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Æthelthryth the Texan

Crafting type hobbies- what do you do with the things you make?

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We are officially horseless for the first time in years so there went my main hobby, my youngest is 6 so I am definitely out of the small child phase where I have no time for anything, and I think I would like to take up some sort of crafty hobby- maybe knitting or something where your hands are busy, but you can still participate in conversations with family, and can pick it up and set it down without a major ordeal or preparation (like painting). This seems important as I feel like children are always trying to talk and engage, and my other favorite thing to do is read, which isn't conversation friendly- it's more like wanting them to hurry up and leave you alone-  but I still would like something for "me" to just relax and engage in while I still engage with them. I just have to figure out what I want to do. 

I have never been a crafty person, so forgive an ignorant question, but if you knit, crochet  or quilt or whatever- what do you do with all of the stuff you make? If you don't have family or friends who are into crafty type gifts, do you donate them or something? Do you just have a closet full of knitted things? (Especially at the beginning when skill levels are low!) 

Also- is knitting something that is pretty easy to pick up with minimal written instruction or Youtube videos? I don't know anyone who knows how to knit to ask for in-person help. I also can't even sew a button on, so I need to aim low here to start. My only crafty friend is a scrapbooker, and that seems like a very expensive cult to join, so I'm going to pass on that. Most of my other friends' hobbies involve different types of snooty wine/alcohol connoisseurship, so I'm hoping for inspiration from y'all for something more grounded (with less alcohol). 

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I make a lot of stuff for my DD’s cheer team and other teams in the gym. It actually works out well-I keep my hands busy, have places to send my creations, and it costs the other parents less since I basically just charge them for materials. 

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Handknitting is fairly slow, and my problem is usually a backlog of presents I need to make rather than disposing of things I have already finished.  It's a good craft for intermittency if you choose easy, repetitive patterns.  I took it up again after a long hiatus when DD was starting to have activities that required waiting around with other adults who I did not know.  It gave me something to do, but also something I could converse while doing, and it was entirely portable.  That was about 18 years ago and I've been doing it ever since.

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5 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

 My only crafty friend is a scrapbooker, and that seems like a very expensive cult to join, so I'm going to pass on that.  

Any craft hobby can be expensive or not. You can scrapbook with mostly basic paper and adhesives, or you can buy specialty paper and cutting machines. You can knit with needles and basic yarn, or you can buy specialty yarn and looms. So, you should simply pick what you are likely to enjoy and set your own limits. 

Look at some videos and see what might appeal. You can usually find a local group or shop that will show you some basics even if you don't know anyone with experience. Knitting and crochet suit your busy hands criteria and you can buy needles and some yarn pretty cheap to try it. I'd guess that gnarly scarves and blankets can be donated to the animal shelter, lol. 

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Might I suggest loom knitting? I learned to knit on a loom just a few years ago and I truly love making things on the loom. Youtube videos by Loomahat and Good Knit Kisses can get you started, although in-person help would definitely be a help. (I wish you lived around here! I love introducing people to loom knitting!) 

When I was learning, I made some not-at-all impressive items. I mostly kept them because I use them to instruct people on what doesn’t work! 😂 I have made several scarves and wraps, which I wear in the winter. I have made baby blankets for all my new great nieces and nephews for the past two years (four born during that time; one on the way), and I also made a big, fuzzy blanket for ds19 for his dorm. 

There isn’t really a big problem with what to do with the stuff because it takes a while to make something substantial like a baby blanket. I find I usually have a backlog of things I’m making for specific purposes. There is also a lot of charity knitting as a possibility. There are programs to knit hats for US soldiers, or knitting for NICU babies or babies who do not survive. 

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I have taught both knitting and crochet at the library for the last few years, and most of my students seem to think that crochet is easier to learn. So you might want to add that to your list of crafts to explore.

When I feel like making stuff and there is no appropriate gift-giving opportunity to use as an excuse, I make stuff to donate. My favorite recipient is the Red Scarf Project, because the requirements are so flexible and the cause is one that touches me. When I get a chance to catch my breath after I figure out my employment situation, I also hope to get involved with the Magic Yarn Project. The basic crocheted beanies look like a decent project for a relative beginner.

I also started a collaborative project during my time at the library that provides a fun outlet for knitted and crocheted items. The project is in its third year, and I'm participating even though I no longer work there. Each year, we choose a theme and invite patrons and staff to contribute items that we assemble into an installation. The first year was just a basic yarn bombing deal, with colorful squares we festooned all over the library (and which are now being re-purposed into scarves and blankets for donation to a local charity). Last year, we made a garden with different scenes. This year's display will be a coral reef/undersea extravaganza. 

I don't have a lot of trouble finding ways to dispose of knitted and crocheted items. My struggle is what to do with the more eccentric mixed-media/collage pieces I've been making in the last year or so. My daughter asked for a few last time she was here visiting, but the rest are piling up on my craft table. 

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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For health reasons, I wouldn't replace a physical activity, like caring for a horse, with a sedentary one. I would pick something physical I could do with the dc and/or with friends. It's going to be far better for long-term physical and mental health. 

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Dh and I both crochet (yes, I taught my dh to crochet and he's actually better at some of it than I am lol). We give away things to friends and family a lot. We make lots of stuffies  and amigurumis and things for ds (this is what dh is better at than me, the sometimes tiny stitches for amis hurt my arthritic hands and he's able to keep a tight even tension for much longer than me). Ds often requests that we make him particular animals or patterns lol. Sometimes we sell items, I crocheted a set of infant cowboy boots and a woman dh's grandma works with bought them for her new granddaughter. We've been asked to make quite a few headbands and earwarmers. I really like crocheting hats like these. My son has more winter hats than he knows what to do with lol. We've sold a few as well. My ex's grandmother crocheted baby blankets in a rainbow of colors and just kept them put away until a grandbaby or great grandbaby was born and then gave them to the new mom as a baby gift. I've been slowly working on doing that for my future grandchildren. Baby blankets and hats, which are quick easy projects once you find a pattern you like, can be donated to women's shelters, hospitals with nicu's, pregnancy crisis centers and the like.

Just a word of warning, I can knit, crochet and embroider. All of them require some counting and concentration at times. Talking while trying to count stitches often leads to ripping out rows and rows because you can't figure out where you made the mistake that made your pattern come out wonky lol. That's not to say you can't talk while you craft, just that the margin for error is higher especially with a finicky pattern that doesn't have any room for error if you want it to come out right.

I used to paper scrapbook but I've switched over to digital scrapbook. I make a lot of my own supplies now but you can download a lot for free (completely legally lol). Check out Pixel Scrapper if it is something that interests you.

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If I were going to take up knit or crochet, which I'd love to learn, I'd start with dishcloths. Everyone I know loves them, so I feel like they'd be an acceptable gift to give to people even who don't like "crafty things" (I have folks in my family who are like that). 

Also, I'd look for charities that take things. Project Linus takes homemade blankets of all sorts (fleece, knit, crochet, quilts, etc.) and those can be everything from NICU baby sized to teen sized, so that would be another place to donate learning projects, extras, etc. 

Then I'd figure out what my family (immediate &/or extended) wanted. For ex, I quilt, so each boy has received a custom quilt for his bed, per his (at the time) specifications. And all the random couch throws have been replaced with quilts. Etc. If I were going to knit/crochet, I'd find out who wants, for ex, socks, scarves, beanies/caps, shawls (some of the knit shawl patterns are so beautiful.....), blankets, slippers, etc. Find patterns that *I* would like and make those. Etc. There's plenty of stuff to make for people who will appreciate it. Softies/knit "stuffed animals", NICU layette sets for hospitals, etc. 

Also, maybe it's different with knitting, but with quilting I recently counted up and including wall quilts, I've made 30-ish, which came out to 3 to 4 quilts per year. So, really not an over abundance. Some of those were gifts for specific people, some of those were commissioned by friends, some of those were kept by us, some of those were small wall hangings, etc. But, especially while learning, and especially if working in between interruptions, I wouldn't overestimate how much you'll get done. Granted, knit dishcloths I imagine take a lot less time than even a small quilt, but then again, you can make a whole lot more of them before they become "too many dishcloths". The big stuff will take time. 

I vote start and enjoy! (Quilting is great, but not portable unless you plan to piece/quilt by hand, and then for sure you won't be producing much; as much as I love quilting, sounds like knit/crochet is more what you're wanting right now). 

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Not trying to derail the thread, but is there a social group/club here for crafting?  Can someone invite me or link it so I can request membership?

THank you!

And OP, sounds lovely!

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2 hours ago, wintermom said:

For health reasons, I wouldn't replace a physical activity, like caring for a horse, with a sedentary one. I would pick something physical I could do with the dc and/or with friends. It's going to be far better for long-term physical and mental health. 

He's been housed at a barn for over a year (since our other horse died- we already down to two since 2016) so I haven't had any physical activity related to him in a looooong time, apart from walking a check in to the barn owner. I pretty much had to quit riding after two knee surgeries in 2016. 😞

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Over the years, I have sewn quilts, cloth dolls, costumes, household items, tote bags, and all manner of gift.  I loom and hand knit.  I’ve tried traditional rug hooking, weaving on a rigid heddle loom, Kool-aid dyed wool yarns and silks, and paper crafted (ie, card making, origami, and stamping).  Just about every room in my house contains something I have made, and every friend I have owns at least 2 scarves while their children have blankets, knitted items like burp cloths, and accessories for play.  I’ve never kept a personal quilt because I make them and wind up giving them to someone that I love. 

I learned to knit when I turned 40 yo and used mainly books, YouTube, and Ravelry for guidance.  When I knit, I tink (ie. pull apart) any item that I don’t like.  I try not to give away stuff that looks obviously “homemade”.  It took about 4 months of knitting and tinking to make and give away something that I wasn’t ashamed of.

Edited by Heathermomster
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Most of my crafts are either home dec or gifts for family members.  Mostly sewing.
T-shirt Quilts & Advent Calendars currently.

Also learning to sew (even by hand) allows you to mend & alter ready-made clothing & saves lots of $$.
Agreeing with PP about having an active hobby, too!

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For a few years, I found myself waiting in parking lots after school, band, swimming, and water polo, so I started knitting and crocheting again. I made lots of dishcloths (knitting) and hot pads (crocheting). They were very easy to make, I could talk on the phone while doing it, start and stop easily, and there was very little counting. I have also knitted bags that took a bit more counting, but not a lot. The dishcloths and hot pads I gave as gifts or kept for myself. There are lots of tutorials online or Joann's or Michael's frequently have beginner classes that last only a couple of weeks.

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28 minutes ago, wilrunner said:

 There are lots of tutorials online or Joann's or Michael's frequently have beginner classes that last only a couple of weeks.

 

This is where I find myself compelled to suggest checking your local library, too. As I mentioned, I taught knitting, crochet and sewing at our county library. The classes are free, and we were often told by patrons who had paid for classes at JoAnn's or Michael's or fabric stores that they had much better experiences with us.

I realize residents here are spoiled, because our library system is unusually good, but it's worth a look before you write a check to a retail outlet.

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I taught myself with the book Kids Knitting by Melanie Fallick.

https://www.amazon.com/Kids-Knitting-Projects-all-Ages/dp/1579652417

I am another vote for dishclothes/washclothes.  They work great and the cotton for them goes on sale frequently.  I have a favorite cloth pattern I use but there are free patterns online for cloths in different patterns and even designs/pictures.

I once knew someone who knitted cloths while watching tv.  When she had too many she would bring them to work or church and give them away.  She did "if you'd like a dishcloth please take one" so it wasn't thrust upon anyone.

 

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I think knitting, crochet, and hand quilting (EPP) are the best hobbies to do with activity around you.  Normally if I am not making a gift for a specific person I make baby gifts.  Quick and easy, stash busters.  Small amounts of fabric or yarn get used up.  For some odd reason Dh and my mother( really enjoyed) giving my inventory away.  Currently I have nothing ahead and actually could use a bit of baby gift inventory Dh took my last blanket(machine made) the other day.

Knitting.........I taught myself how to knit with a basic kit that I bought at a Michaels type store many years ago so it can be done.  I had help perfecting my skill from a neighbor and friend’s mom.  If you have a speciality yarn shop nearby the owners are typically wonderful teachers.  For the price of a ball of yarn, needles, and a pattern you should have a ready made advisor,  ask to make sure they help  before you buy.  Sometimes seniors groups at larger churches have crafting groups and really do welcome all in my experience. Barring all that I really think youtube and the internet could do it.  

Crochet.......I used to enjoy it but bothers my hands.  A friend taught herself how to crochet incredible things using these videos https://www.scheepjes.com/en/cals-and-mals/cals-sponsored-by-scheepjes/mandala-madness-cal-2016/information/. My Dd loves crochet and makes the themed characters.....Marvel, Star Wars etc.  Your kids might enjoy what you produce!

Quilting.......for years I just did hand quilting using English Paper Piecing.  It’s slow but enjoyable.  Very portable and fabulous for tv watching etc because you don’t need to count.   Honestly getting an oversupply of output would be hard with hand quilting.  I have a couple of favorite baby quilts set aside for special nieces etc but I am really stingy in terms of sharing my hand quilting.  Machine quilting is so much quicker and I think that is where you hear of the over abundance of presents.

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I started crocheting (or restarted after having to do it wayyy back when in class) and found that it's rather relaxing. The easiest thing is blankets. Once I started, everyone wanted a blanket and they are large and therefore take a while. Ds has requested no fewer than 3 blankets. I have 2 others here in the house and have crocheted blankets for an organization that donates them to the homeless. No worries about what to do with it - just finding the time nowadays to do it.

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I primarily knit or crochet though I do jump into other crafts sometimes.  I mostly do practical stuff for us -  mitts, hats, scarves/wraps, sweaters, etc.  I do gift some things at times for people I know who really appreciate hand made things.  And a couple years ago I discovered if I do something like a beautiful wrap in high quality yarn, it makes a nice donation for silent auction fundraisers.  I've done a few other tailored items toward that too.

I've also been involved in donation knit-a-longs like hats for homeless and newborns, etc.  

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I’m too uptight to knit- my 12 inch dishcloths turn out to be around 6 inches.  But I do quilt!

I donate to Quilts of Valor, which are about twin size quilts for veterans. I specialize in Vietnam era vets, and usually do two a year. Heirloom quality, so they take a while. 

For portable projects I make baby quilts for Project Linus. They are about 36 inches square, and I piece by machine but quilt by hand when I need portable projects.  The blocks can also be hand embroidered, which is also an easy project to take on the go. Project Linus would welcome your small knitted baby blankets! 

I enjoy embroidering dishtowels or other small items to give away or donate. 

I’m a slow sewer, meaning that I’m not trying to churn out a lot of projects, but rather sew slowly to relax.  

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My sister-in-law does iris folding and stamping to make beautiful sets of "stationery" cards, and gives them as gifts (a set of 4-6 cards), or sells them at her husband's art gallery/frame shop.

My sister's jewelry-making hobby turned into a full-fledged at-home business.

I crotchet baby blankets (and now, little matching hats to make a set), and give them as gifts, or if there have not been any babies at church or amongst friends (now children of friends!), if I have accumulated a pile, I donate to the local Crisis Pregnancy Center or Pregnancy Resource Center. A few times, I have donated to a silent auction to help with a fundraiser for a group DH is involved with. I have been eyeing "finger knitting", as that looks like a fun and fast handcraft. I think you would want to do it on a dowel (rather than your fingers) to make it possible to pick up and put down.

re: cost
It can get pricey if I use specialty yarns. However, I usually buy nice 1-pound skeins of baby sport-weight yarn (1 white and 1 variegated/colored) and can make 2 complete baby blanket + hat sets from that. Each skein runs about $10, but I usually get them on sale or use a Joanne's or Michael's coupon and get them for about $8 each. So for $8-10 in supplies, and about 20-25 hours of my time, I have a lovely baby gift! We don't watch TV a lot, but that's when I do a lot of my crocheting, so I feel like I'm doing something productive and not just "wasting time", lol. I probably make 4-5 baby blanket sets per year.

re: how easy is it to pick up knitting
Can't say -- I tried learning to knit when I was in my 20s, but couldn't get the hang of it -- and I did discover that knitting is FAR less forgiving if you make a mistake than crocheting is. My grandmother taught me to crotchet when I was a kid, so that seems to me that learning to crotchet couldn't be THAT hard, lol. It is only in the last 5-6 years, that I've started to branch out and try doing a variety of different patterns, and while I usually have to do a sample and unravel it several times before I get it figured out, I'm actually learning how to follow a pattern. But watching youtube videos makes it very easy, imo.

Edited by Lori D.
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23 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

Dh and I both crochet (yes, I taught my dh to crochet and he's actually better at some of it than I am lol). We give away things to friends and family a lot. We make lots of stuffies  and amigurumis and things for ds (this is what dh is better at than me, the sometimes tiny stitches for amis hurt my arthritic hands and he's able to keep a tight even tension for much longer than me). Ds often requests that we make him particular animals or patterns lol. Sometimes we sell items, I crocheted a set of infant cowboy boots and a woman dh's grandma works with bought them for her new granddaughter. We've been asked to make quite a few headbands and earwarmers. I really like crocheting hats like these. My son has more winter hats than he knows what to do with lol. We've sold a few as well. My ex's grandmother crocheted baby blankets in a rainbow of colors and just kept them put away until a grandbaby or great grandbaby was born and then gave them to the new mom as a baby gift. I've been slowly working on doing that for my future grandchildren. Baby blankets and hats, which are quick easy projects once you find a pattern you like, can be donated to women's shelters, hospitals with nicu's, pregnancy crisis centers and the like.

Just a word of warning, I can knit, crochet and embroider. All of them require some counting and concentration at times. Talking while trying to count stitches often leads to ripping out rows and rows because you can't figure out where you made the mistake that made your pattern come out wonky lol. That's not to say you can't talk while you craft, just that the margin for error is higher especially with a finicky pattern that doesn't have any room for error if you want it to come out right.

I used to paper scrapbook but I've switched over to digital scrapbook. I make a lot of my own supplies now but you can download a lot for free (completely legally lol). Check out Pixel Scrapper if it is something that interests you.

I have been mentally planning to learn to make amigurimis. I would like to learn and get fairly good at it before grandbabies come along. So nice that your dh shares this hobby with you! 

True on the counting! I bought a mug at the Sheep & Wool festival that says, “Shhh! I’m counting!” 😂 If I’m doing a specific, counted pattern, I rarely take those projects out to knit on the go. If I’m talking, I will mess up! For on-the-go projects, I would rather bring a project with a repetative pattern with little or no counts. 

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38 minutes ago, Quill said:

I have been mentally planning to learn to make amigurimis. I would like to learn and get fairly good at it before grandbabies come along. So nice that your dh shares this hobby with you! 

True on the counting! I bought a mug at the Sheep & Wool festival that says, “Shhh! I’m counting!” 😂 If I’m doing a specific, counted pattern, I rarely take those projects out to knit on the go. If I’m talking, I will mess up! For on-the-go projects, I would rather bring a project with a repetative pattern with little or no counts. 

Dh is disabled and often in a lot of pain due to IIH. He likes to do intricate fiddly things with his hands when he is really hurting to keep his mind busy and off of the pain. He saw me crochet an ami for ds out of boredom one day and he wanted me to teach him since it looked like something he could do when he is really hurting. After that he was hooked no pun intended lol.

If you want to get into amis, I'd suggest starting with simple balls like these ones. If you can master making a ball, you can make almost any ami. Medium to largish balls are great for babies to play with so long as you embroider the facial features if you choose to do the one linked above. Also 100% cotton yarn makes the cleanest stitches on an ami. Oh and master the magic ring if you haven't already, it will save your sanity. Another great thing to make to practice making amis is chew toys for small dogs. Dh's grandma has a chihuahua that gets all of our "seconds" quality amis lol. She tears them up eventually but it takes a while. 

I've made lots of these little owls  to practice making eyes and faces. I crocheted circles and triangles for the eyes and beak instead of felt and safety eyes so as to make them baby and dog safe. You could just embroider them as well if you know how to embroider or want to learn.

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I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch. I still love it but don't have the opportunity to do it anymore. I used to do it while watching TV but need more light than everyone else wants in the room.  But with the exception of a few Christmas tree ornaments, I have never done anything with my cross stitch projects.  I never wanted to spend the $$ to have them professionally framed and felt too unskilled to turn them into fabric wall  hangings or pillows. I have 20+ finished designs in a plastic box. Most of them are things I made when my kids were little so they are no longer desirable as actual home/room decor.  Sometimes I open the box and look at them.

Now I do knit dishcloths. That I can do while watching tv or talking to people. Mine don't turn out nice enough to give as gifts, but we use them around the house.  

I watched youtube videos and went to a drop-in class at a knit shop to get started. I am a very slow knitter but dishcloths are fairly quick, particularly if kept simple. I do occasionally follow a design but mostly just knit a square and call it good. 

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As everyone has said, dish cloths! I have a relative who also prefers knitted cloths for regular bath washcloths too. https://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Answer-Book-Solutions-Question/dp/1580175996  This lady's books are wonderful. I struggled to learn to knit due to knitting too tightly, but this book had the answer!!! She also has some technique books that have projects to go with various techniques. 

Lots of crafts are compatible with upcycling. If you are still in the trying it out phase, you might check thrift stores for supplies. With the upswing in bed bugs and such things, I tend to put my thrift/yardsale/estate sale purchases in the freezer for a while, and nothing has been harmed yet, but I have gotten a lot of really high quality stuff for very little money.

My mom and I don't get to hang out together often (different states), but we are making Christmas gift bags. I have stumbled onto a lot of Christmas fabric as well as muslin to line them with, ribbon for trim, etc. at thrift stores and yard sales. I am also using bits and pieces of leftover cross-stitch fabric to make small designs that we can add to our bags. Our goal is to use very little (if any) Christmas paper at some point. 

Cards (often stamped): You can start with just a few things and make a pretty big variety. They don't all have to be equally fancy. If you get a stamp design that can be filled in, and you like to color, you can satisfy your coloring urge with some nice colored pencils or a blender pen. I know people who make cards for a ministry at their church. They have a committee that sends cards for birthdays, funerals, get well, new baby, graduation, etc. They keep the ministry supplied with homemade cards. Also, stamping can be combined with scrapbooking or even to decorate ordinary items such as gift boxes, wrapping paper, naked journals, gift tags, etc.

 

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I made this kit with wool yarn as opposed to using thin wool strips.  The project went fast, and I recall the most difficult part was pulling the pile up to the same height, but it’s easy to correct.  

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Well, this is all sort of overwhelming the more I look into it! And dh reminded me that I went through this phase between babies, trying to knit and crochet. Talk about brain damage from child birth- I barely have any recollection of this whatsoever. He said I threw it all away in a fit of frustration, which I can see happening, so maybe I'm not meant to be crafty after all. 

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I haven't had much time for crafting the past few years, but I still love paper scrapbooking. I like being creative and getting to design things and ending up with something I can enjoy. Photos that are in boxes and on the computer never get seen, but we often pull scrapbooks off the shelf and look at them. I also like that I can tell the story that goes along with the pictures. When I'm done homeschooling, I plan to use lots of time going through my pictures and putting many of them in scrapbooks.

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16 minutes ago, mom2scouts said:

I haven't had much time for crafting the past few years, but I still love paper scrapbooking. I like being creative and getting to design things and ending up with something I can enjoy. Photos that are in boxes and on the computer never get seen, but we often pull scrapbooks off the shelf and look at them. I also like that I can tell the story that goes along with the pictures. When I'm done homeschooling, I plan to use lots of time going through my pictures and putting many of them in scrapbooks.

One of my closest friends is super into scrapbooking- it's just one of those things that leaves me a bit unenthused. I think it's because I'm not a sentimental person. She's very sentimental and is also into genealogy in a massive way, so those two things together seem to make her like Super Scrapbooker, and they make me want to run and hide. She's also my most crafty friend, so maybe I'm just missing some sort of crafting competency gene. 😒 I know I am also missing the Martha Stewart gene, so perhaps they go hand in hand. Dh suggested I take up mowing our pasture as my hobby. I think otherwise he sees tears of frustration in his future. 

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Do you have a friend that would let you shirt-tail onto her hobby? One that enjoys her hobby but doesn't live it, KWIM (or would know how to avoid overwhelming you)? If you did, and you had to time to meet regularly, you might be able to buy a certain amount of supplies or contribute some cash, and then it's just finding a time/place.

For example, a great aunt in my family and her sisters loved to paint ceramics. One of them had a basement area with shelves and a big table for storing projects and paint. She also had a kiln. Each person (there were sometimes other family members besides sisters) bought their own project, but everyone chipped in cash to meet once per week and use the host's paints, brushes, kiln, etc. It worked really well. I know another family that tends to gather that way for a variety of crafts, but I don't think they trade cash--the just freely share non-consumables, buy their own consumables, and often work together on each other's projects. 

If you like it, then you can decide if you want to be crafty at home. 

I think even non-crafty people can enjoy something to do with their hands if they have some gentle encouragement and inspiration.

My husband needs to do some handcrafts, but I can't get him to. Ugh. He does get some hands-on stuff at work, but I think he'd be happier if he did small creative projects too. When he gives in, you can see the stress roll off. I have successfully gotten him into gardening though! 

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I'm making things we can use .....quilts, blankets, scarves, bags, etc.  I also make most of my gifts.  My aunt especially likes to receive home made things.  This will be the first Christmas I don't have coaches or piano teachers to make things for.  It will be different for sure

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2 hours ago, kbutton said:

Do you have a friend that would let you shirt-tail onto her hobby? One that enjoys her hobby but doesn't live it, KWIM (or would know how to avoid overwhelming you)? If you did, and you had to time to meet regularly, you might be able to buy a certain amount of supplies or contribute some cash, and then it's just finding a time/place.

For example, a great aunt in my family and her sisters loved to paint ceramics. One of them had a basement area with shelves and a big table for storing projects and paint. She also had a kiln. Each person (there were sometimes other family members besides sisters) bought their own project, but everyone chipped in cash to meet once per week and use the host's paints, brushes, kiln, etc. It worked really well. I know another family that tends to gather that way for a variety of crafts, but I don't think they trade cash--the just freely share non-consumables, buy their own consumables, and often work together on each other's projects. 

If you like it, then you can decide if you want to be crafty at home. 

I think even non-crafty people can enjoy something to do with their hands if they have some gentle encouragement and inspiration.

My husband needs to do some handcrafts, but I can't get him to. Ugh. He does get some hands-on stuff at work, but I think he'd be happier if he did small creative projects too. When he gives in, you can see the stress roll off. I have successfully gotten him into gardening though! 

That would be awesome. One of you should move closer! Unfortunately, most of my friends don't really have hobbies- they're all either working Moms with kids in school/daycare/sports/burning the candle at both ends where we're lucky if we can grab a glass of wine, or else they're stay at home, homeschooling Mom's like me, except they all still have little ones and are too tired for hobbies (except for scrapbook friend). It's hard to get together with them without kids- I think it's just the stage of life we're in right now. Some friends and I do go paint pottery every so often, but we have to go somewhere, and take the kids because none of the places locally are usually open at night.  I was really hoping to find something I could do at home with snatches of time here or there........I recently discovered that I really enjoy painting pottery, but I don't have any friends who do anything with it more than I do. My dd will, but we have to go to the pottery places still and it's expensive!! (For the premade pieces at least.) We do have several pottery places around, but that's probably something more realistic for me in a year or two, to be able to learn more/practice more. My son loves it too, so with a little age on him I could see the pottery thing being great later. I just need them to get out of toys so I have room to get a craft type set up at home. 

We went to Hobby Lobby today and I went ahead and bought some crochet hooks, knitting needles, and two cheap skeins of yarn, along with ordering the book @happi duck mentioned up thread. But just unraveling the %&$@! yarn and trying to get it into a ball has shown me that I'm artistically challenged in multiple ways. One of the youtube videos I pulled up to figure out how the hell to untangle the yarn and get it into a ball involved using a hand mixer and a paper towel holder, which Dh wisely suggested I perhaps avoid at this time. 😂 He just left with the kids so I could be alone with my yarn. I'm hoping it's 5pm soon, because it seems like wine, or possibly tequila,  might be required for this hobby. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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15 hours ago, school17777 said:

Have you considered rug hooking? 

https://woolery.com/rug-hooking/kits.html

Now that I had carpel surgery, I want to get back into this myself.

I'm just starting to rug hook.  I've made a rug for oldest dd and several pillows.  The kits I have used are mostly from Herrschners

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29 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Hey I did it! I knitted a bunch of rows and no alcohol or tears were involved!! 😀

Yay! I recommend sticking with either knitting or crochet until it feels comfortable. Then add in the other. They are similar, but different in a million small, tricky ways. 

I'm a knitter and usually have a couple of projects going so that if I hit a "thinking needed" spot on one i can grab something else on my way out the door.  

At one point I knit a lap blanket of squares that were individually knit with different patterns. That was great, even though all my squares came out different shapes and sizes. (I think I was able to just block that all out - knitting fashion, not memory-wise)

This may not be what you are looking for, but I've also spent a little of my free time and waiting time keeping up a Duolingo streak. Even if I don't have a handy knitting project I almost always have my phone. 

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If you learn to knit or crochet, many NICUs take .ittle beanie cap donations! They are teeny and work up really quickly, which I love lol. Plus, they are so cute!

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It's not portable, but I find cooking and baking makes a nice hobby which allows me to still chat and hang out.  The chopping, kneading, mixing, etc. don't take much concentration, but keep my hands busy.  This week I made shaped pasta and three of us were rolling out the pasta dough together while watching MasterChef.  We ate the end product an hour later, so no worries about having to donate .... but I've considered cooking for a Ronald McDonald House or something similar if I had more time on my hands.  

Edited by Kebo
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On 7/5/2019 at 6:44 AM, Pawz4me said:

Those are fabulous!

Thoughts on how hard it is to learn?

 

Not hard.  I did not buy the (expensive) loom that is typically used.  I borrowed one of my mom’s quilting lap frames - basically tubes with a cover.  That worked fine.  You need some way to pull the fabric tight in the area you are working.  I think the lady at the shop where I bought my kit gave me a quick lesson - it’s been years.  If you don’t have a local shop, I’m sure you can find directions on YouTube.  It’s easy to pick up! 

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I knit and crochet. I usually do small things like dishcloths and I give them to everyone! I have made a couple of baby blankets for my cousins and my DS's boss. I'm still making a baby groot for my 11 yo. I did find a charity to make stuffed zebras for but I had to put that on hold until after we're settled from our move. There are a lot of charity groups that you can donate to (usually hats & baby blankets). I want to start making socks.

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The only craft hobby I have these days is crochet. Living in Florida there are only so many crocheted blankets and hats we can use. I often give away what I make. I've made baby blankets for my grandchildren, as well as grand nieces and nephews. I've occasionally made items by request (my grand niece wanted a mermaid tail blanket for example). I also make baby blankets for Project Linus and cancer caps (hats) for various cancer groups. All of these things allow me to keep a hobby that makes me happy and hopefully make someone else happy as well.

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On 7/5/2019 at 11:01 AM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Well, this is all sort of overwhelming the more I look into it! And dh reminded me that I went through this phase between babies, trying to knit and crochet. Talk about brain damage from child birth- I barely have any recollection of this whatsoever. He said I threw it all away in a fit of frustration, which I can see happening, so maybe I'm not meant to be crafty after all. 

 

Each time I try to learn to knit I have this exact experience.  Knitting is frustrating and slow and hard.

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7 hours ago, moonflower said:

 

Each time I try to learn to knit I have this exact experience.  Knitting is frustrating and slow and hard.

I shelved it yesterday. At first I thought it was really great that both of my younger kids were so excited and wanted to learn to until all my time was suddenly devoted to helping them learn! I probably sound like a bad Mom, but I tried to tell them I'm not good enough to help another clueless person yet!! The knitting for kids book came though so maybe that will help. Or distract them at a minimum. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan

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18 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I shelved it yesterday. At first I thought it was really great that both of my younger kids were so excited and wanted to learn to until all my time was suddenly devoted to helping them learn! I probably sound like a bad Mom, but I tried to tell them I'm not good enough to help another clueless person yet!! The knitting for kids book came though so maybe that will help. Or distract them at a minimum. 

May I suggest the Klutz Potholder kit for your kids.  My kids made stacks of potholders at that age.

Them Knitting was hard on all of us and I could knit!  I will admit I ran into some of Ds ‘s completed projects in my cleaning and they were so funny....and sweet,  we saved them!

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