Crafts Hobbies

This feels like a silly post at first… but… I wanted to see what other people enjoy doing in their spare time that results in a physical product of some kind. I guess my hope with this thread is to find craft hobbies that others have not only done, as there are many out there, but have also found to be very rewarding. Recently I’ve gotten back into knitting…

Although I’ve never done a whole lot of knitting, I’ve done my share of easy knitting products that are all based on a rectangle-like shape of knitted material. However, there have been exceptions — recently I’ve tried knitting cute little animal-like creations, such as seen at Mochimochi Land. Specifically, I tried knitting a big version of her “snail” but mine turned out rather different (though still recognizable as a snail, I like to think), probably because I’ve never knitted in the round before. The main problems I saw were that the knitting was “twisted” (not like her neat rows), it was not hollow like it was supposed to be (so it was “flat”), and I probably should have used different colored yarn for the shell and body… so if any of you reading this are advanced knitters, I’d love to hear your advice!

So what crafty hobbies do you have? Anyone into pottery, sculpting, painting, crocheting, or making holiday cards? It can be really rewarding to have a physical piece of work after investing so much time in a project and probably because this is in contrast to a lot of the daily work I do, which is much more abstract and planning, crafts sometimes really appeal to me… and I know a lot of people feel similarly.

8 Responses to “Crafts Hobbies”

Gwen has been knitting up a storm recently.

Paul Tevis - April 8th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I always like the idea of crafts projects, since the feeling of having something to show for your hard work is a great feeling; one that is too often lacking in office or lab work. Unfortunately, I’m not always as good on my follow-through as I am on my enthusiasm for the projects. I periodically buy more clay for scuplting, only to go nowhere.

But right now, I’m trying to go a step further– Ted mentioned he was taking the university’s Machine Shop training, and I jumped on that opportunity to tag along. Now I’m enrolled and taking the course, and I’m very happy to be doing so: I’ve always had a great respect for people who can actual make things, and learning to use drill presses, mills, and lathes will push me a little more in that direction.
When I was an undergrad, I had always planned on taking a Machining class (and my roommate did), but I never got around to it. I’m glad I’m getting to remedy that!

What’s my main craft-work, though? Putzing on the computer. I write patches for a faulty Linux kernel, arrange needlessly complex home networking, write script to automate tasks, and design websites (like this one) and continually revise them. The product isn’t as physical, but it is something I can point to with pride.

What craft project would I most enjoy having time to do? I’d love to have more time to put into gardening– well, I guess I’d need a garden first. But growing exotic plants in a home-made greenhouse is a strong attraction to me.

Paradoxdruid - April 8th, 2008 at 9:44 pm

I love crafts for the very reasons you are talking about!

Over the years I’ve done lots of different things. I have cross-stitched, but didn’t stick with it long enough to become very good (ie, fast). I have a million “in-progress” knitting and crocheting projects. I’ve taken a felting class, a kumihimo (Japanese braiding on a disk) class, and a spinning class, but didn’t really connect with those things.

There are two I really still love, though. I love going to a paint your own pottery studio. It’s probably not as rewarding as throwing your own pottery, but you still get to create the design. And it’s really satisfying to get a mug or cereal bowl that you can use each day.

My other love, which I’ve been away from for too long, is weaving. I own a gorgeous 8-shaft Baby Wolf loom from Schacht Spindle. I’ve made baby blankets, mug rugs, scarves, bookmarks, and runners. It is SO wonderful to see the finished product. And weaving is very soothing and meditative. Throwing the shuttle and raising/lowering the shafts is very rhythmic. The other thing that’s nice about weaving is that it sort of forces me to gift things. 🙂 I tend to want to hold onto all of my creations, but how many scarves can I really justify owning?

ShortSpeedFreak - April 9th, 2008 at 5:57 am

I really enjoyed pottery in High School. I’ve thought about signing up for one of the pottery classes at UCSB, but I haven’t really had time. Busy busy busy.

However, if someone else was interested in doing that, I could probably be convinced to try it over the Summer or Fall.

Ted - April 9th, 2008 at 10:13 am

It’s always nice to learn new things– both crafts, and facts about your friends: I didn’t know Ted liked Pottery, or that ShortSpeedFreak has taken so many neat classes. Nifty!

Paradoxdruid - April 10th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

I am setting my mind to make some chinese knots – for the wedding!

in the past i’ve tried knitting myself a vest but it turned out to be horrible (i only wore it for one winter and then threw it away); i knitted a bag for my mom for her hot-water bag to keep her warm in the winter… oh yeah one year Mike’s mom taught me how to crochet, i ended up with making a hat for the santa claus and she is putting that out every year now with that santa claus, :p although i’ve tried, i am really bad at any craft i mentioned above. Anyway, i can always do some knitting, i have quite some yarns at home – they been there for more than a year – well, all i need is more free time after all! though, i actually exercise more than just doing crafting (but lately i am injured from exercise and have to take a break)…

In fact i also wonder if you guys have interest in doing gardening or not, we have a garden now!

li - April 23rd, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Sweetums is currently into knitting, though still doing rectangles (one day I shall have me a Doctor Who scarf!). She’s also doing embroidery, and I need to get back into that in general, and blackwork in particular.
I’m starting up some woodworking projects (currently have a treated-and-stained banner pole getting rained on out on my back porch, it’ll eventually be part of a sword rack), and about to start leatherworking. We’ll see how that goes.
Mostly, the physical product of my main hobby is bruising.

Owen - April 28th, 2008 at 8:58 am

So I may be a day late and a dollar short posting on this so late. So when the final battle of good and evil occured (and lead to my expulsion from the lab) the creative beast within me began to stir. I was always an artsy and craftsy kid, I had five million projects going at any one time. So here is what I have been working on:

1. Making Movies
I love making movies, I think its so much fun to come up with an idea in your head and seeing it play out on TV. I currently have 3 movies up: Rock you like a hurricane, Little Napoleon vs. the Iguanas, and chrishmash scheer. (I’ll see if I can link to them on the site)

2. Writing
I’ve been writing some small short stories and speculative things that will be going up on this site, I’m hoping to actually use this to keep me honest. Eventually I’m hoping to write a book and begin podcasting it. Some of it will be fact, some will be fiction, some will be good some will be crap. Once I start I hope you guys enjoy my mindless brain vomit.

3. Sculpting
I actually have a disembodied, faceless clay head laying on the floor in the kitchen. I’m worried its drying out and I wont be able to work with it. However once I get some time I’m going to fill it out, cast it in plaster and then hopefully display it. I had really great success with one at my moms house.

4. Photography
I love shootin in black and white, especially shots of kind of lonely places. I also love shots that allow you to pattern your own thoughts onto them, such as mist up in the hills or water thrown from a container. I also like kind of chilling solo pictures. Right now I would KILL for an SLR camera.

Hope anyone is moderately intereseted in this.

flakeytheleper - April 28th, 2008 at 8:10 pm

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