Day 28: Do you do any other crafts besides knitting? What are they, and did learning to knit come before or after learning these other crafts?
As you might have guessed from my various references of spinning, I do have other crafts that I like to do. I have quite a list of crafts so I’m going to break down each craft for you in another list.
Crochet, the sister craft of knitting. Most people who get into fiber crafts either knit or crochet. I came from a family of crocheters and I do have vague memories of my Aunt Ruth trying to teach me how to crochet. According to my mom, she also tried to teach me how to crochet but got frustrated because I wasn’t picking it up quick enough so she stopped trying to teach me. I did pick up crochet after knitting for a few months. I don’t remember how I did it because I didn’t learn how to crochet out of a book. I just picked up the crochet hook I had to help me pick up stitches and fix mistakes in my knitting and started doing it.
I half-blame and half-thank the Yarn Harlot for introducing me to spinning. I never even thought about where the yarn I used for knitting came from (or even that there were different types of yarn) until I ran into her spinning posts. I kept thinking about it until I looked for a spinning group on Ravelry to learn more. Because I didn’t want to spend a lot on a spinning wheel, I found the Spindlers forum and I eventually found a spindle at a craft fair along with fiber to spin. After I made my very first yarn ever I was hooked! Surprisingly, my family is very supportive of my spinning and have since gotten me my very own spinning wheel so I can make yarn faster. Best. Gift. Ever.
I almost counted these as two different hobbies because they came at different points in my life, but they are the same skill. Cross-stitching is just a form of embroidery and embroidery has more stitches than just the “cross stitch”. I learned how to do this when I was a little girl, but it never stuck. Most likely because if I set a project down for months, my mom took it and finished it for me (but she never did that with my knitting). I only picked it back up again because I learned that embroidery is like painting with thread. It is very slow and very tedious to do at times, but I love the way it looks. I just haven’t figured out exactly what to do with embroidery other than frame it as a picture.
I do have a cross stitch project going on. It is a picture of a cat laying on a bookshelf. I avoided buying it for months because I believed my mom when she told me it was too hard for me to do. Apparently, I need to stop believing everything my mom says all the time because she is a more timid crafter than I am. While I’m not progressing quickly (because I prefer to knit and spin) it is not hard. It just has a lot of colors with a very detailed chart and it can be very tedious to make one teeny-tiny “x” after another. Knitting is much faster than cross stitch and embroidery.
I classify sewing as a hobby because it is something that I want to learn how to do better. This is another thing that I learned as a little girl but it never really stuck because my mom tried to involve me in the “boring parts” and didn’t have time to teach me properly when I was actually ready to learn. That is something she regrets, so she is more than happy to help me learn now. I have picked up some fun fabrics and I found a free pattern for a nice lined drawstring bag that will be perfect for holding my sock projects in. Hopefully, I can get past the “boring part” of measuring and cutting so I can find the fun of sewing. And hopefully learn to appreciate the “boring part” as just part of the process.
Similar to embroidery/cross stitching, tatting is a very slow and meticulous craft. Tatting is my most obscure hobby and I’ve gotten used to describing it to everybody, but every once in a while (since I live in Amish/Mennonite/PA Dutch country) I actually see somebody tatting in the wild. Tatting is an ancient art of lace making. It can be done with a shuttle or with a tatting needle, but I personally think that tatting with a tatting shuttle is so much more elegant. Once again, I don’t tat a lot because my go-to hobby is knitting, but I just love doing it because I feel so fancy. I just haven’t figured out how I could use my tatting because knitting is just so darn practical that I don’t really see the point of making decorations just for the point of decoration. I would make a bad Victorian lady.
6. Fiber Dyeing
I am counting fiber dyeing as its own craft because it is. There is a whole process to dyeing that is very specific to it. There is weighing out the dyes, mixing the colors, preparing whatever it is you want to dye, and then actually dyeing the thing. Some people are way more scientific about it than I am, but most people that do that are dyeing for a living and need reproducible results. Since I am just dabbling in dyeing, I am way less scientific about it and go with the grab and dump method.