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My good friend in Madison, Wisconsin sent me an Italian skirt her mother had bought 30 years ago. Her mother wore it, and she wore it, even though they both seemed to despise it’s vivid orange color. So when the poor thing began to degrade, and patching wasn’t going to do it anymore, they sent it to me. I took it apart, made a pattern with the pieces and put a new one together in navy blue. It took me a while- I’ve never done something like this before. I learned a lot! I learned how to put pockets in skirts, and I learned where to find pre-sewn hooks and eyes of doom. ^_^ Yeah for not having to sew each one by hand!
I still have to make another one (one for mother, one for daughter) but the first is at last complete! Huzzah!

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p.s. I had to make a prototype of this skirt to see how the pieces went together- I happened to make it in my size. It has a few valuable mistakes sewn into it, but I like it anyway! Whee!

Crafty… but missing something.
Something important.
Something I wish I could name so as to reclaim.
If you find it, will you let me know?

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My best friend of the male variety asked me to make him a scarf. (He has also asked for pirate coats, hemmed pants, and any other number of things) but when he asked for a scarf I jumped at the opportunity. I have this hang-up with scarves. I make them- but I can’t give them away. Either I feel like the people I’m giving them to won’t like them, and will be annoyed by the cliched “scarf” present. or I feel it’s not good enough- too many errors, etc etc. But this time I decided I would make a nice scarf with nice yarn (not the cheap stuff!) and I would rip out wrong stitches, and he’ll undoubtedly want it, so no problem!
Here’s where I am now:
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I’ve really enjoyed the process this time around. Taking my time and not rushing through it is helping, and knowing he’s going to like it is really warming to my heart.
I’m alternating a single crochet stitch that hooks into only one side of the bottom stitch, and a double-stitch that leave more flexibility tot he scarf. The striation is nice- and it’s compounded by the striation of the colors, black and grey.

Here’s something I’d like to discuss about arts and crafts- and the difference there within.
If I was just crocheting this scarf with 12 rows black, 12 rows grey, for the rest of the scarf- it would be a craft. It would also be senseless because you can buy that same scarf at any store for cheaper than buying the yarn. (Without self-satisfaction, of course.) Thinking about this really affects me. It affected me ever since I was weaving curtains one day and my teacher asked me, “Why are you just doing a plain weave? You could go down to the fabric store and buy a plain weave, you know. What makes this different? Why are you spending the time?” So it got me thinking about how to make the things I do personal. That can be tough. With this scarf, for instance, I’m going to gradually decrease the width of the stripes down to 1″ stripes at the other end of the scarf to make it a little artistic. That satiated my desire to make it personal, and I’m such more satisfied.

Do you all ever have this on-going battle within you, making something you’ve seen before versus making something uniquely you?

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I love making lace motifs. These little wheels of confusion bring me endless delight. I spent last year making them in pinks and browns to fashion a scarf for my mother. Phew. That took a while.
But now they’ve started piling up again after watching movies with friends and wanting to keep my hands busy. So I started making jewelry with them in an effort to get them off the coffee table. What do you think? Dorky? I like them, but I like most things I make because of the enjoyment of the process- so who knows if they’re actually worthwhile to anyone else.
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If you’re interested in making your own lace motifs, you really should look into it! It’s much easier than it seems, and while time intensive, it doesn’t take up much space and you can do it anywhere!
I learned from Japanese books, which are super easy to understand because they’re all diagrams and pictures instead of crochet jargon with numbers and letters. So you don’t need to speak Japanese.
I got my books in Japan (they’re so cheap there!) But you can pick some of them up at this online store in the US: Kinokuniya. I am currently eyeing this one. It’s titled, “Beginning with thick thread lace crocheting.”
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