Monday, June 21, 2010

Fabric Infatuation and other crafting illnesses

Periodically we need to step back and look at our big picture and make whatever changes are needed. In the meantime we try to get entertained by looking at other people big picture through reality TV (as if some were) and tend to evaluate ourselves in some other level.  This is my own "Intervention" where I've become "Obsessed" and a "Hoarder" in my own house that's looks like a "Project Runway" and thinking "That's Clever".  We quickly switch to our denial mode and start looking for bigger storage to stash all our "future projects".  It's no coincidence that I call this "Craftingjunkie".  I've designed a 12 step program (in 5 steps) for myself but that's another whole other project.

The problem starts in our childhood with a harmless attempt from our desperate mothers looking for something for us to do in the summer months (or any other needed "me time"). My mother and grandmother taught the way of the hook, and if I was just like my daughter, was the only time I would shut up. Later came the sewing lessons. For a couple of summers, my sister and I, attended class at a neighbors house making wonderful clothes that were not going to be worn more than twice because of an awkward fit and fashion. With practice came longer wear life. I did some more fashions but the sewing stopped in college where other interests arose and I was off the bobbin for good.  I relapsed when I started having children and I saw my mom and grandma crocheting blankets and booties. I was hooked again.

When I decided to stay at home it slowly creep up on me. There is always the costumes for school activities and the quick fixes of hand me downs. That passes as normal use of fabric stash. Then the crocheting began in the parking lot while waiting for them to get out of school. Then the waiting in the tutoring, volleyball, ballet, tennis. The activities changed but never the waiting. It was not my fault, it was there, so portable, so systematic, so meditative, so many wonderful colors of crochet thread. I had to have them. And it wasn't only crochet. No. I was clever. I switched from crochet to knitting. It's like entering a zen like state of mind. A couple of minutes into knitting and my shoulders and jaw began to relax. BETTER than Xanax. But like a good junkie, I needed a little more kick.  I discovered felting. That was like graduating to crack.  I loved felting but natural wool is difficult to get here in the caribbean. I've been importing wool and made my mom bring me wool instead of travel souvenirs. Then came the needle felting. Needles, crochet thread, yarn, hooks and fabric were beginning to take up space in my not so big house. Lying to my husband when he caught me with newly bought yarn and thread. Stashing and hiding fabric around the house. I needed help.

To get well from these ailments I had to face the fact that I needed help and take action, but it has to be done slowly and carefully not to trigger the awful shopping therapy withdrawal. For my "Fabric Infatuation" I started to take count and samples of all the stashes and categorize them in index card. That way I see what I have and stick to projects with those fabrics specifically. My deep feelings of "Yarn Yearning" are contained because I haven't done any knitting in a while, but I have them in ziplock bags by type and all in a giant Ziplock bag (no, I'm not anal retentive). Part of my recovery is to visit them and and have a session of "Feeling the Felt Therapy", hand felting until I felt better, no pun intended. The "Frustration Release by Felt" is closely related to the feeling the felt but works in emergencies with the felting needle. There is nothing better than stabbing when you're angry. That didn't came out right. But trust me, if you're careful is better than boxing. The crochet has been more persistent with commissioned items here and there and always looking for cute thing to try. When I thought I was out, they pull me back in.... I can say I'm still "Hooked on the Hook". It is difficult to kick this habit since it was the first thing I learned. But when I really decided to stop the insanity and concentrate and produce more was when I got me the ultimate vice. A new computerized 80 stitch sewing machine... on sale!!!!. The sprocket in my heart went boom, I'm in love. Of course, my youngest daughter jumped on the opportunity to inherited my old one. There is always a black fluffy hairy sheep in the family. Now I'm continuing the cycle once more teaching her to sew properly. They learned to crochet first.. I see the pattern emerging (get it pattern?) so history repeats itself. I guess these are illnesses that I don't mind passing on.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment or tell me how I can help you with your crafting emergency.   :)

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  1. Love this post! OHHH! I feel your pain!!! Same thing happen to me..first paper crafts...then making..and I'm looking for the next thing to poor, tiny apartment is crowded....Do you know any good organization professional? I really need therapy...LOL!


  2. Looooove your comments. You should write a book, not really !!!!
    I can see myself walking with you to sewing class every summer, smelling the black espresso coffee the old cuban ladies were drinking. And listening to all their gossiping, we were their pet projects. Than come back home to saw, not pretty dresses for us but for our barbies, as if sewing for a normal dress size wasn't enough we had to complicate things a bit more by sewing for a tiny creature with plastic skin for whom you had to tug and pull a dress almost to the point of breaking to get it on her. Wow, I'm tired already. Thank you mom and grandma, for making us go through all that, we loved every minute of it and it certainly brought us together.
    Love you so very much Sis.
    By the way, my laptop bag is just AWESOME !!!!