Crafters Anonymous


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Crafters Anonymous

Postby Cinnamon » Jun 19th, '07, 09:57

I've seen references to various crafting around the boards but nothing specific. If I missed it, I'm sorry, but I was curious as to what everyone might do.

Hi, I'm Erin, and I'm a compulsive knitter and counted cross stitcher.

I've been knitting since I was about 5 and stitching since I was 12. As I'm now closer to 40 than 30, it translates into a fair amount of time for both.

I've done the required scarves but have moved on to socks, shawls, and sweaters. I think socks are my favorite- they're portable, practical, and working with double pointed needles in public makes you look much more clever than you really are. ;)

I've stitched a few large framed pieces for gifts and am currently working on a few things for myself. I've fallen in love with the Kats by Kelly charts and am also designing a wallhanging of Harry Potter motifs.

I'm trying to teach myself to spin, too, and have produced some rather wonky singles on a drop spindle. My grandmother had an Ashford Elizabeth wheel, although I don't think she ever used it, and my father recently gave it to me. I look forward to the day I can actually work on it and produce something that might resemble yarn. :)

So, fellow crafters, what are you creating?
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Postby Mary R » Jun 19th, '07, 10:13

I've done a fair bit of knitting and cross-stitch in my day. It's not something I compulsively do, just when I get an occasional yen.

The crowning glory in my nerd cap of craftiness are the pysanky, though. It's a family thing. We're Slavic, and Grandma always has to outdo the other church ladies when it comes to putting together the most attractive Easter basket for the basket blessings.

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This isn't a picture of ones I've done, but I have made quite a few of these patterns or very similar ones.
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Postby Cinnamon » Jun 19th, '07, 12:28

Mary, those are gorgeous. If you come across some pictures of ones you or your family have done, I'd love to see them.
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Postby tea knitter » Jun 19th, '07, 12:40

Hi, Cin and Mary R.,

I like to knit quite a bit myself. I learned when I was 6-7, but promptly forgot. Then, when I was dating a Greek fellow, his mama re-taught me and I have continued since then with a project always in the works. I decided to make at least 1 sweater per year per child. I now have 2 kids and have managed to keep up, but I don't think I could do much more. Most recently I have taken up the home textiles mentioned heavily in Mason-Dixon knitting. I love to have a nice cup of tea and knit quietly while listening to a knitting show on the TV. I have many of them TiVo'd and I never tire of them. I also enjoy teaching others to knit and have spent some time at the local arts and craft store consulting. I am always looking for people to knit with and to teach. Mary - those eggs are glorious. Keep up the handicrafts, folks, as it has been noted that these activities are as effective as yoga at decreasing stress levels and blood pressure. That, and a good cup of tea...I can't imagine a less stressful time.
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Postby teaspoon » Jun 19th, '07, 14:08

What beautiful eggs! I'd love to see your own work, Mary :)

Crafting is definitely in my blood. My mom used to do a lot of needlepoint and cross stitch, which then shared her time with knitting, and then sewing supplanted both for a while, and now she's back to mostly knitting.

So she taught me to sew when I was a kid, and I did less of it as a teenager, and college got me back into sewing. Now I do costumes for my friend's theatre company in the summers, and I've done a couple of productions with professional and community theatres. Medieval reenacting is my other big thing, so I sew for that.

Then I picked up crochet in college. I'm in love with crochet, and it's probably what I do the most. I've done a few original designs, because a lot of patterns that are out there are kinda disappointing. It's getting better though.

Eventually I learned to knit. I always hated knitting because it's harder for me and slower than crochet. But Narnia came out as a movie and I just had to have a Mr. Tumnus scarf. So now I'm a knitter, too.

And thanks to medieval reenacting, I discovered spinning as a hobby. Learned on a crappy drop spindle, didn't have time for it for a year and a half, and then got a Golding drop spindle for Christmas and fell in love all over again. In January I took a spinning wheel class, and in March I got my first wheel. It's become a real addiction. Seriously.

Do any of you have blogs for your craftiness? I do, a friend of mine sucked me into the blogosphere. It's quite a community; I'm still just starting to make connections. It's so great to connect with other people that are addicted to crafting!

~craftyspoon
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Postby xine » Jun 19th, '07, 15:04

oooh yay! a thread about crafting!!

I used to craft a lot- sewing of the sorts. I haven't made anything in the past six months, though. I think I've been in an extended dry spell. I used to make lots of fun little goodies; pouches, pillows, aprons, skirts, etc. I also love to embroider and xstitch. I think along with the dry spell, I feel like I don't have any time to do anything. :( I did a whole lot while in college, where I had room to keep my sewing machine in my room and was just around people who were artsy and crafty- instant inspiration.

Also, while in college, I was the head of our women and gender studies' undergrad association, and I started an annual 'SkillShare' where we asked people in the RU community to come and teach workshops to people interested in learning fun stuff- I did sewing, and we also had a vegan/veggie cooking/lifestyle, bike repair, screenprinting, etc etc- all in the spirit of DIY. Plus aside from discussing feminist theory and politics at meetings, people would bring their portable crafts and what not. I never learned to knit, though, and I think I would love to learn eventually- nothing too crazy, just so I can make scarves and mittens - I can never find any cute/pretty ones in the stores.


Mary, your eggs are beautiful! Do you sell your wares anywhere? I've always wanted to start a little online/or Etsy based craft business but, again- no time. SIGH. I have sold some of my stuff at various zine fests along with my zine, but nothing bigger than that.


I also go around to getcrafty.com and post on the boards under ratti pillo (also the name of my zine/crafty wares). I've been meaning to craft again, but I think I might concentrate on housewares- I picked up a bunch of fun craft books before I left my old job that is all about making things for the home.

Here is one needlepoint piece I did for an art show to benefit victims of sexual abuse:

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Postby augie » Jun 19th, '07, 23:04

Thanks for starting the craft thread. I can't visit any forums on crafting, I just get sucked in! I have tried crochet/knit, don't have the attn span. Even tho I am 40 in a few short months, Cin. I have also tried the eggs, so I can appreciate Marys eggs when she posts them. I also love the stories that go alone with the eggs, my kids won't have cool memories like that! I have even tried carding & spinning (hand crank) for 15 minutes so i can appreciate tsp hobby!
1. sewing and quilting.
2. making halloween costumes (I haven't started yet)
3. making home made soap -- NOT the stuff you buy a kit for at Hobby Lobby, but lye and fat real soap!
4. painting my house
5. scrapbooks

I need help.
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Being able to pick the brains of 20 other women (or men) quilters would change my life! Too many fat quarters, not enough hours in a day.
Last edited by augie on Jun 20th, '07, 23:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mary R » Jun 20th, '07, 09:12

Dang, thanks for all the nice words about my eggs! One of my brothers happened to be peeping over my shoulder as I was reading this thread, and now I'm hearing "Mary, your eggs are GLORY" every few seconds. :roll:

Teaspoon--I really don't think I've ever taken a picture of the pysanky me and my clan have done. Grandma holds the family collection and my mother's planning a trip to see her parents soon, so I'll ask her if she'll snap a pic.

Xine--I've never thought about selling them. Culturally, it's a very big deal to receive a pysanka from a person outside your family. It basically means "you're so special to me it can't be described in words." I'm a 3rd generation American through my mom's side, so the whole cultural significance has been greatly diluted...but there's still a lot of major honor, affection, and mushy-gushy feelings involved...so selling just doesn't seem right.

I do know of some (much better) professional artists who will sell gorgeous pieces. I'm not an artist. The stuff I make are no where near as perfect as that.
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Postby xine » Jun 20th, '07, 11:29

Mary R wrote:Xine--I've never thought about selling them. Culturally, it's a very big deal to receive a pysanka from a person outside your family. It basically means "you're so special to me it can't be described in words." I'm a 3rd generation American through my mom's side, so the whole cultural significance has been greatly diluted...but there's still a lot of major honor, affection, and mushy-gushy feelings involved...so selling just doesn't seem right.



True, I didn't know about the cultural meaning- sorry to act like a capitalist! hehe. but really, they are beautiful :)

Anybody work on tea-themed crafts? I've been meaning to make some fun cozies, after seeing some granny-esque kinds. cozies for a new generation (no geese or roosters and what nots).
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Postby teaspoon » Jun 20th, '07, 11:43

Anybody work on tea-themed crafts?


I've been thinking of making a tea cozy with my handspun yarn. But something sleek that fits to the teapot, not a big baggy thing that just swallows it whole. I had some t-shirt designs involving tea, too, but I have yet to get into screen printing...

~tsp
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Postby Cinnamon » Jun 20th, '07, 12:03

Xine- I am sure I've seen some patterns for mittens that are done on two needles and then seamed up, so you wouldn't have to master double pointed needles. Not that they are all that difficult, but they can be a bit tricky to figure out at first. I'll go back and look through some of the sites I have bookmarked and see if anything cute pops up.


I've been playing around with some scrap wool and various needles to get a nice dense fabric. I've also been swatching for how it felts. When I get the fabric I want, I'd like to make a cozy for my favorite teapot. Like teaspoon, I don't want something so huge, so I'm trying to design my own to custom fit my pot.

It's a matter of finding the time between all the pairs of socks I've promised people. Which reminds me that I really need to finish up one pair so I can put the heels in and get them sent out!

~Cin
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Postby Mary R » Jun 20th, '07, 15:06

Mmm, hey, I think someone once posted on the forums here about a cozy they had made for their personaliTEA...

Ooops. It was actually a crochet piece. Still, here's a linky.
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Postby teaspoon » Jun 20th, '07, 15:12

Yep, the crocheted one was me. Unfortunately, schoolwork took over shortly after I made it, and so I forgot how I'd made it before I got the chance to write the pattern down. So I have to start over. *sigh* Oh well, I've decided I need a different version anyway.

~tsp
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Postby augie » Jun 20th, '07, 19:12

A friend who showed my how she was taught to color the eggs said that all the women-folk in their parish would start working on their eggs before ash-Wed. Young competing against other young women and the young against the old. They brought their eggs in a basket to mass on Palm Sun or Gd Fri and allowed the priest to look at them. If the priest thought you had exceptional work he might introduce you to a nice young fella . . . or speak of your talented handiwork to the family of an available handsome man. Don't remember her saying what the old, married hens got out of the deal???
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Postby Mary R » Jun 20th, '07, 19:34

Aw, that sounds like fun! I wish my grandmother's parish did something like that. I once went to a workshop hosted at an Eastern Orthodox church in a neighboring town...but that was as social as it got.

As far as the matchmaking goes...well, it could be worse. At least you can trust the priest...he hears the boy's confession, after all!
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