I can make that…

Have you gotten caught in the “I could make that” trap?

I totally do. All the time. Funnily enough, the last time this came up, a videocast by Margaret Olander popped up discussing the issue 🙂

Here’s how I look at the problem:

  • Do I actually want the thing or is it just a cool challenge?
  • Am I actually going to make the thing?
  • Why am I doing it?
    • Save Money
    • I can do it better/more to my liking
    • build skills

When I attended the 2017 Griffin Dyeworks Fall Fiber Frolic, I took a class on art loom weaving. We got to borrow some of the hand looms from her booth. They’re made of wood. Which I do sometimes work with 😉 There were also some fun tools, weaving needles and beaters. I also took a kumihimo class. Several booths sold kits and pieces for making your own weaving circle.

I’d admired the looms at last year’s event, but talked myself out of them. This year, taking the class and getting a 20% discount, couldn’t say no. But! While the loom might be a little out of my depth, both my husband and neighbor are better wordworkers. But would I get around to asking, arranging time, setting up tools? Nope. So I bought the loom. The beater and the needles looked more do-able. But the beater is maybe just a little longer project than I’m going to address right now (what with gift knitting, crochet, kumihimo, embroidery, oh not to mention kids and life). The needles, though. The needles were both within my scope and my ability.

I even had scrap wood! And I only broke one of the proposed needles. They’re not perfect. They need some fine tuning, sanding, maybe just some playing in my hand to really make them nice. But they are totally functional and I get to try several different lengths to see what I like or what I need per situation. Total love.

Kumihimo, on the other hand. Different story. The disc we used in class (lower right & lower middle) was paper. The kits for sale (at a very reasonable $15) were foam, as were the single foam you could buy ($3). I wanted to make it, though. So today at Michael’s I got a thick piece of foam & a thinner piece with one sticky side for $2. I should be able to make two pieces out of it of roughly the size. And maybe a smaller one. Plus, new skills and I get to play around.

Anything you’ve said “I could make that” and actually went home to make?

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Griffin Dyeworks

I once again attended Griffin Dyeworks Fall Fiber Frolic this past November. It was definitely a different experience than last time. I didn’t drag a friend with me, I was flying solo.

IMG_20171111_092726I figured it might be a good chance to make new friends, or at least break out of my shell a bit. So after a few brief minutes in the car to collect myself (very brief, lots of coffee plus a 90 minute drive, I had to pee!) I went inside to say hello to Theresa and let them know I was here and ready to learn!

 

I poked around the vendors and a did a little shopping. I was signed up for a dye class (though I ended up not attending), so I picked up a couple of bare mini skeins (eventual plan now is to look up a tutorial on speckle dyeing).

My first class was kumihimo, Japanese cord braiding, and I was super excited. I’d had an intro the day before at our local science/engineering museum, Moxi.

2017-11-10 (6) I figured the class would be an advanced version of what I learned – and I was not dissapointed!

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(The guy across from me looked like a young Nicholas Cage). My board was nice, and the teacher, of Unicorn Fiber Arts, let us pick colors. I totally made mistake after mistake. But her handouts were fabulous and I’m looking forward to continuing my kumihimo education.

My second class was art weaving on a hand loom.

This was with Theresa of Griffin Dyeworks. Totally loved this. And treated myself to the loom I used. We did warp, weft, and other things I should have taken notes on.

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My final class was dyeing, but when I got outside, it seemed like a lot of people had been doing dye all day. And while it wasn’t exactly a closed group, it wasn’t a formal class and I felt a bit like an outsider. I decided to end the day happy and head home a little early, which helped me beat that horrid daylight savings clock.IMG_20171111_161807

On fashion

I thought I had written this post before. If I have, apologies. It’s still rumbling around in my brain.

A few months ago I checked out a library book (we love libraries!) about wardrobe and curating your closet.

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I’ve tended to make sweaters, shirts, dresses, pants based on really loving the fabric/color/design.

Except you know what I don’t wear? Design and Color. There’s a really lovely part of the book that asks you to narrow down your color choices as far as what you wear.

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You pick three colors, two coordinating neutrals, and then some accent colors. This is what you wear, not what your house is, not what you like to see. What you wear.

Here’s my pass.

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And can I tell you, finding non-neutrals was hard. I didn’t have to, of course. And really, I didn’t succeed. But these are the colors I feel most comfortable and confident in. Black, light black, lightest black. With Mid-black and Navy as my neutrals. Dude, inner goth, could you hold it down in there, I can’t hear myself above the bad poetry.

And actually, I don’t look that great in lightest grey.

But I’ll take the pops of maroon, grey green, turquoise green.

It’s really made me slow down and think about what I’m sewing. And buying. No more cutesy fabrics that are just too adorable in dress quantities. No more sweater quantities of variegated yarns. I’ll limit myself to smaller quantities to make accessories.

It means my crafting has slowed a bit, but I think that’s a good thing. No sense in putting massive amounts of un-wearble things in my closet.

Slog

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The Brownberry Podcast is hosting a “Slog Along” over on Instagram. Man. This fantastic “Granito” sweater from Joji Locatelli is fitting into that category. This has become a total project knit for me; meaning I want the finished object. I want the warm, sunny hug of this project. I want the cool grey pocket backs.

I want to be done.

I started this at the beginning of the year and I can’t guarantee it’s not going to be an 18 month project. That totally qualifies as slow fashion. Snail slow. Sloth slow. Krista slow. At least it fits into “Project Sweater Chest” from the Knitmore Girls.

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Expanding skills

I’ve recently been hearing more and more about “helical knitting,” and while a lot of techniques sound cool for cool’s sake (I’m looking at you brioche and entrelac) I don’t usually try them out as they don’t work for the knitting I do for me and my local friends and family.

But this one sounded cool. I’m not terribly bothered by the jog in stripes, but I liked the idea of changing them. Plus, some people can be bothered by that line of twisted yarn up the side of their socks. So I decided to follow the techniques presented in a video (by way of Mason Dixon knitting) by A-C Knitwear.

Turns out, this is easy as pie and just as fun to keep doing (I was going to say put in your mouth, but I have yet to discover edible wool).

I’ve done two hats and feel pretty comfortable with this simple technique. As you can see I’ve done it listening to podcasts, while I visited Urgent Care, and as I watched my little mermaid join swim team. Easy Peasy and worth the expanding skills.

Gifting, further thoughts

I did a gifting post awhile ago. Knitters are notorious gift givers. Even the most hard core selfish crafter among us occasionally gets overtaken with the desire to give away some of our carefully made goodies.

But sometimes that doesn’t cut it. Not only is not everyone knit worthy, some are not knit receptive (Thank you, Rox! She did a fantastic video about gift knitting). My father falls into a blurry area of not quite knit receptive. He is, but he also lives in a place where wearing wool isn’t entirely necessary, and he doesn’t run cold. I also have a girlfriend who is knit worthy but is reluctantly knit receptive; I always check with her before I knit her something.

So my sister and I have been racking our brains for upcoming birthdays. While not minimalists, we are both struggling with an overabundance of stuff. Stuff for us, stuff for the kids, stuff for the dogs, even stuff for our crafts. It’s just everywhere. And while we want to honor and celebrate our loved ones far away, we didn’t really want to burden them with more un-needed, un-wanted stuff.

So we narrowed the field to food. Then to subscriptions, ruled out “fix your own” meals as they put a burden on the receiver, and came across…Love with Food. (This is informational only, these guys don’t even know me, but if you click the link and subscribe, I do get points, for what it’s worth).

We decided on a monthly delivery of snacks, and the company, in turn, donates to several organizations working to end hunger nationally & internationally. Snacks for me at my door and a donation for a hungry person?! I’m in.