Crafting Obsessions

We use crafting nowadays for leisure and a way of managing stress in our lives. In the old west, it was much more practical. Take, for instance, knitting. When  you lived a two-day ride from town, by necessity, you created your own warm garments for winter. I’ll bet socks probably took main stage, but hand-knitted scarves, sweaters, mittens and hats were often found under the Christmas tree as well.

I used to cross-stitch, I’ve quilted, and occasionally sew my own clothes.

This is a cross stitch I did back in the ’80s

But for the past several years, it’s been knitting. The problem is, I feel like if I can do it, it’s too easy. So I end up mired in impossible projects that I barely make it through in a year. But when I’m done, I have a work of art! I mostly choose Fair Isle projects, for the amazing colorwork. Here’s a few examples of things I’ve made:

Since none of those did me in (though it was sometimes a near thing), I’m venturing into new territory; designing my own.

I took a pattern:

And am adding a motif on the back –

I used this to get a color palette

I’m only about six inches in, and it is HARD! I’ll try to remember to post when it’s done, but don’t hold your breath, it’ll probably take me a year to finish! Wish me luck.

How about you? Are you crafty? What is your obsession?

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Laura Drake is a New York and self-published published author of Women's Fiction and Romance.
Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding. Her debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 12 more books. She is a founding member of Women's Fiction Writers Assn, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.
Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

38 thoughts on “Crafting Obsessions”

    • Well, you don’t know what you like until you try them all – I just knew I was going to love weaving…I took lessons. Turns out, not so much. Keep trying new ones!

  1. Not so crafty anymore. I use to piece quilts but have about stopped that. Arthritis had a hand in that plus my sister who always done the quilting by machine past away. I never did learn to knit or cross stitch and to old to start now. Now I just mostly read and take walks.

  2. Laura, I’m glad you did your crafting post after mine! Your skill is off the charts woman! You know how much a items like you can make would cost in a store?

    PS After being in the corral for two days straight, I had to stop in and say something so I don’t go into withdrawal!

  3. Love this!! I’m not really crafty and don’t have time to work on things in this stage of life. I tried knitting and that just is not my thing. Crochet seemed to click with me more. I’d rather read! Once the kids are grown I might try again.

  4. What gorgeous things you’ve made, Laura! And the best thing is that you can wear them and enjoy them for years to come! I love that you’re branching out and creating your own designs as well. I’m an avid cross-stitcher, and like you, I tell myself that it’s just following directions, nothing super creative. But I have made a few of my own patterns, adding Bible verses to pictures or when I get really brave, changing the color scheme on a pattern. My son is getting married this spring, and I am making him and his bride-to-be a wedding sampler to commemorate the day. I loved everything about the pattern they helped choose except for a couple of the colors used. So I got brave and switched out a section of tan/brown for teal/blue. I’m nearly done, and I’m really happy with the brighter color scheme. Sometimes getting brave and branching out on your own pays off in the end. 🙂

  5. Welcome today. Oh but your sweater is going to be lovely. I am a crafter. I have done many things over the years. When our kiddos were growing up, I loved to paint on sweatshirt’s and t-shirts. I let the kids pick their own patterns and colors. They loved it. Until they got too old for that kind of thing. LOL But now my main hobbies are: quilting (since high school), sewing (since I was six), count cross stitch (since I was twelve) and of course making my own greeting cards (this I have been doing for 37 years now and couldnt even tell you what cards in the store cost anymore) quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    • Do you have a hard time finding material for clothes sewing, Lori? JoAnn’s and others mostly cater to quilters. I’m going to try out a place an hour from me, next week. I have a friend who makes gorgeous cards, too! That’s not for me, but I’ve got a BUNCH she made. Bad news is, they’re so special I tend to hoard them instead of sending them!

  6. HI! Starting at age 12, I have sewn most of my clothes until recent years. I dabble in quilting. I did cross-stitch for a few seasons. I tried knitting, but preferred crocheting. Three years ago at age 64, I learned how to needle tat. I enjoy making small pieces such as spool-pin doilies for sewing machines, bracelets and bookmarks. It is fun, plus it brings in a little extra income. I love working with different colors of threads and beads, and exploring new patterns. Being small, it is easy to take my tatting projects along as I wait in line to pick up my granddaughters from school.

  7. In the past I have done crewel, embroidery, rug hooked, cross stitched, and made clothes. I made a wool pants suit and my prom dress when I was in high school and in college I attempted spinning but did some weaving on a simple handheld loom. I made a poncho for my daughter, although I didn’t finish it until my granddaughter was old enough to wear it. I attempted knitting, but had a horrible time. Now I quilt usually only large laps and smaller ones. I enjoy it the most.

    • I like to quilt, Karijean, but I’m not exacting enough – all those points coming together! The odds of me cutting, ironing, and sewing them all perfectly? Close to zero.

  8. Your knitting is beautiful and practical. I have been sewing a lot of my own clothes since I was eight. I am short so if I want it to fit right I end up making alterations even when I buy a dress or skirt. I have never mastered making pants but I do know how to take in waistbands and shorten pant legs…not really a relaxing hobby at that point but a necessity. I have dabbled with knitting, crocheting and quilting and enjoyed it but it took me way too long to finish a project.

    • Ha, Alice, I have the opposite problem! Sleeves and pants are too short! Talls are SO expensive, I’ve been making my own pants for decades! I hope you can find a craft to settle on!

  9. I used to crochet and do embroidery. However, you must wrist movement to crochet, and my right wrist is fused in one position, so crocheting had to stop. I still embroider some, and I’m still working on a tablecloth I started over 25 years ago! Needless to say, I don’t do it much! Now, I make my own cards, and I’ll be starting to make this year’s Christmas cards soon!

  10. Many years ago Julie Benson and I got into making jewelry. Due to arthritis in my hands I cannot do that anymore. Now I knit rather obsessively. I’m currently working on a cardigan for myself. It has taken me a few years to finally find a pattern I wanted to do with the yarn I have. We won’t even talk about the size of my stash. Something tells me I have enough yarn to last the rest of my crafting days!

    • Oh, I’m hoping my daughter will find someone to giving my stash to after I go – If I’d started at 20 I wouldn’t get through all the yarn I have! I like that meme that says that knitting/crocheting is one hobby, and buying yarn is another!

  11. Hi, I like to paint and decorate birdhouses with my grandchildren, we also like to paint rocks and just do paper crafts, I also love to make note cards.

  12. Laura, what beautiful work. I decided to teach myself to knit many (1968) years ago when I left for a Peace Corps assignment. I figured I’d have time in the evenings. Well, I had the time, but knitting while in the tropics living in a glorified bamboo house was not the best of ideas. I could finally knit and pearl but couldn’t combine them. Of course there was no one around to help. Maybe I’ll try again one day. I like your design and the colors. I am sure it will be lovely when finished.

    Anyway, I enjoy needlework and sewing. When our children were young I made many of their clothing and have done much of mine since high school until the children came along. Anymore, I do costumes, simple outfits, crafts, and home goods. I haven’t had much time for embroidery, but when we travel I usually work on projects. I can do cross stitch while riding.

    • Patricia – it’s so much easier to learn to knit nowadays with YouTube – you just find a video and watch it over and over until you get it! I taught myself to knit too – those horrible little paper books they used to have, showing you the stitches – It’s a wonder anyone figured it out!

  13. I sew beads and sequins on calendars and banners. I cross stitch as well as a bit of quilting. I crochet afgans. Your work is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

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