The Promise of a New Craft
I love learning a new craft: getting and organizing the gadgets that go with it, and then trying to perfect my new craft. I've been known to become a bit on the obsessive side.
The first craft I became passionate about as an adult was crocheting. I moved to Israel in 1993 after I graduated from college. I was living on a Kibbutz feeling somewhat isolated. Someone taught me to crochet, and I was hooked (bad pun intended.) It only required yarn and a crochet hook, so it was portable enough for my lifestyle at the time.
After I returned from Israel, I was living in San Francisco with the boyfriend that I met in Israel, and he started to get more and more religious. I needed something to do on Saturdays while he did Jewish stuff, so I learned to knit at a local San Francisco yarn store. That boyfriend didn't last long, but my knitting did.
My monogamous knitting phase lasted about 15 years. Knitting was essential to my sanity throughout law school in Salem, Oregon. I mostly knit sweaters for myself during those years - big chunky warm wool sweaters that make me a bit itchy today, but were perfect for the Oregon weather that I was living in at the time. After law school, I knit baby hats, sweaters and blankets for my sister's kids and friends of mine who were having kids. I knit a skirt for myself which I wore to a boyfriend's cousin's rehearsal dinner (that boyfriend is now my husband.) And, I continued to make sweaters for myself - now in light cottons.
In about 2007, I dove into spinning. I bought a wheel and all the accessories. I loved starting a spinning project at a time when my new husband would be coming home. It felt cozy and domestic to be set up with my spinning wheel peacefully spinning away while greeting him at the end of a day.
With all the yarn I was making, I couldn't knit it fast enough, so I bought a weaving loom and started making scarves and rugs. This spinning and weaving phase didn't last long. I sold all those gadgets within 2 years.
When I was pregnant with our daughter in 2009/2010, my fingers were too swollen and stiff to knit comfortably. So I got into mosaics. I loved breaking the tiles. I made the house number for our home. I had visions of making a belly cast when I got hugely pregnant and then mosaicing the belly cast, but my daughter had other visions and was born early - before I got around to doing the belly cast. I haven't done any mosaic projects since then.
Once my daughter was born, sewing became my new craft of choice. Knitting, my fall-back craft, took too much time that I no longer had, but I still wanted to produce cute things. I've sewn skirts, dresses, tops, pants and now quilts for my daughter. I bought a special ruffle foot for my sewing machine which I love a bit too much. My next sewing goals are to make some things for me.
Then, I got into beading - basic wire wrapping and jewelry making. I bought many tools for this new craft and have created some pieces that I love. Sewing and beading are both quicker than knitting, but not as portable. My commuting time is no longer productive crafting time.
Now, I feel the pull of a new craft. Metalsmithing. I feel myself about to fall in, but I'm hesitating a bit because it's going to be a financial investment to get started. At a minimum, I'm estimating a $200 initial investment to get some basic tools (including a fire extinguisher!) I've already been watching videos and reading books, and feel beyond excited about making my own rings, pendants and clasps. My guess is that I'm about to fall over this new craft cliff.