Monday, July 19, 2010

What's in My Crochet Bag - Scrap and Christmas Projects

This week, instead of a finished item, like I've been trying and failing to give you, I just want to talk about what I'm working on. I have quite the queue and I'm just gaining new projects without marking much off my list.

First of all, I've been sort of half-heartedly collecting projects to use up some of my scrap yarn. Someday, I hope to have a good yarn area of my house, perhaps in the basement, but only if I can de-damp it. In the meantime, though, all of my stash has to fit in the bottom of my closet and I am overflowing.

I have a handful of babies coming up and baby stuff is great for stash-busters, as long as you steer clear of afghans. Next week, I'll show you some baby stuff I've done.

I've also considered doing a scrapghan, but I don't really want one and that is so much work for a charity type of project.

My hat-making group has been on hiatus for the summer (which is weird to me, I actually have more time for it in the summer and also, a group makes me work) but we'll start back up soon, so I'll be able to construct some of that lovely scrapage into hats.

Also, I've started thinking a bit about Christmas. I'm really not much of a Christmas crafter. There are a couple of reasons for this: 1. It's not cheaper. I always think I'll save money and still manage to give great, personal thoughtful gifts if I make them and I always overspend on yarn. 2. There is just too much going on at that point in the year to rely on getting projects done on time.

But, with things the way they are, I'm really going to have to tighten the proverbial belt this Christmas season, and I know we just went over this, but I really think this may be the way to go. Again. We'll see. Yes, you too can watch me get sucked into the same vortex I get sucked into about once every three or four years.

I never seem to know what to make for people, though. Especially kids and men.

Please, use the comments today to tell me:
1. What do you do to whittle down your scrap stash?
2. What do you think about Christmas crafting in general? And do you have great gift ideas in the crafting department?


Suze said...

1. Every aspect of my stash needs whittling, including the scraps! But one of the most useful things I do with scraps is charity knitting for Afghans for Afghans (they take crocheted items, too, btw, but everything has to be all wool). They often ask for socks and hats, which are smaller items and easy to stripe.

2. I like the IDEA of Christmas crafting, though the execution is a different story. Everything takes longer than you think, and most of the time recipients don't necessary appreciate handmade stuff as much as you think they should. A lot of the time, they can't help it, like if they're not crafty themselves and don't understand the time and effort you've put in, or whatever. I think a good compromise if you want to make something for everyone on your list and don't have much time is to go with edible items, like homemade fudge or bean soup mix. You can always decorate the jar to be pretty or make cool labels, so there's the personal touch but it doesn't take too long.

Christmas tree ornaments is another idea. I bet there are some pretty lace crochet patterns you could use for snowflakes that could be heavily starched. Does that make sense?

Now, what about kids? I like for my kids to "make" things for their grandparents for Christmas, but they're too young to make anything worth keeping (sounds harsh, but true). Once or twice they've painted picture frames, which have been accepted graciously out of love more than anything else! But I don't have great ideas otherwise.

Jessi said...

Suze - I don't really have much scrap wool right now, but I am looking into other charity crochet outlets for whittling.
I totally agree with everything you said about Christmas crafting. I've never tried to make something for everyone on my list for just these reasons. I would go nuts. I love for the kids to make things for their Grandparents, but I find that I don't get it done as often as I should. Brynna is a fabulous artist and some of her things actually turn out quite nice. We have one of her paintings hanging on the wall in the hallway. For art, not self esteem. Maybe I will do a post about good craft for kids ideas. I would love to really go nuts with this this year.

Suze said...

Jessi, check out this post on Susan B. Anderson's blog:

Would Brynna be into rock art at all? I just thought that was the coolest thing, though my kids aren't old enough to do it yet.