When I was a little girl I was in the Girl Scouts. My Mom was our troop leader, and we were always crafting something or other – mostly weird things, like cats made of out bowling pins. I can recall how badly I wanted to be good at making things – but somehow my crafts never turned out as well as anyone else’s.
In middle school I went through a period of wanting to be an artist, despite my total lack of drawing ability. Since I was already a hopeless dweeb, drawing a portrait of the most popular girl in class wasn’t really helping my street cred. Particularly when I made her resemble Hilary Clinton. So I gave up, and comforted myself with the thought that I was at least good at music (and I was – I’m still a professional musician at age 27).
My freshman year in college I was saddled with a roommate from the tiniest town in Indiana, who liked to say things like “Wow, I’ve never seen a black person that wasn’t on TV before.” So yeah, not my best friend, but she did teach me how to do counted cross stitch. She was mostly into dorky samplers that included lots of duckies and teddy bears, so I wasn’t certain it was for me… but then I looked on the internet and found a world of gorgeous sophisticated designs. I quickly surpassed my roommate in skill, much to my surprise.
A few years later, I was moving into a new apartment and I thought “I’d love to have some real paintings for the walls, but I can’t afford them.” I love geometric type modern art. And I thought “Well, why can’t I make some myself?” And I did, and I was amazed at how easy it was.
Now I’ve made everything from chalkboards to the ubiquitous record bowls. My home is like a giant testament to my crafting spirit. I kept up the cross stitch too, learning lots of beading and specialty stitches.
I was getting bored with it though, so I decided to teach myself to crochet (I was scared of knitting due to an aborted attempt a few years ago.) I bought “The Happy Hooker”, and made a scarf within days. After that I was hooked. I made around 5 projects from that book, and then started thinking about knitting again. I bought Stitch n Bitch, and taught myself American style knitting, but I wasn’t happy with it. I kept dropping stitches, and I felt like it took forever to do anything. I nearly gave up, but then I tried Continental and it was like a light switch going off. Now knitting is my primary hobby. I’ve even started a stash (well, mostly knitpicks because I’m still scared of the price of yarn.)
So… yeah. That’s my path to all my old lady hobbies. I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s something so special about creating something yourself, that I have a very difficult time ever buying anything in a store.