Sunday, October 12, 2014

It's Crochet Time!!


                       "The time has come", the teacher said, "To talk of other things".....

A day off from talking class work, lesson plans, and teaching is in order.  As much as I love blogging about my job, I figured it's a perfect day to take a break and discuss another one of my loves: Crocheting. 

I absolutely LOVE cold weather.  Mostly because it's the time of year that I get to curl up on the couch and snuggle in a blanket and create some stuff with some yarn and a crochet hook.  I consider myself a "seasonal crocheter", meaning that I don't crochet all year long.  It's an activity I save for when the weather starts getting cooler, and all I want to do is snuggle on the couch to stay warm.  I'll take cold weather over hot weather any day.  Mostly because of how much I love crocheting, and I don't like to crochet when it's 90 degrees outside. 

Yesterday, as I sat on my patio with my iPad, a cup of coffee, and a blanket, I realized that the time had come.  There was a crispness to the air that told me the cooler weather is moving in to stay, and it was time to start crocheting.  Not only that, but I've got a couple of people at work that are having babies so I need to get started making their stuff.

So, last night after spending the day working, I pulled out a crochet hook, a big ball of yarn, and started creating.  I've decided to start off with a baby afghan, just so I can get my bearings back again.  Even though I never forget how to crochet, it takes just a little while to get my speed and technique back.  I have to start out with something easy before I start moving in to things like hats, mittens, and baby shoes.  Those things require a little more finesse, so I start out simple and work my way up again.  

I spent a couple of hours crocheting, last night, and I still only have about 4" of the afghan made.  That's because I took it apart about three times because I didn't like the pattern.  Being that I often create my own patterns, I often have to rely on trial and error.  My first attempt had way too many holes in it.  The holes were supposed to be there, but I thought about those holes not doing an infant too much good at keeping her warm.  So, I tried smaller holes, and then I thought about her sticking her little toes and fingers through them.  Third time was a charm, and I got rid of the holes and decided to go with little clusters as the main pattern instead.  

One of the teachers I work with is having a baby in December.  Her shower is at the end of this month, and I'd like to have a few things ready for her by then.  The afghan will be one thing, but I also need to make a hat, some mittens, and possibly some booties.  The hat and mittens won't take much time at all, but the afghan and booties take some time.  She's given me her wish list of stuff she wants, and I plan on getting them done for her.  

As bad as it sounds, crocheting saves me a fortune come baby shower time.  What people are willing to pay versus the cost it takes to make some of the things I make is amazing.  Just a few weeks ago, the teacher texted me a picture of a baby hat she had thought about buying.  It had a price tag of $15 on it!  I told her NOT to buy it.  I can make the exact same thing for less than a third of that price.  

Which is probably why I never make any money when I crochet.  HA!

Not that I'd charge her for baby stuff.  That's even better for me.  I can make the stuff and give it to her as a gift, and it helps out both of us.  It saves me a few bucks on buying baby stuff, and she gets the accessories she wants for her new baby girl.  But, I hope she realizes that now that I have a baby to make for, her little bundle will be showered with crocheted goodies from me for a long time.  She'll have crocheted hats, headbands, mittens, and booties coming out of her ears.  HA!

Being that I love to crochet so much, I feel like it's not right to charge someone to make something.  If they provide the yarn, I'll make it.  Simple.  As long as there are no deadlines and I can make something when I can, I have no problem giving stuff away.  

Last year, I did make a few bucks making some infinity scarves.  They were super cute, and it seemed like several people wanted one.  The scarves similar to the one I made sold in the stores for about $40 a piece.  I was shocked!  They cost me all of $5 to make, and I sold them for $15.  I was told by countless people that I was selling them too cheap, and that my time is worth something.  But, I couldn't justify charging for my time when it consisted of sitting in front of the TV, wrapped up in my blanket, doing something I absolutely loved.  

I guess that's why I'm OK with how much money I make teaching.  HA!.. Just kidding.  Not really.

I don't crochet to make money.  It's a form of stress management.  Some people handle stress by doing yoga, walking, squeezing a stress ball, or talking to someone about it.  I handle stress with a ball of yarn and a crochet hook.  The time I take to make stuff isn't really worth that much, because crocheting is a pretty mindless activity for me.  I'm not doing anything that requires mental or physical labor, it's just something that keeps my hands moving while I'm relaxing.

For the last couple of years, I've started out each crocheting season with an idea for something new I want to try.  A few years ago it was hats.  Then I moved in to headbands.  Then it was boots/socks.  Last year, it was infinity scarves.  This year?  I'm just going to make stuff.  Probably, for the most part, baby stuff, but there's nothing new that's jumped out and grabbed my attention as being a new endeavor.  

Oh wait.  Scratch that.  There is something I plan on making at some point that I've never made before.  That would be a stuffed animal.  Being that there are a few babies to make for now, I can have a go at making some crocheted dolls and animals.  But, they're not on my immediate radar.  I'll have a go at them when I tire of making baby hats, gloves, and booties.  

The only thing I have to worry about come crochet season is staying on top of my other priorities.  Being that I love to crochet so much, and I don't do it all year, I often have to force myself to keep up with my other duties.  I often have internal arguments over whether I should be working or sitting on the couch crocheting.  Sometimes the crocheting wins, and then I find myself up late at night working because I didn't get everything done.  I'm going to try hard to not let that happen this year.  I'm going to try and focus on my crocheting being my reward AFTER a hard day's work.  

Being that my crochet season is fall and winter, I have plenty of breaks that I can spend crocheting.  Fall break is coming next week, a month later is Thanksgiving, a month later is Christmas break.  Plenty of time to sit, relax, and crochet.  I just have to stay on my toes during those breaks to make sure I don't get pulled away by the lure of my crochet hook.  

Speaking of, I have to finish up some work this morning.  I better get to doing that, so I can have some time this evening to crochet.  

Have a great Sunday, everyone!! Enjoy this beautiful, cool, cloudy weather... because it's supposed to get bad around these parts tomorrow.  


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