The Crafting Journey of Wednesday Elf
Let Me 'Spin You a Yarn' About My Crafting Adventures
My hobby of choice is fiber crafting and has been since I was a youngster. My crafting journey has led me through the field of fiber arts in many different areas. As I child I began with embroidery. I also learned the basics of knitting and enough about sewing to sew simple things, but never became an expert. As the years went by, my primary focus became working with yarn.
*Images on this page are (c) Wednesday-Elf, unless otherwise noted.
Sewing - The First Hobby of my Fiber Arts Journey
My wonderful grandmother, who was an expert seamstress and quilter, taught me to sew. She made most of our clothes when we were children, but I never acquired sewing skills even close to hers. I did manage to make quite a few simple dresses and such for myself, and later dozens of outfits for my children when they were very small.
The summer before my daughter started kindergarten, I found a bunch of one yard/one-half yard pieces of fabric on sale (it doesn't take a lot of fabric for a tiny 5-year-old) and she was the 'best-dressed' little girl in school, with about 3 dozen outfits to choose from. Since I ended up with 2 boys and only one girl, it was great fun sewing for her.
The sewn outfit I was proudest of was a dress with pinafore decorated with a Raggedy Ann applique (shown in this picture of Kimberly when she was 6), as well as a duplicate dress for her 6-year-old cousin I made for them for Christmas. I saved that dress for years, hoping to pass it on to a granddaughter, but I ended up with 5 grandsons instead. :-)
Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing.
You, Too, Can Learn to Sew
If you don't have a talented grandmother or other relative to teach you to sew, a beginner's guide to the basics of sewing can be a tremendous help. To begin learning the art of sewing, start with the basics.
Written in the language of today's craters, this hold-your-hand beginners sewing guide teaches you everything you need to know from winding a bobbin to sewing a dart to customizing a pattern. Currently in the top 10 in beginner sewing books.
First Step to Sewing.... - You Need a Sewing Machine
My sewing machine is a Brother I have had for more than 40 years. This new model has so much more than my old 'basic' sewing machine, and is currently on a terrific sale!
It comes with a 60-stitch computerized free-arm sewing machine with LCD display, plus 7 styles of 1-step auto-sizing buttonholes. It also has 1-touch start/stop and reverse functions and snap-on presser feet; with a wide table accessory for larger projects such as quilts.
Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again.
Knit One, Purl Two
My knitting adventures began with one project, a simple scarf in very easy garter stitch, which I made for my Uncle for Christmas the year I was 12. Years later, while expecting my second child, I took up knitting again, following a beginners pattern for slippers.
Well, that wasn't so hard, so I decided to try a baby sweater. I began it while expecting my daughter... and finished it nearly five years later when my son was born. The difficulty came from working on something so tiny, and doing it left-handed. That's when I decided knitting clothes was not for me, because the necessity of having to 'reverse' all the pattern instructions, row by row, for a left-handed knitter to end up with the correct right & left sides, was much too complicated and time-consuming!
If You Want to Learn to Knit... - Begin with an Easy Guide
With simple step-by-step instructions, this book is the complete guide to starting and enjoying this fun, rewarding hobby.
And Knitting Needles are a Necessity...
How I Learned to Crochet...
My Fiber Arts Hobby Interests are Changing...
Along about my early 30's, I became quite interested in learning to Crochet. I read 'how-to' books and studied patterns, and tried & tried, but it just wouldn't make sense in my mind. I had 3 different expert crocheters try to show me, but they weren't able to 'slow down' enough for me to really SEE what they were doing. They were also all right-handed, and for me to try to 'think in reverse' became really frustrating.
My neighbor and I were considering taking a crochet class when she came over one night, all excited. She was carrying a ball of yarn and a crochet hook and said, "Look, I just 'Got' It!". We plopped down in the middle of the living room rug so she could 'show off' what she'd learned. Being brand new to the art of crochet, she was working 'verrry slooow' and was also sitting opposite me - which to "left-handed Me" was like looking in a mirror, so I saw what she was doing 'left-handed'. All of a sudden, it just "clicked"; everything I'd tried to learn about crochet now just made perfect sense.... and I haven't looked back since.
Perhaps because I had small children at the time, my interest in crochet crafting turned toward cute plush animals and toys. For the next several years, I crocheted dozens for my children, and for gifts for family and friends.
Eventually the products of my creative endeavors began to fill up and spill over the space allocated for completed projects. The next step was to see who else might be interested in my little "critters". I began to participate in a few local craft fairs, and sold a few. That was very exciting; an affirmation that my skills had become good enough that people actually wanted to buy what I made, and customers' lovely compliments on my creations were wonderful for my confidence!
My Crochet Journey Led Me to ETSY
Now I am Coastal Crochet Crafts online...
Six years ago, I discovered Etsy, a site for "All Things Handmade", and opened an Etsy Shop. It was a tremendous learning experience when you factor in all the 'how-to's' of listing, uploading pictures to a web site, pricing, promoting.....
My very first listing in my 'new' crochet shop was a Baby Teddy Bear like this one I called Sunny Yellow Baby Bear
The most fascinating thing about crocheting for sale is all the 'creative ideas' that keep popping into my head. I now have to keep a notebook to list my ideas so I don't forget what I want to try next!
If you'd like to Journey with me to my Land of Crochet, your 'journey' can begin here at Coastal Crochet Crafts.
My Etsy Shop Banner
The Story of Opening my Etsy Shop
- Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy
Mountainside Crochet became my online presence six years ago when I opened my Etsy Shop. I chose the name for my shop using two criteria - my specialty and my location. I am a crochet crafter and the shop would feature my crocheted creations, so I...
Learn to Crochet...
Easy to follow 'Go-To-Guide' in a simple format that is concise with two-page lessons which show you all the steps to a skill and are ideal for quick review.
Don't Forget the Crochet Hooks
Etsy.... and You!
If you are a creative crafter, in fiber arts or other crafts, who would like to open your own Etsy Shop, check out this quick summary about How to Sell on Etsy
If you have any questions about selling on Etsy, or would like to have a referral, just drop me a line through my profile page here on HubPages.
Links to a Few Yarn Sites
The most well-known companies for Yarn all have internet websites where you can not only purchase yarn, but also download many free patterns:
*Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarns.
Any of the above yarns, and many others, can be found in many places through an online search, and are also available in local outlets, such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby, along with a wide variety of crochet hooks, knitting needles and other accessories needed for your fiber arts crafting.
My Newest Craft
Plastic Canvas Creations
I'm enjoying my crochet more than ever, but hobbies have a way of evolving and you never stop learning. My latest interest in the fiber arts crafting field is for needlework on plastic canvas. It's a very satisfying craft, watching a picture take form as you create.
These Garden Produce Coasters were created using plastic canvas and needlepoint stitches in yarn to form the design of a bushel basket and a set of coasters shaped like four different vegetables (Eggplant, Tomato, Green Pepper and Pumpkin). The shapes are cut out of the sheets of plastic canvas according to the directions in the pattern. The basket pieces were sewn together after finishing all the needlepoint stitches, followed by overcasting all edges in yarn.
Plastic Canvas Crafting
If you would like to try this craft, here is "How-To Stitch in Plastic Canvas", from WikiHow
A Few of My Crafty Creations... - Available in my Etsy Shop - Click on a Picture to See a Larger ViewClick thumbnail to view full-size
Craft is the handprint of all culture.
© 2010 Wednesday-Elf