Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When Good Crafts Go Bad (Part 1)

Occasionally I cross paths with a group of knitters in the city that go by the name of the Downtown Knit Collective (DKC). They are an earnest, most serious group of knitters that truly are experts in their craft. Each spring they put on a fantastic event – the Knitter’s Frolic. This is an amazing event and I am counting down the days to this year’s Frolic on April 28. The Frolic offers courses, tutorials, demonstrations and an ever growing array of vendors focused on all things yarn and knitting.

The earnest nature of the DKC is intimidating, so Meredith and I try to stay in the shadows avoiding most of their events, but the Frolic is too good of an event to miss. It can be overwhelming and while we are usually giddy with delight, there have also been moments that had us running from the building as we were simply overwhelmed by what we would see or hear. The best one that comes to mind was a woman petting her shoulder as she revealed that she spun the yarn for her sweater out of her dog’s hair (shudder).

One of highlights of the Frolic is the generous array of door prizes up for grabs. Meredith and I have both scored some great door prizes (the big red square in the Leftover Blanket is the result of one of my DKC door prizes, and there’s a little purple one in there that is the result of one of Meredith’s door prizes.) One of my most intriguing prizes was a gift certificate that resulted in my going home with this…

I simply couldn’t resist a big box of pink fleece. The problem was that I didn’t know what to do with a big box of pink fleece, so I decided I should learn how to spin yarn. I don’t know what I was thinking, but my free box of fleece evolved into an expensive day where I bought a beautiful drop spindle as well as a couple of other bundles of fleece – after all, I was no doubt going to be creating metres and metres of wonderful hand spun yarn (not).

Spinning is not an instant craft. It takes hours and hours of practice. After several attempts, I managed to create this…

A couple of measly meters of nice, but useless yarn.

What was I thinking? Spinning yarn was super frustrating, only a little bit enjoyable, and it resulted in nothing useful for me. So I had two choices – spend hundreds of dollars on a big time spinning wheel that we have no room for, or box everything up and stash it under the bed for a couple of years.

I opted for the second choice and moved the failed spinning attempt to the realm of “out of sight, out of mind.”

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