as comparing our rough draft lives to someone’s final draft.  “Oh look, she has this perfect family, her husband bought her flowers.” Meanwhile, I’m over here giving mine the silent treatment and he doesn’t even notice it’s been three days since I spoke to him.  What she’s not saying is that he bought her flowers because he was out all night, and came home smelling of booze and cheap perfume.

Dear Reader, I hope by now you’ve grocked to the fact that my stories about crafting are VERY thinly veiled stories about life.  They are all true, mind you, but the lessons have more to do with life than the actual craft. For example, I’m not going to be telling you about the time my husband farted in my face on my 30th birthday because he thought it would be hilarious. That would be rude and uncalled for…kind of like farting in someone’s face ON THEIR BIRTHDAY.

Instead, I’ll tell you about the above shawl, and you can infer what you want from that.

This summer, my LYS had an event wherein each month, you made something that fulfilled the requirements they put forth at the beginning of the month.  August’s project needed to have a pattern who’s name included Sun, or Solar, or Eclipse (I think).  So, I bought yarn, and a pattern.  This is a big deal for me.  I rarely buy yarn anymore *cough* yarn wall *cough*.  Same with patterns–there’s so much out there for free!  And I almost never buy both for a project.  Even more shocking, I ended up purchasing (on accident) the yarn called for.

I set about knitting this thing.  And I hated almost every moment of it.  The lace pattern was not intuitive at all, the pattern was confusing.  I had been spoiled by shawl patterns by Sivia Harding*. I really liked the yarn and color-way, but was slogging through the shawl.  Fellow crafters were in love with the shawl.  Pam even bought the pattern and some yarn to do one herself (over my strong objections).  I just couldn’t have the same enthusiasm…until I finished.  Huzzah! I was done!!!!

Sivia had finally convinced me of the joys of blocking (we will get there someday, Dear Reader), so I went to block this shawl….and that’s what I saw….A giant freaking hole (already dropped an f-bomb in the post can’t do another.  Believe me, in real life, this was a hard R moment).

I was about ready to cry.  The only thing that saved me from tears was my absurdist sense of humor.  Of course the shawl I hated would be a fail.  Of course I spent a solid month working on something there was no salvaging.  While I’ve taken classes and become fairly adept at fixing lacework…this lace has no repeat.  It’s a mess to do it in the first place, much less to figure out what dropped where.

No.  the only fix was to take a picture to share my shame with my crafting friends, and rip the sucker out.  The pattern has been shredded, and the yarn, as you can see is back on the yarn wall where it can think about what it did.

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Yarn in its naughty spot

So that’s the fail.  In this case, the fix is to delete, delete, delete.  In life, we don’t always have that option.  He can’t unfart in my face, and is that really a break-up-able offense if you aren’t Elaine?  I know, I had to think hard about it too…  Unlike life, crafting ALWAYS has that option.

When I first taught DeAnna to knit, we were knitting squares for Warm up America.  She went off to knit, and came back with…something. It wasn’t square, or even a rhombus, we don’t know what it was.  She was almost in tears, she was so frustrated.  She had no idea what she did wrong (neither did I frankly, to this day I don’t know).  I told her not to worry, we’d fix it.  I pulled out the needles, and undid the whole thing.

Just like life, my crafting advice can be a bit…dubious.  I mean, a better teacher would probably have figured out what she did, and actually fixed it, instead of just tearing it out and having her do it over again.  But, I know DeAnna.  What she needed that day was a do-over.  Some days are like that…even in Australia.

So, if you have need of dubious advice, let me know! I’m more than happy to oblige!

*no sponsorship, I just love her classes and designs!

 

 

Monday Musings

The life of a Hat

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.  20180108_083103Here 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.

20180113_142814 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??

20180111_203205.jpgI 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.  20180112_212808.jpg

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.

20180113_212025.jpgAnd 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. 20180120_111958.jpg

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.

 

 

 

Monday Musings

Yarn Wall

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.

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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.

 

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Acoustically useful yarn wall.

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.

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neglected Red Heart

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.