Baba’s Story: Learning Needlecrafts

…The most difficult part of learning any new skill is learning to tolerate the distress of being bad at it. Everyone feels clumsy and frustrated as they work to get a new skill from their mind to their hands…The feeling you get when the skill just clicks into focus, it’s just indescribably satisfying…

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One of my favourite blogs, Crochet Concupiscence,  has a list of questions that people can use to self-interview. This blog is all about crochet, and I do a number of needlecrafts, primarily sewing, weaving, embroidery, spinning and crochet, so my questions/answers are a bit different. Still, it’s a good way to think seriously about how string became the organizing principal of my life. And since I am currently snowed in following a blizzard,  here is section one: learning to craft with fabric, thread and yarn…

 

All About Learning The Textile Crafts

Q1. When did you learn needlework?

A1. I came very late to the textile crafts. I was already in my mid 40s before I began and I am  only 50 now. My grandmother had taught me a bit of crochet when I was 8 or so, but she had difficulty teaching a left-handed kid with learning disabilities that included directional confusion. It was frustrating for both of us.

In grade 7 I took a class called crafts (very unwillingly). The teacher was old-fashioned and refused to let me knit ‘backwards’ aka left-handed. The two of us struggled over a 12″ teddy-bear made of horrid blue variegated acrylic for the whole semester, with her smacking my left hand with a knitting needle every time she found me knitting left-handed. To this day I don’t like to knit!

My real start in needlework came via a general  commitment to living more simply, I wanted to learn to sew enough to make myself a simple wardrobe of long dresses and pinafores. Basically I was aiming for the life and wardrobe of the Crones pictured above. (One of those is me!) And now that’s pretty much my life! Continue reading “Baba’s Story: Learning Needlecrafts”

Baba StringThing’s December 2016 Round-Up of All Things String.

I am pretty sure I don’t need to tell you what a colossally anxious year-end 2016 has been. And added to that, my yearly resurgence of feeling crappy has made it even worse. It seems to be dark ALL of the time…The upside? Lots of quiet middle of the night crafting. Here’s a quick round up of December’s projects.

Will this dreadful year ever end? Thank goodness for the Zen of String.

In Winnipeg, talking (aka complaining, bitching and/or ranting) about the weather is not small talk. It’s an all-important preoccupation. So please bear with me…

I am pretty sure I don’t need to tell you what a colossally anxious year-end 2016 has been. And added to that, my yearly resurgence of feeling crappy has made it even worse. It seems to be dark ALL of the time. Here’s today’s: Dec 26 – Daylight. 8:26 am – 4:33 pm 8 hours, 6 minutes.  But of that there was only 3 hours of sunlight because of cloud.

May Biewe, the Sami Goddess of the Sun, Spring, Fertility and Sanity, who restores the mental health of those who go insane because of the continual darkness of the long winter, bless us all with strength, light and sanity. I think we are going to need it! (My fervent wish for all of us)

I have trouble with my circadian clock anyway, but this month it has been spinning around wildly. The upside? Lots of quiet middle of the night crafting. Here’s a quick round up of December’s projects.

Crochet

Brenda’s Rectilinear Home-spun Scarf: This is a scarf I made for my mom out of my handspun yarn. She watched me use my new tiny lace-weight Turkish spindle to spin and ply the yarn…and then skein, soak, stretch, wind and crochet the yarn into a lovely little scarf for her. Completed 12/2016, Fibre is hand-dyed fair-trade merino from Manos Del Uruguay in the colourway ‘Wildflowers’.

Alpaca Coat Of Many Colours + Matching Scarf: Also, while my mom was here, I made a crochet alpaca coat of many colours and a matching scarf. There was no pattern, it is just an elaboration of a circle vest but I am very happy with it. It’s light but warm and I have been wearing it a lot. It took a bit more than three days to crochet and the beautiful multicoloured yarn that inspired the whole design came from a stitch’n’bitch buddy, Linda L. Thank you Linda! The scarf was made just to use up the last bits of yarn, but it turned out amazingly well. It uses arrow stitch, a cabling stitch I had never tried before, and it’s a new favourite.

Continue reading “Baba StringThing’s December 2016 Round-Up of All Things String.”

Must See: Renate Kirkpatrick’s Dreamcatchers

Originally posted on Renate Kirkpatrick's Freeform Crochet~Knit~Fibre Designs:
Dreamcatchers… something new & different from me that I’ve wanted to try for some time. I’ve created these Dreamcatchers, not as authentic representations but as my own personal artistic interpretations. I’m an Aussie, so my interest in dreamcatchers isn’t cultural… I simply love them…

Here is a post that is worth checking out. It is a beautiful series of interpretive dreamcatchers, made by one of my favourite inspirations, Renate Kirkpatrick. She’s an Aussie but her dreamcatchers would be popular here in the Cree/Ojibwa lands too.

And yes, she is another Renata like me, different spelling, same pronunciation. Extra bonus!

Check out her freeform crochet, you’ll be happy you did. 🙂

Lots of love,
Baba StringThings (aka Renata from Winnipeg)

Renate Kirkpatrick's Freeform Crochet~Knit~Fibre Designs

dreamcatchers

Dreamcatchers… something new & different from me that I’ve wanted to try for some time. I’ve created these Dreamcatchers, not as authentic representations but as my own personal artistic interpretations.

I’m an Aussie, so my interest in dreamcatchers isn’t cultural… I simply love them & more over, I love the idea of them.

Dreamcatchers originate in Native American tradition, believing both positive & negative dreams flow through the night & that a Dreamcatcher, hanging freely over or near a sleeping person, will allow the good dreams to pass through while capturing the bad dreams, which will perish & vanish with the rising sun…

I used patterns from this collection of 16 Crochet Motifs & embellished with wooden, glass & plastic beads & attached swivel cams so the dreamcatcher can rotate freely…

Dreamcatcher 1Dreamcatcher 7Dreamcatcher 6Dreamcatcher 2Dreamcatcher 3Dreamcatcher 4Dreamcatcher 5

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Wrist Love For Crocheters

This is a great post by Paardje about hand and wrist health for us crochet and knit maddened craftspeople. I just tried the wrist yoga and it feels GREAT, especially the stretch.

Gotta keep these wrists supple, amiright?

Of Snailmail, Books & Vanities

cat-691175_960_720I’ve been crocheting a cardigan which has significantly increased the number of ‘swirling’ motions I do with my right wrist through the copious use of treble stitches.

Add this bag to that.

Plus my quest to improve my wheel pose (which challenges my wrists, among other body parts).

And I’m feeling something just a tad bit off in my right wrist o_O

I am reminded of an amazing crochet artist whose blog I regularly visit for inspiration. She’s been out of commission for quite some time now due to wrist issues.

So my dearest fellow hookers I thought I’d make this post all about wrist/hand care exercises because most of the time, we just take for granted how important our amazing and very hardworking hands/wrists are. And they hardly ever complain! Unless perhaps when it’s too late 😮 😮 😮

I know it’s very hard to put down those hooks…

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Simple Crafternoon Pleasures

I taught five beginners to crochet today!

Today was an awesome day. It didn’t start well, but it improved rapidly.

On my way to teach at my Crafternoon group, while getting on my first bus, I stepped on the hem of my brand new dress and it tore in several places. Luckily, I had my needlework chatelaine pinned to my apron and a good assortment of thread on me. So while waiting for my second bus I sat on the grass under a tree and mended the holes.

People walking by looked at me as if I were performing an arcane bit of magic.  A needle and thread! What is she doing? Two minutes later a quick and dirty repair job was done. I got a huge kick out of the teens trying to figure out if I was actually sewing or doing a bit of performance art. It was a small but real pleasure.

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A Stitch in Time, William Henry Margetson, 1915.

Continue reading “Simple Crafternoon Pleasures”

Baba’s Current StringThings

Here is what I have been working on this week…

Here is a quick round up of what I’ve got on the go this week…

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A Pretty Peacock Blanket for Miss.B.
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Blocking a new piece of thread crochet, a pattern-free mandala or doily.

Continue reading “Baba’s Current StringThings”

O Crochet Sai a Rua Yarnbombing

Clearly the product of a crochet craftavist’s happiest hallucination about a trip to an alternate crochet circus universe. Wow.

Without a doubt this is the most fantastical excursion into a surreal crocheted reality ever. I think my favourite part might be the lovely lace parasols of the stilt walkers. Or maybe the woman filling her crochet grocery cart with crochet food. What a fantabulous yarn bombing. A must watch.

A lovely little yarnbombing video that’s relaxing and enjoyable to watch. Take a few minutes to breathe and enjoy! The stilt walker’s umbrellas are my favorite. See photos on Facebook

via O Crochet Sai a Rua Yarnbombing —