Monday, February 19

Wants and Needs

Temperatures warmed up before sunrise. The snow melted off quickly, leaving behind thawing, muddy ground and puddles. The day was balmy, cloudy and errant like the soft iris gaze from a young child's eyes. Something you could lose yourself in. I've had a time getting the dogs out without having them come back coated in the mud. Only Honey will hold still to be wiped down (and that's only because she's so small I can actually hold her). I usually pen them up in the kitchen until they dry and then try to brush the dust from their paws.

I've learned, like I am sure most of you have, that Leisure Arts was sold to the company who owns QVC shopping channel, Animal Planet and the Discovery channel. I believe with this news an era has ended. Leisure Arts is one of the big names in craft patterns, having been around as long as I remember and believe me I can remember a long time. From the time I was old enough to see the slick pages (my mother crocheted) I would look at the lacy patterns with wonder. The effect was spun silk to my young eyes. The books, pictures and pages; a dream life it seems now, another set of social values, seemingly more genteel, a time when America had leisure, so long past it is being forgotten. I am hoping that this new venture will begin an era that can proclaim with as much pride its right to own the publication's title. That result would be a positive one. So many magazines have shut down production, and even the women's magazines don't seem to put much emphasis on crafts anymore, especially crocheting, that we crafters are feeling the effects of this demise through fewer paper sources for patterns. Outside of books. What are some creative ways you locate patterns?

This is my personal approach when wanting/needing patterns. I have to be frugal with my choices and so I try to get the best deal I can get for what I'm looking for when I do purchase, and I shop smart. I utilize the library and local booksellers, looking through the books before I decide which ones I really want to buy. I bargain shop the sales at Hobby Lobby and WalMart and sometimes I can find patterns and magazines at thrift stores. I shop on eBay. I have to confess though, 98% of my projects are from internet patterns. I have shot my budget for the next 6 months on all things crochet so I'm trying to be good and just use the stuff I have here for now. There's always something calling from the store shelves, but I am resolute.

So, since I have this stash and all the patterns, and now the new delicious yummy books I got I'm content. I'm still learning how to crochet clothing and am by no means a professional. I'm still learning how to gauge and figure yardage and fit garments and a thousand other things. I've got some beautiful yarns that I've put back for garments for myself, once I've mastered this necessary knowledge. Then I plan on making myself some spectacular items. Right now it seems like that time is a long way away, but I'm trying to be patient. I think it's worth waiting for.

While I love making afghans I find many of them take so long that I get bored with them and switch to other projects to give myself a break. You can take some afghans along as projects, mile-a-minutes, granny squares and motifs come to mind immediately. Eventually they get too large to carry or you finish all the separate pieces and you have to put them aside as a carry-along project. So you start a new project to carry along; the process continues. At first it's just one project, one bag, and you work on scarves or hats or dishcloths, afghan squares, whatever you chose, one at a time. Once bored with always carrying the same project, you start to find other patterns to carry along, some are a bit larger, some smaller but they're chosen and carried and worked on for specific reasons such as the amount of time you have to work on the project, whether you'll be sitting or standing, or which one you need done the most, worked on to keep our minds from over-thinking itself, our fingers busy, focused and why? Because we have a need. It's more than a want, it's a need because it's something that you have to do to feel your soul. Succinctly, there's the difference between wants and needs.

Before you're aware of what's happened you've got PIG's galore. You've got the project sitting there that you work on when you're in your Crochet Chair. You've got the projects you have at your chair to work on when you need a break. You have a project you keep in the bedroom to work on, the den, maybe even the kitchen or bath. You've got all those carry-alongs. Like rabbits they keep multiplying in direct proportion to the depth of your need to hook. Now this certainly calls for some sort of storage solution and so you just have to have a container, or two, or three; something to get them all up and off the tables, the couch. the corners of your living room. Acquisition of storage containers, however they are obtained makes this a fully blown official addition you know. You might as well accept the fact, surrender to it, you're hooked!

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