Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ask Me About My Kneedles

Hey, will you look at this!  My first post not from my desk at work.  (I swear your tax dollars go to employ wonderful, hard-working people, and most of the time I am one of them).  Where am I blogging from this snowy afternoon, you ask?  My newly reorganized craft room!  (My fiance got me a wonderful book Craft, Inc. for Christmas last year , which I finally decided to crack open and read.  It gave me just the boost of inspiration I needed to get it done).

Step 1:  An Inspired Workspace
Speaking of Christmas and inspiration, I made a trip to JoAnn's yesterday to purchase some goodies with my stack of gift cards.  So my question is this, do I have a sign permanently attached to my back which reads "Hey you, got a question about yarn and needles, ask me!"?  Seriously, I do not work for JoAnn's, or Michael's for that matter.  But without fail, Every. Single. Time. I am in the yarn aisle at a craft store, I get asked (and then followed around) by at least one weary customer.  

Last week at Michael's it was a girl with a month off school asking me which yarn craft to take up with her new found free time.  I had to convince this girl that 1. Knitting most definitely trumps Crochet, and 2. Don't wimp out and start loom knitting. In this same visit, I was approached by a frantic mom searching for the perfect gift for her 11 year old daughter who took it upon herself to get on YouTube and start knitting pot holders on chopsticks (seriously, way to go kid).  She wanted to know 1. If there was actually a difference between Crochet and Knitting (probably the number one question I get asked), and 2.What a girl would need to get started on a scarf.  I picked her out the same book that got me started, made a suggestion for the size of needles she should start on, and explained how to determine which yarn goes with what size needles.  I felt like I had performed my civic craft duty for the day, and went home feeling quite accomplished.  But yesterday, at JoAnn's, just when I thought I was going to make it out of the yarn aisle and into the fabric section (where, thank goodness, no one approached me), this woman came up to me with 5 skeins of yarn in her hands and asked my opinion about which would make the most expensive looking cowl.  When I made my selections, she demanded a supporting explanation.  I told her how much I hated working with one of the yarns she had chosen, and for the next 20 minutes she hunted me down in every aisle with another 5 skeins, always holding at least one of skein of said devil yarn.  Really lady, is it that hard to read the label?  When I said Lion Brand Homespun drives me nuts, I didn't mean that just the blue colorway was horrible, or just the red for that that matter.  I meant every single skein labeled Homespun frays exactly the same way, and you would be tearing out your hair by the end of that cowl if you went home with it. She finally left with an assortment of skeins and was sure to thank me on her way out.  Goodness gracious.  I love talking needles and yarn.  But really, give me a break sometimes.  

In the end, my trip to JoAnn's was quite successful.  I spent a whopping 6 bucks of my own money, and still have $45 left to spend!  I was quite pleased with my selections of yarn, notions, buttons, and fabric too!  So I will leave you with a sneak peek at what I think will become my first sale item:

Puppy Ears Anyone?
Disclaimer:  I love you Lion Brand, I really do, and I will continue to support your yarn, and suggest it to the million more people sure to stop me at the store in the future, but Homespun...  not happening.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In the Knick of Time

I officially made it through the Holidays! And the best part?  I actually completed every gift I set out to make! (Okay, okay so there was one I didn't finish...the perpetually frogged Boyfriend Fiance Sweater, henceforth known as Samurai 2.0.. but we'll get to that later) It was a close one!

I was nearly knitting my future-brother-in-law's gift while walking out the door on my way, to Christmas #1.
Meric the Patriot Monster
I was on top of it for Christmas #2 and 3's gifts
Winter Survival Bag (Tissues, Cider and Chapstick)
A very happy girl and her new Comfy Cable Blanket
...but I actually had to set an alarm to cast-on, bind-off, and wrap up Christmas #4.
The Triplets of Bellevuemeade

All in all I would say Christmas 2012 was a great success!!!  And I would tell you that I'll get a head start on next year's ventures into the art of handmade gifts, but...  let's get real.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Casting On

I guess this blog has been blank long enough. I have to start somewhere, right?  The problem is, I get started everywhere.  So how exactly, did I get here?  

Sure, I've always been crafty, but I never really had a craft.  I've always been determined to change that.  So for years I scrambled up and down the aisles of the craft store searching for the one.  I think I was expecting it to just jump and bite me.  But it never did.  And so, week after week, year after year, I'd stock up on a plethora of new supplies, sit down in my room, and crack open the latest crafting how-to.  And... two or three craft intensive weeks later, I'd give up, shove the new supplies in my overflowing craft trunk, and walk away.  

Then one day I found it...  the yarn aisle!  I had dabbled in crochet, when my friend's little sister taught me to crochet a granny square.  But the hook just wasn't for me.  And... apparently I didn't get the memo that you were supposed to pull from the middle of the skein.  Talk about a tangled mess of madness!  Between that and getting my hook stuck in the middle of the yarn, I was over it.  So I knew if yarn was going to be my thing, I'd have to find a new angle.  I grabbed a little book and starter kit, dove in head first,and I Taught Myself Knitting.  I was tempted to quit a few times.  I mean I can hardly use chopsticks, hand-eye coordination was never my strong suit, and patience... forget it.  But one thing I have mastered...  obsession.  And once those needles started working for me, that was it!  Watching those stitches stack up row after row, in those neat-little-oh-so-gratifying v's... I couldn't get enough.  I was hooked (on needles).

We've had our ups and downs, those needles and me.  We broke up for a little while, and I found another love (we'll talk about the lovely hum of my sewing machine later), but time after time they always found their way back into my hands, and back into my heart.  

And so here we are.  And we are ready.  And I know it won't be easy, love never is.  But we're gonna to do it!  We are tying the knot, and casting on, for all the world to see!