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?

Bookish Crafts

One of my favorite crafts is cross stitching. I’ve been doing it since I was a teenager, and I find it to be very similar to writing. You start with a blank canvas, follow some guidelines, add color and creativity, and eventually a piece of art takes shape.

I make small projects like Christmas ornaments as gifts, and my larger projects that often take years to complete become decorations for my home. Recently, I finished a matched pair of medieval maidens – The Reader and The Musician. I gave these to my daughter for her 23rd birthday. She will be moving into a new apartment in August, and they are something of a housewarming gift. The first one was finished in 2017, and I didn’t get around to finishing the second one until this year. These are special because both my daughter and I love reading, we both played the flute, and we both love historical things. It was the perfect trifecta!

Cross stitching is very easy, and I find it quite relaxing. I often have a project going while my hubby and I watch TV, or it can be great to do while listening to an audiobook. It’s like paint by numbers but with colored thread (floss) instead of paint. If you can follow directions and make tiny Xs, you can cross stitch.

I get especially excited about patterns that allow me to mix my love of reading with my love of stitching. So today, I’m giving away a pair of prizes.

First – A hand-crafted (by me!) bookmark that combines my two favorite past times – reading and stitching.

Second – An easy, beginner-level kit to let you try your hand at your own cross-stitch creation.

Giveaway!

For a chance to win my handmade bookmark
along with the nostalgic and adorable honey bear kit,
leave a comment about your favorite craft.

And if you are a fellow stitcher, let me know!