Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Made Something!

I've always wanted to be crafty, but I'm just not. Sure, I make cakes (for family birthdays) and candles (for teacher Christmas gifts) and stuff like that. But I want to be someone who can actually make STUFF, like blankets, scarves, hats: useful things.

I completed my first serious craft project when I was 9. My grandmother collected dolls, and I sewed one for her, all by myself with support (though not hands-on-assistance) from my mother. I think I still have the sad little thing somewhere. Other than that isolated incident, My craftability was pretty much limited to finger weaving on long car trips.

When I was in my late teens, I developed a craving for some lingerie. I didn't need Fredrick's of Hollywood, but I wanted something other than a fleece Garfield nightgown. My mother (intelligently) refused to buy me any undergarments or sleepware that I'd ever want to show a boy. And that stuff is expensive. So, once again, I attempted sewing, this time with significantly less support from my mother. I have several pictures to mark the experience (and, once again, I've kept the product). Suffice it to say that satiny materials are not friendly to non-talented sewfolk (yes, I originally typed "sewers") and that creating spaghetti straps by hand sucks.

As an adult, I tried very hard to learn several crafts, including knitting and crochet. I have some sort of a mental block. I just can't do it. And my basement is littered with the fabric, yarn, needles, machines, and other cast-offs (that was a craft pun, didja catch it?) to prove it.

So when I learned about "round loom knitting" and how it is so simple that even a ten-year-old can do it, well, I was hopeful but far from confident. I've been burned before. Latch hook, anybody?

But it works! I can do it! And I kinda like it! It's not so easy that it feels like I'm completely cheating, but it's not so hard and time-consuming that I give up in frustration. I did my first practice project this week. It took me a couple of nights of television watching with Paul to complete. Behold: a hat!

(For a newborn with a very, very small head.)

My mother has this theory that most people who knit well have a hard time with crochet and vice versa. Sure, there are some people who do both easily and well, but I balance them out by being unable to do either.

What are your craft triumphs or epic failures?


MandMStudio said...

Thanks for this post. I've wanted to knit for a while but wasn't sure about the loop knitting, I'll have to give it a try.

Epic failure- Painting. I can't even do stick people, but I sure have a love for painting and Bob Ross makes it look so easy:)

brooke said...

whoo hoo! congrats. you've read my blog - i'm a knitter.. i've mastered hats, have been playing with different designs in hats now.. i'm moving into socks. i'm a very very very slow learner.

Sarahlynn said...

MandM, I am just not coordinated enough for knitting with needles. Heck, I can't even hold a brush and blowdryer at the same time to style my own hair. (I rely on a natural/curly style, or hot rollers, or one of those blower/brush combo dealies.) But I can use the round loom!

And I'm with you on the drawing, too! I wonder at those who can actually make stick figures look good. Have you every watched Dmitri Martin draw with both hands at the same time?

Brooke, but can you crochet? :)

Kristi said...

Cute hat! Knifty Knitter? Those things are fun (so much so that I have to hide them from the kids, or they wander off).

That little bitty loom that's small enough for a newborn is great for making scarves--just keep going to make a really long tube (double the warmth).

I've seen all sorts of ideas online for crazy things that people make with the looms. I've done a handful of hats, a scarf or two, and about 3/4 of a baby blanket (on one of the long looms where you end up with flat pieces)---that project stalled out right after my (nearly 2-year old) baby was born and is still attached to the loom somewhere in a bag, I think....

brooke said...

:) i can't crochet! i need to learn at some point. oh and if you lived here - i'd love to teach you how to knit.

Sarahlynn said...

Brooke, you support my mom's hypothesis! (And, thank you for the offer! You're very good.)

Kristi, not that one, but one like it. They are fun! You're right that finding time for crafts is a lot harder after kids. Especially when there are so many other things to eat the time, like blogging and writing and reading . . . none of which are compatible with knitting.

I'm planning to use the tiny one to make arm warmers for my sister's birthday this year. We'll see how that goes.