december tenth


Do you know what one of my favourite parts of blogging is?

This is a squirrel. That is a shawl.

The comments. I love them! Your comments are the difference between having a Real Conversation, and me having a little talk with myself and my imaginary friends in a padded room. And sometimes, just like in a Real Conversation, it is the things one’s friends say (the Real Friends, not the imaginary ones) that make all the difference.

Barbara, in yesterday’s comments, suggested that perhaps my craft studio was a place for storing my crafting things, while the actual crafting took place elsewhere.

Warping happens in the kitchen for some reason

I think you are on to something there, Barbara.

That comment made me think about when I craft, and where I craft, particularly during the times when Nicholas is out of the house for some reason and I am left to run feral for a while.

When Nicholas is home, I do most of my crafting in the evenings in the TV room, sitting with him, either chatting or watching TV. I have a comfy chair there, good light, and I can knit, crochet, or weave there.

Spinning is something I usually do when Nicholas is not in the house. I don’t know why that is; perhaps it is because I find spinning to be almost prayerful, a way of touching something deep and life-giving, something nourishing and larger-than-myself. I don’t spin in the TV room, interestingly enough. I spin in the living room, where the sunlight comes in through lace curtains, where there is a big empty space for me to wander around in while I use a spindle, where there is enough room for all my wheels and my drumcarder.

Wheels in the living room

Sewing pretty much has to be done upstairs in the craft room; my collection of thread spools and bobbins and feet for the sewing machine need to be close to hand; and I need the space the worktable up there provides. But I’ve recently been thinking that if I had room for a sewing table downstairs, I would sew more than I do now.

I’ve been weaving more lately largely due to the tiny Cricket loom I bought last year. My favourite loom, a 4-shaft Norwood, is Guess Where: upstairs in the studio. It has sat unloved and unused for much of the past year; I used to use it all the time.

And then there is my first love…beading. In Colorado, I had my beading work table out in the front room, under the large front windows. I had my supplies ready to hand, and I spent hours and hours beading there.

Earrings I made this year

My worktable is upstairs in the studio, as are all my beads and beading tools. I can count on one hand the times I have gone up there and actually made something beady. I love to bead.

A design I did for Beadwork magazine

I think we’re seeing a pattern here…

This is a tiny-arse house we live in, the smallest home I’ve had in a long, long time. It’s oddly laid out. It’s got small rooms, poor natural light most of the time, and oh heck. The lightbulb just went off.

My house and my crafting style are not in sync with one another. The rooms are designated as we thought they “should” be designated: The living room has a sofa and is for visitors; the dining room has our dining table; the upstairs spare bedroom is supposed to be for my crafts.

Everywhere is where the cats are!

Will you look at that…my house doesn’t fit me. Well, well, well. The girl who spends her professional life teaching other folks how to make sweaters to fit their real bodies lives in a house that doesn’t fit her real life.

Houston, I think we have found a problem.

Today’s Random Good

Indeed.

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About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Almost 2-yr-old kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
This entry was posted in Knitting, Spinning, Studio, Weaving, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to december tenth

  1. beth says:

    I have moved my craft room 4 times in the last 10 years and I still don’t work in it. I do crafting/working/spinning/knitting either in my bed or in the living room…

  2. april says:

    i don’t have a craft room i have a craft corner by my bed. ha ha
    i stash yarn under my bed and in my bedside table. and when i knit, i knit in front of the computer, in the living room while watching tv, or in the car waiting on my daughter to come out of school.
    my point is, we knit everywhere and we don’t have to get in the mode to think we have to craft in our craft room.
    i like what barbara said too, just use it as storage for your crafts. it would be very helpful for you to have it somewhat organized, but you should knit or craft where ever makes you feel happy at the moment.
    your earrings are so pretty.

  3. Our house is small as well, but with everything on one level. Maybe if I…

  4. Naomi says:

    The best thing about my most recent apartment (not this shared house) was the fantastic amount of sunlight in the kitchen, most of which made it through to the living room at least indirectly. Is there maybe something you can do about the light in the parts of the house where it’s more convenient to work? Mirrors, maybe, or lamps that reflect light off the ceiling?

  5. Lynn says:

    That Random Good is so on target, for many of us! So look at where you like to work, and see what you need there to make it appealing more often. Do you need a worktable in the living room? Do it. A different kind of storage for the beads, so you see what you have and can be inspired by it? Do it. Nobody but the cats sits on the couch? Make them all cat beds for Christmas, get rid of the couch and make the loom into the living room. Do eeeeet! And then I’ll come visit!

  6. georg says:

    My craft room is for storage. If I craft in it, my sweetie comes to look for me and wonders if I’m mad at him.

  7. Lisa says:

    The best thing I did when my kids were younger was put a small kitchen table in the living room. It meant we all could be together while watching TV, coloring, working puzzles, etc. (Ok, that doesn’t really count as the BEST thing I did, but it was a Good Thing.) I wish I had the space to do the same thing now!

  8. Vicki says:

    I think you should re-purpose the living room. If you only use it once in a blue moon for company…do you really need a couch? When I go to my mom and dad’s and the entire clan (20+) is there, we just drag dining room chairs into the living room and/or sit on the floor since the couches won’t hold all of us comfortably.

    So which should it be – the normal expected or what makes your heart happy and you creative and productive. Don’t waste good space on the occasional visitor (not meaning to be insulting or anything!)

    I think creating a beading area downstairs and a sewing area downstairs would be good. The knitting yarn and extra goodies stay upstairs since they are easily retrievable. Plus once you’ve got your “parts” you normally don’t have to go retrieve more bits and pieces.

    Just my opinion. It is always so much easier to see what someone else should do versus see what I need to do to solve my space issues & project issues.

    Thanks for blogging so much this month about being stuck, emptying boxes, etc. You are really making me think and who knows, this might help me come up with a better plan for myself as well.

  9. Joanne says:

    I have a huge picture window with a view of the park across the street in my living room. When I bought my first loom 6 1/2 years ago I wondered I planned to put it in my living room and thought that might be obnoxious until a friend (not a textile person) asked something like “you’re putting in the living room, aren’t you?”. The loom and the 2 I bought after it all happily live in my living room. The living room is a nice open feeling room and I am much happier weaving there than I would be in the spare bedroom were I was thinking I ‘should’ put the loom.

  10. Denise says:

    My husband & I currently live in a tiny townhouse in Southern California. He’s applying for jobs in the PNW, not only for the breathtaking beauty of the area, but for my STUDIO. I long for a house with both a living room & a family room. A family room that can become my Studio… with maybe a spare bedroom as the stash room. I don’t need more things, but I do need more space.

    Maybe it’s time for you to move too? Crossing fingers for good moving juju for us both!

    – Denise (aka dlotter ravelry/twitter)

  11. Wendy says:

    Ah, the eternal problem of crafters. I had my 54″ Glimakra in our living room for the longest time. It made a great jungle gym for my kids and then a hat/coat rack. Homeschooling, home keeping etc., kept me too busy to use it. It now sits in my mothers (dry) basement 😦 and I still don’t use it. Someday.

    Alas we have to make room for the other members of the family that live with us! My “craft room” is the place where everything gets tossed whenever we have to do a quick clean up. Living in a small house with lots of books and lots of craft stuff means not everything has a place. Ah, well, some day.

    Sandy, I don’t suppose there is any way you could install a craft “closet” in your living room – kind of a sewing/beading center that could be closed up when hubby is home or you have guests over.

  12. nestra says:

    Is this your way of mentally easing into the idea of moving?

  13. Mardi says:

    I have a craft room now, which S dubbed the Fibertorium when I was was working on the Fleece From Hell. We moved stuff around a bit, and now most of my fleeces, all the wheels and fiber tools live in there. We have to have a bed in there, because of #1 Son’s occasional visits. I’d love to get it out and have more room! It’s an oddly shaped room with one window, and the way is has to be set up doesn’t allow for really getting near the window to spin. I always knit in our LR/TVroom/Kitchen/office open loft area. I have a chair that is my favorite, but until recently I never sat in it because it wasn’t in good light. D-oh! rearranged, now it’s my “knitting nest.” I spin in the Fibertorium, unless the TdF is on and I need a TV…

    I you don’t like the craft room itself, don’t stay in there to work. But you said it was pretty, so I’m thinking…at least in winter perhaps a space heater? And I was thinking about bead storage (even though I don’t bead) and how you could keep things out and visible – perhaps wall mounted spice rack type things??

    Aigh! I’m good at this stuff…srsly. Send me pictures and your floor plan. And PS, IMNSHO, no one should have a room in their house that is only “for company.” Especially in a tiny one!

  14. Mardi says:

    PPS – think about how you use every room and how you move in it, your traffic patterns. Do they feel right, or unnatural? If it’s the latter, shove stuff around within your limits until it feels “right.”

  15. Ginger says:

    LOVE that! I think i resemble that ah ha moment just need my own personal Barbara….usually just takes me years of organic process of moving stuff around until it feels right, etc…so happy for you!

  16. Susanne says:

    I’m chiming in with using the house as you need it (but you already figured that out). We currently don’t have a living room (we don’t have a dining room either, come to think of it). We used to have his room, my room, and the kitchen. Then it turned into living room, bedroom, kitchen. Then we built an annex so we had a studio/office/teaching room each plus a guest bedroom. Then we had a son. Who slept in our bedroom with us. Then we decided that he needed his own bedroom so we threw the sofa in the living room out and put his bed there. He still has this huge room that has six book cases full of books for adults, and his stuff is right there in the middle. Then we moved the TV, and now we don’t have a guest room anymore…
    Rooms are meant to change. It’s great that you have started thinking differently about this, you’re definitely onto something.

  17. woolizard says:

    I would think about your light needs. Beading needs the most natural light, so I would put that near the window. Of course, you’d have to keep it contained in bins so the kitties don’t get at it!

    Your weaving in the kitchen sounds marvelous, where there’s a cozy feel anyway and tea is always at hand. Plus you have kitchen cabinets so there’s a great place to store materials in a plastic tub!

    Spinning wheels sound like a marvelous part of living room decor; they can be off to the side when not in use, and pulled in front of that fabulous wood-burning stove as you need them.

    Knitting supplies can go in underbed boxes under beds and couches, and project bags are so beautiful they shouldn’t be hidden anyway!

    I think you’ve got possibilities there, just look at your home upside down and think about what you both want from it.

  18. Sylvia Dresser says:

    Sandi, I thought of you today when I went up to my craft room/storage room/used to be a guest room … to mend something on my sewing machine, and then I immediately left! Also trying to figure out how to make the room one that I like to be in – hmmm.

  19. stitchesandwords says:

    Yup. When I moved into this townhouse-style apartment, I thought almost from the first that the room which I’m using as bedroom would be a great studio space; it’s enormous, and has the best light in the house. But I never got atoned to changing things around, and eventually realized that I do all of my fiber work downstairs, in the continuous living/dining area, where the rest of my life happens — TV is there, books are there, food is next door in the kitchen, computer is there, chairs are there, workspace is there. Effectively, that’s where I always am at home, so that’s where yarn and fiber stuff happens too. If I tried to make a separate space for those things, I’d be cutting them off from my real, functional life, or else my functional life would have to change a great deal.

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