Thursday, April 29, 2004

Yesterday's Progress Report

While watching Cold Creek Farm(not the best movie but wasn't bad) I crocheted 10 rows on my Red Heart Gemstone and Black afghan. I love using a Q hook. It's huge but the crocheting goes so fast. This afghan would be finished if I hadn't created a way too long foundation chain. Somehow it didn't look that long when it was just a harmless foundation chain. I also love working with three strands of yarn. The single crochet and the thickness of the three strands together is creating a very soft fabric. I love working on this project and am already trying to come up with the next afghan I can use a Q hook on and the right colors of yarn to blend together. I'm comtemplating two strands of Red Heart's Ocean and a strand of maybe Navy for contrast. not sure how that will look. Maybe I'll just go with three strands of Ocean. I love the colors in that yarn. I tried it using two strands of red and one strand of black and viceversa neither one really grabbed me. DS#2 wants a red and black afghan and I've been trying to be creative it with it but guess I'll just do a basic black and red ripple. Boring I know. Maybe I'll hold two strands together to make it a little more exciting. Ok, I'm reaching.


The fob is sewed together but not stuffed because I can't find the doll pellets I purchased to stuff it with or my brand new huge bag of polyfill. I'm beginning to determine I'm not the most organized person in the world. Ok, I know that I'm not organized but I've never been this scatterbrained. Usually the one area where things are organized is my stitching. These days I can't find anything. I must blame it on company. I go into a last minute cleaning frenzy and toss things in Rubbermaid buckets and then can't remember where anything is. Finding something is an all day event.

Other Projects

An email loop I've been with for 6 yrs is having an anniversary swap so I'm trying to decide what to stitch for my swap partner. I'm hoping to attempt a sewing roll or "huswife". I've seen several finished ones on some stitcher's sites and want to attempt a simple version.

Here's one that I love but way beyond my skill level, Sampler Cover. Here are a few more examples, Sampler Cove. As I mentioned before these are way beyond my sewing skill level but I think I can come up with something equally pretty but with not as elaborate finishing requirements.

On My Mind

Recently there have been discussions on various blogs regarding cheap acrylic yarn vs the good stuff. What I've discovered is that these discussions come up in all areas of crafting. With scrapbooking it's the difference in papers and in cross stitch there's occaisionally a discussion of overdyed threads vs DMC and handdyed fabrics vs readily available linens.

I think that most people work with what they have or can easily find locally. There was a time when I was in a frenzy to use all overdyed threads and pricey fabric because I thought it made me more dedicated to my stitching, I was really creating an heirloom. What I've discovered is that it only makes me more broke. Don't get me wrong. I love, love,
love expensive fabric, BOAF's linens are the best. I adore the overdyed threads, but what I've learned about myself is that it's the process of the stitching, the creation of my needleart that is important to me, not what thread or fabric I use. I've been cross stitching for 30 years and while I love linen and GAST and WDWs I'm just as happy with aida( as long as there are not a gazillion fractional stitches, then linen/evenweave is a necessity) and DMC.

I hadn't crocheted in ages until back in the fall I had the urge to make a ripple afghan, I didn't want to use Red Heart, I thought I was above that now. I had been using pricey overdyed threads for my cross stitch, how could I use anything less for crocheting? Since at the time it was all that was easily obtainable in my area, I wandered Walmart's yarn isle and picked some colors that I loved and went home and started crocheting. I couldn't get over how much I missed hooking. I had kept myself from doing something I enjoy because I had become a fiber snob. Yes, I drool over the Patternworks catalog and somewhere down the line when I crochet or finally figure the whole knitting thing out I'll invest in more expensive yarns and ribbon for clothing when I can but I will never allow myself to not crochet just because Red Heart is my only option. I must admit it's easy to work with, I can see my stitches and instantly spot an error. I find that comforting, especially when working on new to me stitches.

I had another epiphany regarding my quilting when I ran across a book titled, That Dorky Homemade Look. I found that I was avoiding quilting and piecing because my quilts weren't fabulous. They were dorky. They would never end up in Quilters Newsletter Magazine. My quilt tops are "primitive" and that's being kind. I thought I was less of a quilter because I didn't piece by machine, I don't use a rotary cutter. No, and don't fall off of your chairs, I do it the slow, time consuming way our ancestors and their ancestors and probably even the ancient Egyptians used. I trace every piece. I trace a sewing line on every piece(although Jinny Beyer in Quiltmaking by Hand has given me permission to just eyeball the sewing line). Yes, it's tedious at times, I do get frustrated when I read on RCTQ about people banging out quilts in a day or a weekend when I can't even get all my pieces cut out in a week. But what I have once again discovered about myself is it's not about finishing the quilt, it's about the process, going through the motions, it's about creating. Would I love for my kids and all the people I love to have quilts I've made? Sure. Will it happen? Well maybe for my kids but not anyone else and I'm so OK with that now. If I finish a quilt and it tells me it must go to so and so, then of course I will send it where it needs to be, but it's all about the process, not the finished project, not who it's for, it's all about me. My love for cutting out those little pieces of fabric and sewing them together by hand. If I get it finished in a timely manner, wahoo! If I don't, still wahoo! What ever happens to it in the end doesn't matter. It's the joy that the creation of it brought me. That's pretty selfish isn't it? But I have realized this with my cross stitching and crocheting too. It's the process. The joy, the comfort, the rythmn of the hook or needle(s), the feel of the fabric. It's not about how much the fabric cost, the yarn, the quilting fabric, it's not about what threads I use. It's the process. The creation. The love that goes into every stitch, not for who it might be for, but the love of the process.

No comments: