|My father's family|
(back left to right - My father, Aunt Dorothy, Uncle Don, Aunt Annette)
(front left to right - My grandmother and my grandfather)
As a small girl (I don't remember the exact age), my grandmother taught myself and my sisters how to crochet. I don't remember her teaching us anything more than double crochet. If she taught me more than that, I just have no memory of it. Yet, I remember learning it and I remember liking it. However, I don't remember doing anything else with it.
|My amazing Granddaughter|
At first, I fell in LOVE with LionBrand Homespun yarn. I also found crochet hooks in sizes L, M, N, P and S. I found using the bigger hooks really helped with my pain level. Soon, I realized that I had not had any pain from the arthritis in my hands or shoulders. I was crocheting at least a little each day. I was learning more and more.
Soon, I was coming across patterns that just didn't work, and began having to re-write them to make them work. This really frustrated me. So, I started designing my own projects. I made things with new stitch patterns (well new to me), and just started creating. I found this to be so much fun. I loved the ability to crochet something and even more loved that it was completely my ideas.
|One of my first designs|
I soon realized that I needed to do something to "financially support my new yarn habit." I opened up a shop on Facebook. This was so amazing because I quickly found other crochet shops. I found shops who sold patterns. I found shops who sold yarns - some of the most beautiful yarns ever. For over a year, I tried to sell my crocheted items from my shop, and just didn't sell much of anything. I found I was making friends things for free and making no money at all. I closed my Etsy Shop and I stopped selling my ready to ship items completely. I had designed so many things though, and hadn't used a pattern from someone else in so long, I decided to try selling my patterns. Initially, this was very successful.
|My Navajo Spindle|
|One of my drop spindles|
(This one is from Hogg Wild Fibers)
Then one day, I was having a conversation with one of the yarn shops that I had purchased yarn from, and she mentioned that she had a drop spindle if I would like to learn to spin. Oh, I was so excited. I got the spindle and some fiber and was permanently "hooked". I fell in love with spinning almost immediately. I purchased a Navajo Spindle, as all the videos about spinning with spindles, the Navajo seemed natural to me.
|My awesome Louet S17|
I ran to my husband and asked him, "when did you get me a wheel?" He replied, "I didn't. I suggest you talk to your yarn friends on Facebook. Sure enough the most loving group of women I have ever known had pitched in together and purchased the wheel I had been dreaming of owning.
|Handspun Alpaca Yarn|
But I love spinning. I hope to get some acid dyes, and begin dyeing my own skeins of yarn, so that I can truly have a 100% Valorie work of art. I am also working on building my own picker, and possibly making my own carder. If I am able to do both, I will be truly going from Hoof to Hook with fiber. I am excited about my fiber arts journey. But even more, I am excited that my craft of crocheting has truly kept my arthritis at bay, possibly kept my depression at bay, and definitely brought some of the most amazing women into my life.
What crafts do you enjoy? And do they have benefits outside of just being a craft you like? Have you found health benefits too?
Hogg Wild Fibers:
Louet North America: