About Me, art

Crochet

Halloween went very well, and the majority of the 6-month-old’s trick-or-treat candy was generously donated to me, the hardworking mother who made it all happen (aww, so thoughtful!)

And I’ve been working on crocheting socks ever since. I came to the conclusion that if I want to be serious as a yarn arteest, I need to reorient my hand movements so that I wrap the yarn around the hook, instead of holding the yarn still and hooking it. Some guy on youtube did it that way, lmao.

I also learned how to make hush puppies. Yum!

Anyway, at some point in the past, I came to the conclusion that youtube crochet tutorials were a blight on the craft. I have a reputation as someone who crochets — it’s pretty obvious when everyone in my family is running around with handmade items — so I occasionally get people asking me for help.

Cue phrase, “I was following a tutorial on youtube, and I don’t know where I went wrong.”

Which is how I got to learn how to troubleshoot without a written pattern or any sort of clue about what the designer’s original intent was.

So.

The reason why I hate youtube tutorials so much is because the video creator is posturing as a teacher, but then they aren’t available to help their students with their problems. A huge part of properly teaching a skill is learning how to navigate beginner’s mistakes and misunderstandings, so you can explain everything more clearly and concisely in the future. These “teachers” however, care more about showing off their manicures than they do about actually helping someone learn a craft. They don’t reply to comments.

Unfortunately I’m a softie, and I have a hard time dismissing someone who invested time and money into a project — I know how emotionally involved people get with their crafting, and how frustrating it is when something goes wrong and you can’t figure it out. So, I help. I stare hard at what they’ve done thus far, figure out the basic stitch pattern, and ask some questions about what it’s supposed to be at the end. Then I make up something that will get them from here to there, and carefully explain the changes and why they fix the problem. I like to think that I’m helping them learn how to overcome problems in the future.

I mentioned that I’ve been crocheting socks (three pairs so far). I actually really like designing crocheted socks, especially with how pretty some of the stitches are, but there’s one thing stopping me from typing up a pattern: I’m still troubleshooting my own work on the fly.

Until I can properly explain every single last nitpicky detail, I’m going to refrain from writing any books on the topic.

What can I say, I have a conscience.

Now that my rant is out of the way, the one thing that limits the time I spend crocheting is fatigue in my hands. I’m curious if reorienting my movements so they are more evenly distributed will help. My feet get cold easily, and all the socks I made in the past are getting old and holey. It’s time to recharge my sock drawer.

Not to mention, I need something to do while that six-month-old is nursing.

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Rigid Heddle Weaving #3

I taught my 8-year-old how to spin yarn with a drop spindle. She fell in love with the process and quickly used up the 8oz of corriedale that I gave her, so we dyed it together, and I got her set up on my rigid heddle loom to weave with the yarn she made.

However, after all the stress of what happened to our cat, I commandeered her project — I needed something more potent than crochet for stress relief, and weaving really hits the spot for me.

The thick-thin texture of the yarn my daughter spun was wonderful to work with, and enormously fun to watch it come together. I definitely need her to spin more yarn for me.

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Petals

Petals from Paradise Fibers

I decided to practice “spinning from the fold” with this one. Here, give me a second, and I’ll find a video tutorial for those who want to know what that means.

And here you go.

So, it took me forever to get this one spun up. I’m pretty heavily into “Five minutes here, five minutes there” territory, so it took at least a month — I can’t remember exactly when I started. Maybe even two or three months. I don’t know. Forever.

Flash, yo.
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Rigid heddle weaving #2

This one is made with pima cotton yarn. Washed and dried, but not ironed. 😀

As I was weaving it, I thought, “These colors would work great for sewing a stuffed animal!” But when I looked up patterns for toys, I realized that it might just be a little too 3D for my brain to wrap itself around …

So maybe I’ll just sew some hems and have hand towels for the kitchen.

byautumnrain.com