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Today is the official last day of KCBW and I’ve apparently been a little lax in participating. I may get a couple more topics in this week. Anyway, today’s topic is crafting balance, specifically between knitting and crochet. I’m gonna expand that a little.

As you probably know, I do about a million different crafts. I like to make things. I knit, crochet, spin, sew, embroider, cross stitch, dye, paper craft, and do the occasional bit of painting. I am very much a Jill of all trades. And I’d love to learn more crafts–weaving, quilting, glass blowing, pottery… I really like making things.

I mostly knit. Which is why most of the pictures in my blog header are of knitted things. It’s portable, enjoyable, and productive. The vast majority of my crafting time is spent knitting because I can take it anywhere. I crochet much less than I knit, mostly because the things I want to make look better knitted. I crochet where it’s better suited, like when I made these nesting bowls:

I love to cross stitch but at a certain point, there’s only so much room on the walls, y’know? And I love stitching words on aida cloth. So I try not to cross stitch as much as I’d like to.

I like sewing but I’m impatient and rubbish at it. I can pretty much only use rectangles.

I LOVE painting, but I can mostly only draw if I’m copying another picture. I’m pretty boss at that too.

Spinning is fun but I haven’t done it in a while. Too many things to knit.

I have too many paper crafting supplies for the amount I do. If I still got hard copies of photos I would totally scrapbook. But I don’t take that many pictures anyway. I like making cards mostly.

I do a lot of things. I like yarn. And I like fabric and floss and roving and stickers and stamps and scrapbook paper.

Basically, I love to make things.

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Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day? maybe you’re a crocheter who’d also like to knit? Maybe you’d like to learn to knit continental, knit backwards, try cables or attempt stranded colourwork.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are few things I couldn’t handle in knitting. I’ve done cables, lace, and colorwork with relative ease. I dabbled briefly in entrelac, though there are too many ends to weave in for my liking. I can knit both continental and English (I think that’s what throwing is called, right?), though I prefer continental because it’s faster. I crochet pretty well because it’s what I learned first, and the first sweater I made was crochet (it was pre-Ravelry and I used Caron Simply Soft, so my knots kept slipping out. I wore it once, maybe). I’ve covered much of the things I would want to cover. I even steeked a sweater and sewed in a zipper. Nerve wracking, yes, but not difficult.

I haven’t done mitered squares, I’ll admit, but there aren’t a lot of patterns that make me want to try it. There’s a pair of socks with mitered squares as the cuffs which look vaguely interesting, but I’ll probably never get around to them. I haven’t tried filet crochet either, and it does look interesting. It’s on my list of things to do maybe. And I keep meaning to remember how to knit backwards for narrow things like sweater shoulders, and I can pick it up alright, but I can never reeeeally do it that easily, and I usually revert to turning again.

There aren’t a lot of skills in knitting I lack (besides maybe patience), but there are crafts I wish I had the skills to do. I wish I were a better spinner, for example. I know it takes practice, and I am practicing, but I do wish I spun more consistently. And thinner. I’d like to be able to consistently spin fingering weight for socks.

I also wish I were more artistic in the traditional sense. I’m crafty certainly, and I can whip out a sweater like nobody’s business. But anyone can learn to knit. It’s a technical skill, like learning to walk or ride a bike. Easy peasy. Art though, that’s hard. I’m terrible with color and even worse with lines. I can’t draw to save my life unless I’m copying a picture exactly. I like to make notecards and the like, but I know there’s always a distinctly amateur air because I’m not very artistic.

Then there are things that I can’t imagine take a whole lot of skill but that I don’t have the space/funds/time to learn. Like weaving. I’d love to have a floor loom. I don’t have space or time or the money. I’d also like to learn to make hot or cold process soap (I imagine cold would be safer since I’m kind of a klutz). I’d like to work with resin. I’d like to work with nicer fabrics than I can afford.

Then there are things that I plan to actively learn and get better at. Over the summer, for example, I plan to take up cross stitch. Not in earnest, but there are some things I’d like to make, especially pillows and wall hangings. I love grammar and sarcasm and pretty quotes, and I love to have some of them cross stitched on my bed or the couch or my wall.

At the very least, with all the things I can do or am learning or don’t have the funds for… I’ll keep you guys posted. I love talking about the things I make. It’s nice to have a (relatively) captive audience that never tires of hearing my excited “Look what I made!!”

My school apparently thinks Halloween is Friday, so I got to dress up twice, plus the Halloween party that I went to last week. Unfortunately, I only had one costume and it was difficult enough to come up with that idea to begin with. Somewhat unoriginally, I was a bat. While this sounds like the usual slutty girl costume, I assure you, it was not. And it had some pretty sweet diy elements. Check it out:

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(imagine me wearing black pants and a black long sleeved shirt.)

Much of the costume was just me wearing black, which is pretty easy since I wear a lot of dark colors. The ears I crocheted from crochet cotton that I bought at a thrift store over the summer. I just crocheted triangles and then sewed them to a crocheted band. Easy peasy.

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The wings were much more difficult. I got the idea from Craftster user EmilyinOrbit, who posted the wings she made here. Using some wire hangers, dollar store pantyhose, packing tape, and a whole lot of elbow grease (plus some crochet cords to keep the damn things on my back), I came up with these:

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They’re not perfect, obviously, but they are awesome. One of the wings flaps a bit due to the way I affixed the hangers to each other and they’re quite crooked now after three days of use. I managed to get a mostly seamless outside edge, which I’m super proud of. I used three hangers and two pairs of pantyhose. The hangers, tape, and yarn I had on hand, so the total cost for my Halloween costume was $2.

I am, of course, planning ahead for next year, when I plan to be Little Red Riding Hood (again, not slutty). The sole reason for this costume decision? I want a cape. I want to knit an awesome cape (of course, I’ll wear it other times, like during winter. : ) I found this pattern on Ravelry, which will be the one I use. There will be some math to size it up, but seeing as I almost always get 5 sts to the inch in worsted weight yarn, I don’t have to swatch. Nyah nyah. Anyway, yes. I will be Red Riding Hood next year so I have an excuse to wear a cape (not that I need an excuse… And I may make another in a different color). I would have done it this year if I’d thought of it with enough advance notice to actually knit the damn thing. Plus I don’t have the right dress. Next year, though. Next year will be awesome.

And as for knitting: I finished the sweater vest, which you will see soon. I also started a new project that is HELLA AWESOME, and that will be coming soon as well. Stay tuned!