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Hooks & Thimbles

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Apologies for not posting anything in months. I just needed to step back from things and work at finding a new pace. A pace that would let me find a better balance between life, hobbies, work, and everything else. There is definitely a culture in the quilting and sewing world that encourages you to pile on more and more projects to your workload, says you aren’t really a quilter/sewist/whatever unless you have shelves full of UFOs and closets full of fabric. I needed to get away from that. Also, I have felt very little motivation or desire when it comes to sewing lately.

The result is pretty much that all of my long term projects are sitting abandoned, and one day I will get back to them… if I want to. I am many months behind on my Farm Girl Vintage block of the month, and I don’t even care really. I won’t work on things just because they need to be done. I only want to sew because I want to from now on, finishes be damned. Right now I am in a place where I just sew things when the desire strikes, and the desire hasn’t struck often. Although, I am starting to feel that tickle again… more on that later.

This doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping busy making things though! Aside from a few small bags and things sewn for others, for the past few months I have had yarn in my hands every chance I get. These days I go to yarn shops and they greet me as a regular, and when I go to fabric shops they ask where I have been or what happened to me.

So, what brought on this new fascination with yarn? I had always looked at crochet and knitting and wished I knew how to do it. However, with my all-consuming sewing hobby I tried to resist adding another time/money sucking hobby. Yet, around the beginning of the year I found myself severely burned out with sewing and stepped away from it. That left me with free time and idle hands, still with a lingering desire to make. Around that time I saw a most adorable crocheted fox hat and decided it was about time I learned how to do it. I didn’t stop to think really, I just took the plunge and bought yarn on my way home that same day.

Small, portable hand projects that I can work on without being trapped alone in my sewing room have always been very appealing to me, but I never found any that really clicked. I have tried everything from cross stitch to embroidery to English Paper Piecing. While I enjoyed them all, I grew bored with them quickly. Embroidery is the only one I came close to really falling in love with, yet I never really knew what to do with it beyond embellishing things. I am so glad I decided to delve into the world of yarn though!

All the cute little crocheted critters I have drooled over through the years are now within my reach! The first thing I made was a very simple beanie hat just to practice working a single crochet stitch in the round in order to prepare for the first real project I really wanted to make. From there I went on to make Fibi Fox, which is from the line of Lalylala dolls I have loved since I first saw them years ago. The pattern called for a knitted scarf. So, obviously, I had to learn to knit then!

Crochet was fairly easy to learn from online videos, but knitting was a bit more difficult. Luckily this area has some nice little yarn shops, my favorite of which is Downtown Knits in Apex, NC. This shop is awesome because it combines three of my most favorite things: fabric, yarn, and tea. They have a small fabric selection, mostly things you won’t find in the other fabric shops around here like double gauze, canvas, and challis, and voile. It is pretty much all Cotton + Steel, which is one of my favorites. They also have a good selection of yarn, friendly staff, are open late on most weekdays, AND they sell tea from one of my favorite local tea shops. Wins all around. Not to mention downtown Apex is pretty cool as well. My husband doesn’t even mind tagging along because a couple doors down there is a craft beer shop where he can relax and wait for me, and a half block in the other direction there is an excellent coffee shop. The only thing that could make it better would be if it wasn’t 30 minutes from home. If you are in the area, you really must pay them a visit.

Thanks to their fabric selection I was already somewhat familiar with the shop, and therefore chose it when searching for a knitting class. If you’re looking for knitting classes for yourself, this is a great place to go. Another shop I have taken a class at is Warm n Fuzzy in Cary, NC. The instructor that taught my class there, Julia I believe, is a sweet young lady who is very talented and patient.

I don’t have any really good photos of the things I have been making, since I have been more focused on just learning and loving than on documenting. I am going to try to get back into the swing of things with blogging. It is really tempting to change the name of the blog to Hooks and Thimbles now!

 

There should be lots more knitted hats coming down the line. I made the mistake of letting my daughter look at a book of knitted animal hat patterns, and she immediately told me she wanted a piggy hat. I asked her if she wanted me to make one for her and she nodded as enthusiastically as if I had just asked if she wanted ice cream. I said, “Okay, but I have to go to the yarn store first because I don’t have any pink yarn.”

It took me about a week to finish up the pig hat for her, and she loved it. Immediately she started asking for other hats she had seen in the book, especially an octopus hat. For that one I let her choose the yarn on her own, and from that point on she refused to wear any other hat… even the pig hat. I would offer her the pig hat and she would say, “No! opotopus hat!” And reasoning with a 2 year old that her octopus hat did not yet exist was not very successful.

So I whipped out an octopus hat over a long weekend and she has been in love with it ever since, but is still asking for other hats and tells me “Go to yarn store!” nearly every day. I learned my lesson though, and she will have to wait a little between hats. I have already mostly finished a kitty hat for her, and have yarn for some others. It is so fun that she is excited about my making things for her now, and it makes for cute yarn trips when she starts throwing yarn in my basket and telling me which hat it is for. For instance, the other day she picked up green yarn and said, “I want froggy hat!” and with yellow yarn “Birdie hat!” and brown “puppy dog hat!” Oh I can’t wait until she is old enough to start making things with me!

This post has gotten long… so to save your attention span I will end this post here and start another soon about my current makings and things that I am playing with.

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