I can’t resist a good set of questions! I yoinked this from NothingButKnit‘s blog.
- Do you have a favorite crafting tool?
- Which do you prefer when you craft: listening to a podcast or music, watching something on tv or silence?
- Do you have a favorite designer that you’d like to recommend?
- Most people have a favorite color, do you find you use it more than other colors? Is there a color you avoid? Why?
- Have you experienced a crafting injury? If yes, what.
- That’s an impossible question! I can’t possibly pick a single item. I’ll explain why at the end of the questions. 🙂
- I tend to turn on Netflix when I’m crafting. It’s usually not a show I’m actually interested in or else I’d end up staring at the screen more than working on whatever it is I should be. I really like docu-series types of things for when I’m crafting away.
- Hrm. That’s a tough one. I love how Jinny Beyer uses color and tend to read her books cover-to-cover. I also think most of Judy Niemeyer‘s designs are stunning. Both are quilters. As far as other crafts, I find it hard to resist Tania Richter‘s — her patterns are both whimsical and straight-forward, plus I LOVE her knit-alongs that involve role-playing. It adds an entirely new and random aspect to everything. I’ve also probably made more stuffed animals by CholyKnight than is reasonable for any adult.
- My favorite color is green — deep emerald green. I actually don’t use it much at all. Green is such a fiddly and difficult color to match (it tends to read with blue or yellow tints). I actually tend to use black the most in all of my projects. I also like navy and grays. I avoid pink like the plague it is.
- A few. 😛 Besides super gluing my fingers together more than I care to admit, I’ve burnt myself with an iron THREE times; twice on my hand and once on my inner forearm. The two on my hands blistered, the one on my arm left a 3″ scar. I’m really lucky to have long, sturdy fingernails because I’ve sewn through them or cut them with a rotary cutter far too many times for my comfort. Without them, I would have whittled my fingers down to nubbins. I also flayed the skin and deeper tissues off of a finger last year when I was harvesting gears for a steampunk costume. Don’t trust me with anything hot or sharp.
Okay, so back to why picking a favorite crafting tool is impossible.
I’m stupidly sentimental and I collect sewing machines. That’s the TL;DR version.
I’m rehabbing some of them still (it’s slow because I don’t want to damage them at all) but most of them are already ready to go and ready to sew…and are used regularly. It’s a horrible habit but I love it, so there’s no stopping it. I currently have 15.
Some of them are rescues, some are not. The 237 and the White 1514 belonged to my sweet neighbor that lived across the road. The 401A I’ll talk about below. The 9110 belonged to my husband’s grandmother. The little red Penney’s machine was my mom’s when she was a child. …that big ole star? He’s holding the place for the machine I’m picking up next month! One of my aunts offered to give me either my grandmother’s or my great-grandmother’s treadle. My choice. I’m over the moon happy.
The coffin top fiddle base at the top is from 1889. The Sphinx from 1900. The W&W dates 1865 — it takes curved needles and still has its original glass presser foot. The Two Spool is an amazing machine that doesn’t use a bobbin but has a canister that holds a wooden spool of thread. It was THE machine I wanted and I converted a chain-lift cabinet to fit it. I love my machines.
…but not as much as my room as a whole.
Above is a 360 degree view of my sewing room. Behind the door is where I keep my pile of yarn, since it didn’t make an appearance. I can’t pick a favorite tool because I’m pretty sure if my house were to ever catch fire, I’d be running to that room and throwing everything out the window to save it…or at least try my damnedest. A huge portion of it is sentimental. This room is my safe space — I always feel comfortable and content when I’m in it. I never feel far from the people I miss there.
It’s also the “girl’s room” in the house; my sidekick cat has literally learned to open the door and make herself at home. If we have people at the house and she’s scared, you can bet she’s in that room hiding. She particularly likes to be under my embroidery frame, behind the hand-crank machine, or moonlighting as a stuffed animal on top of the wardrobe.
My husband’s female cat also loves to go in there and lounge on the table. My little dog has a nest of fabric that she naps in when I’m in there or she’ll sit in the second chair. The male cat and our big dog, neither one really cares to hang out there, so we’ve just established a no boys allowed thing…it’s especially handy when I have intrusive guests that want to fill the room with their extra baggage and nonsense — my husband can quickly forbid it as a sacred place for my sanity.
…and my husband likes to challenge people to guess how many sewing machines are hidden away in that little bitty room. The current answer is six, plus a serger/coverstitcher.
So, going around the photo:
The Singer 401A? Given to me when I first moved away from home. It was a gift from the couple that taught me to quilt; I used to spend hours at their house sewing and laughing and learning…and on a few occasions, partying our asses off. The lady died of a stroke a few years ago.
The now raggedy table under my cutting mat? Built by my great-great-grandfather.
Not in the above photo, but above the table there is a shelf that I made a few years back. It’s to hold a quilt but it’s the things on top are what is important. I have a German Barbie that a friend of the family gave me when I was little. The Barbie is now wearing my dad’s name badge from his workplace. Also on that shelf are two of the last things my sister ever gave me. When she was in high school she made the kitschy dragon for me in home ec because they were working on ceramics for who knows what reason. The glued puzzle is one of the first things her ag teacher ever let them do — basic cutting and staining of boards…most kids decoupaged something on theirs, she glued on a glow-in-the-dark puzzle. She ended up making some really beautiful things but I got her first janky item and loved it then and now. (Ignore the fact that I obviously loved dragons…)
The basket of hooks and needles? The vast majority of the contents in that basket belonged to my great-granny or my husband’s grandmother. Both crocheted and knitted. The only tools I’ve ever had to buy for yarn crafts are my ChiaoGoo needles simply because neither had circulars. I use my husband’s grandmother’s scissors in my yarn kit. I’m knitting a scarf right now with my great-granny’s needles.
The wardrobe? I keep batting, polyfill, costumes, and patterns in there but it has been in my family and passed around so often that nobody can remember where it originally came from (the same goes from the Hoosier cabinet I have in my dining room). The top of the wardrobe is the home of my childhood. I keep all of my old stuffed animals there and my husband has added a few of his over the years as well. One of the dolls was crocheted by Granny.
You can’t really see it in the photo because the ironing board is blocking it, but there’s a small nightstand that I grew up with behind it. In the drawer I keep most of my old family photos and my family tree information. Nobody else wanted it when my great-granny died, so I ended up with all of it and cherish it. On top of the nightstand rests the Penney’s sewing machine that belonged to my mom.
…and it’s also hard to see but in the closet there rests a box. It holds all of my instruction manuals and things like that now, but the box itself is precious to me. I love my family heirlooms but this one will be -my- heirloom if I ever have somebody to pass it onto. My best friend made it for me when we were 17 for my high school graduation. He packed it to the brim with mints and playing cards — he always carried them for me at school and said I shouldn’t go without just because I was going off to college a year ahead of time.
So, it really is impossible for me to pick a favorite crafting tool when so many of them aren’t just tools but memories.