Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cross-Crafting Anyone?

I spent a fun day on Sunday down at the new location of Sit 'N Knit in Bloomfield, CT. Barbara (the owner) and Jodi from Sit N Knit are the reason I am back into teaching some classe out and about. Jodi bugged me for months to come down to their new store and that I did about a year and a half ago. They have a lot of friendly talented customers.

The class was at the new location of their first store (in April, they moved the West Hartford store to this new location). The store in Weathersfield - Sit N Knit Too - is still open in that funky fun barn location. Sit N Knit/Bloomfield is beautifully merchandised and well stocked. It has a modern but warm feeling which is difficult to obtain with swanky concrete floors. The blocks of color on the walls look lovely against all the colors of the yarn. At the back of the store is a wall with the most enormous painting of a yarn ball with knitting needles - what a nice touch. Wish I took a photo of that!


The class I taught was called The Edge of Color. I used Sunday as a dry run-through for the upcoming class at Stitches and Webs. When I am introducing a new class, it is always a guess as to what students will like and latch onto. It always takes a few tries to zero in on the best ideas and I use student feedback to better develop each class. Thank you guys.

The other day I had an email conversation with a shopowner. She said she was starting to introduce "cross-crafting" into her knitting shop. When Colorful Stitchery came out, I thought that knitters would flock to it. Boy - I was so wrong. I have always "cross-crafted." In fact, I can't imagine just doing one craft only. Combining sewing, embroidery, painting, color, knitting and crocheting - is what makes things interesting!

At my class, we talked a little about "cross-crafting" and I was amazed how many of the students just considered themselves knitters. They were afraid to take on embroidery. That's what I find as I go around.

So, here's my question of the day..... Do you cross-craft? Leave a note in my comments section if you have a minute. I'd like to hear what you have to say....

And how's this for cross-crafting? Barbara ordered this cake from the local bakery? Isn't it too much?

42 comments:

Michele said...

Kristin - I definitely cross craft: cross stitch, embroidery, knitting and sewing. I sometimes have to rein myself in from too many WIPs in too many crafts, but my head is always bursting with ideas (a two hour commute to NYC on the bus gives me lots of time to craft in my head if not actually in my hands.....)

Michele

countrychicken said...

Cross-crafting sounds great to me - but where would I find the time. I have a couple of knitting projects going at one time. Simple, medium and more concentration so I can just pick up whenever and knit. I was going to do a pillow of yours on Knitting Daily, I need to put the embroidery on. The pillow top has sat for over a year. As hard as I try work at the office, farming, housework, gardening get in the way so for me its just easier to stick with what I know and knit. Seems like I get an end result that way of a finished project. This is what works for me - hope it helps.

Deborah said...

Golly, didn't know there was a name for it--I just think of it as mixed media. I'm an artist and all my skills build on and play off each other. It's more fun!

Sarah said...

What a term---cross-crafting. I dabble in all sorts of crafts (except for crocheting). Perhaps that's why I'm not very accomplished at any :)

Anonymous said...

I have alway cross crafted - usually one is a paaion at the moment but knitting is always there as I can have a carry along project. I quilt, embroider, crochet and paper craft - the "inventory" is a problem with so many interests!!!!

Charlotte in Jeff City said...

Oh yes, I cross craft -- quilting, knitting, rug hooking, embroidery, purse making, painting, anything that results in a great product! I love it all and try to control it. But it seems the more I try to control -- the more projects I want to start (and finish)!

Diane said...

I do multiple crafts - beading, knitting, embroidery, needlepoint, quilting - but have not yet tried to combine them (except for beaded knits). It does sound like another way to challenge myself and keep thangs interesting! Maybe one of my LYS could entice you to North Carolina?

Diane

Wendy said...

Cross Crafting is my life. I do it all. Crochet, Knit, Embroider, paint, tat, stamping. I always have something going on in a couple of departments. AND I love to add embroidery to my crocheted and knitted projects.

Leslie said...

Definitely cross-craft. Sewing, needlepoint, painting, knitting. I just started quilting. I love them all and enjoy the creative outlet that each one has. I mix them together and love the ideas that flow from one to the other. I tend to do more knitting in the fall and winter and needlework in the spring summer. Quilting and painting a bit add hock. I live in Portland, Oregon with wonderful shops for each craft. I would love a shop that had a bit of both. The closest 'Cross-Craft' shop I know of is in Sisters, Oregon.

marit said...

I "cross-craft" too...knitting, crochet, a bit of weaving, macramé, sewing...very little embroidery, but I've tried it. Doing several things is more fun, and there's always something to do, I never get a chance to get bored:-)

lindseyrose said...

I think Cross Crafting is what I've always done. I bounce back and forth between painting, drawing, embroidery, sewing, beading, felting, and knitting. Knitting is sort of a constant because it's the most mobile of my crafts. I never really thought of it as being a great thing- more of a way to keep doing a bunch of things that I love and not getting bored. I keep trying to add more things to it, too! Crocheting is pretty new to me, and I've been enjoying discovering the different shapes you can make. Variety is the spice of life- as they say.

Laura said...

It seems I've been cross-crafting for my whole life. No one craft except for knitting seems to hold my interest for very long. But it's nice to know I can do other crafts when the knitting leaves the station for a while or when I want to add a different element to my knitting.

Megan said...

I definitely do more than one craft, too. Knitting is actually probably lowest on my list. I like to crochet, make jewelry, scrapbook sometimes, draw, make mosaics, play with photos on my computer, and more. There are tons of other things I'd like to try, too!

Oh, and I thought your Colorful Stitchery book was great! Never thought of a lot of the things you put in there. I gave it to a friend as a gift a couple of years ago (hoping she'd branch out from cross-stitching and make me something from it someday :) ).

Wool Enough said...

Unlike, most of the others above, I DON'T cross-craft. At least, I don't think I do. I've always sewn, learned to knit in college (long ago), and recently learned to spin. But that's it. There's not enough hours in the day to pick up any more crafts. Even now there's a struggle for time between knitting and spinning.

Vicki Stammer said...

I had no idea there was a term for it, but I've always done a multiple of crafts, adding on as I learned the skills. From embroidery as a tot, to sewing, and painting, and knitting, and quilting, and pottery, the skill sets accrete and influence one another.

I have noticed that if people tend to self-identify with one medium ("I am a ___er.") then they seem more likely to shy away from other crafts.

There is a place for each craft as useful and expressive. (Although not always sufficient time!)

Kathleen C. said...

I'm seeing two different versions of what "cross crafting" means to people... and I do do the one but not the other.
In other words... Yes, I do multiple crafts; knitting, sewing, weaving, embroidery, felting. But I don't, or rarely, make projects that involve more than one craft at a time.
And as I think about it... I'm afraid I can't say just why...
That's actually a very good question.
I have your Colorful Stitchery and I like the projects very much! I like your mittens in the last Vogue! So why don't I tend to more combined crafts projects...
I'll have to think about that one.

Susan said...

I totally cross craft! Too much sometimes I'm afraid! And now...I'm flirting with quilting...I'm not sure where I'll fit it in, if the flirtation blows up into full blown attraction! LOL!

kay said...

I can't imagine only doing one craft, my problem is so many things I want to do, so little time. I quilt, cross-stitch, and knit. I do go in stages as to which I'm spending the most time on.

Lora said...

Of course I "cross-craft"... I thought everyone did! While knitting is my "main" focus, I also do embroidery and paper crafting. In fact, while everyone loves my knitted items, what they really, really like is the handmade tags that accompany them. Or the cards that are my standard hostess gift. Somehow I need to figure out a way to make money doing this!

lyssa said...

I tend to craft in a sort of serial-monogamy sort of way, doing one thing for a few months or a few years, then switching to something else. Overall, I embroider, sew, knit, crochet, do beadwork, and paint (that last one is the day job). I don't usually mix crafts in a single project, but I'm liking some of the knits embellished with embroidery that I've seen lately.

Laura said...

I keep telling myself "I don't need another hobby" as I pick up the next craft.

Oy. Are you kidding? There is nothing that I can resist trying.

Anonymous said...

Kristin,
First....I LOVE your blog....thanks so much for brightening my day and putting so much effort into making it happen.
Second...I do not cross craft but find the idea appealing but do not feel confident enough in my non knitting skills to pursue it. The time I tried it was a tea/coffee cozy project where I decorated the cozy by needle felting an image of my house. It actually turned out quite stunning and I remember that getting up the courage to start was the hardest part. After that I really got into the details, like laying in a stone wall, trailing wisteria vine, and making pots of flowers.
Donna

Abbie said...

I was a voracious sewer as a young thing (by hand before I was old enough to use my mom's machine.) I had a cross stitch phase in middle school and knit one project in high school. I took up weaving in college and then started knitting with a passion just a few years ago. I have combined crafts in the past and hope to do it more often. So I would definitely consider myself a cross-crafter!

Anonymous said...

Ah ha! So, "cross-crafter" is the term. I have always called it creative dabbler. I sew a lot of my own clothes (and my daughter's), I knit, I quilt on occasion, I make jewelry (metals mostly) and I am a glass beadmaker. I spend the most time knitting and on the torch making beads. Both are very zen activities for me and involve lots of color and texture!

I have always thought my obsession was with self adornment.

Annie

MonikaRose said...

Hello, I am a cross-crafter. I crochet, cross stitch, long stitch, bead, loom knitting and embroidery. I have combined crochet, beading, embroidery into one project. It is more fun this way and the results are just beautiful. A great way to spurse up any project. Thank you for sharing. Have a great day :) MonikaRose.

Anonymous said...

I, too, love to partake of more than one craft...but this does not necessarily mean that I work in mixed media. My quilting and knitting/spinning, for instance, rarely cross paths whereas embroidery comes in handy all over the place!

Kate

linda said...

I love color -- so I do whatever craft lets me play with color at the moment. Right now, it is knitting and working on my first quilt project. Earlier in the year it was felt and embroidery (Very Simple Embroidery -- I'm still learning). This cross-crafting approach is one of the reasons I love your blog and wish I could attend one of your workshops. Ah. Some day when the kids are older, perhaps.

Michele in Maine said...

While knitting dominates my free time I also sew a little (knitting bags, halloween costumes, etc.), and make cards. I used to scrapbook a lot (obsessively), but I had to give that up for lack of time. Knitting is much easier to fit into my life, which also includes painting, baking, gardening, parenting, and, oh, yes, working (full time).

ColorJoy LynnH said...

Hi, Kristin! I, too, was surprised at how many knitters shied away from your Creative Stitchery book. It was just a perfect idea, to me. Combining knitting and embroidery makes so much sense to me!

I've been embroidering purchased felted berets longer than I've been knitting socks. And once I had a few moth bites to cover up so I got out the glass beads for those and other places on the hat. Beautiful.

When I teach, I find that now I can get a needlefelting class to "go" but not yet embroidery. I hope it is coming...

I do many artful things but I call it being an artist. Of course, that word creates the problem of convincing others that they, too, might be an artist (redefining art as more than just paintings on a wall).

Combining approaches/methods is hard sometimes... knits and rubberstamping do not work well, though stamps and quilting work fine. Polymer clay works on objects in the home but otherwise is happy as buttons or largish beads when talking wearables.

I am attempting a new class about combining yarns to make a new fabric. I used to teach it as part of a class focused on a wrap pattern I'd written, but getting folks to take it independently is harder to sell than I'd imagined. I will offer the class several times to get prospective students to ponder what it might be like.

I find that sometimes new ideas take a good year or so before anyone takes the plunge. It's hard to deal with empty classes, in the meantime.

Right now I am pondering the remaking of boring sweaters, possibly hand-dyeing the sweater and then embellishing with either embroidery or needlefelting, and maybe some beads or ribbon.

Great question. Thanks for the opportunity to think it through.

Anonymous said...

cross-crafting definitely.
The purple/yellow on the elbows of the sweater was a good touch.

Penelope said...

Yep, me too, I have so many interests that "just one" craft won't be enough! It's not that I finish every craft before I start something else---oh no, just that my interests change---and I think that's ok. Your blog is super--your inspiration--devine! Hello to Julia--you are a sweetheart!!

turtlewoman said...

Hi Kristin, I never called it cross-crafting or anything else for that matter. However, I guess that is what I do when I combine the knitted parts of a sweater and add quilted parts to finish it. Or painting on fabric and then sewing it into a quilt, pillow or chair cover. I often add crochet to my knitted projects - don't know if that is true cross-crafting or not?

Love the cake :-D

Lindy in AZ

Deborah said...

I definitely cross craft, I was one of the knitter's that "flocked" to your book and it was better than I anticipated. I knit, crochet, embroider and work with beads. In my spare time, I sleep.

Narra Tsiagkouris said...

Kristin: Yes, I cross-craft. Possibly to the extreme. I sew, quilt,draft patterns, design costumes and garmets. I knit, spin, dye, weave. I can crochet an edge on a good day. I needlepoint, cross stitch, smock, embroider and free form. I make jewelry from recycled materials, beads, paper, plastic, tin, circuit boards and I don't know what all. Tonight I will try using a plastic milk jug. I solder, make those groovy little charms with original artwork inside and sandwich them between layers of glass, foil tape the edges and solder with pretty Silvergleam. Then it is a pendant, charm or doo dad for the window. I put beads onto anything I can poke holes in. I do metal work,and found object assemblage, collage, calligraphy, paint: watercolor and acrylic. Um, about all that I don't do is basketball and balance my checkbook.

I love art and craft. My aim is to blur the boundaries between the two.

Narra Tsiagkouris

Kelley Hart said...

I guess I've been "cross crafting" my whole life, though we never called it that. My mom was always keeping my hands busy with a new craft. First it was simple sewing (around 4 years), then embroidery, crochet, knitting, calligraphy, and always painting and drawing. I thought that's what all little girls did! Until I grew up, and had to start teaching my friends to do all these fun things. I think they were too busy playing sports and having a social life as kids to craft! Although my crafting was interupted by a music career and teaching for a couple decades, I'm now back to crafting full time, and I've never been happier!

bluekaeru said...

I love crafting- crochet, knitting, cake decorating, paper crafts, etc. I want to sew. I haven't been able to learn to sew (yet). I also haven't succeeded at embroidery but I can do plastic canvas and cross stitch.

patb said...

I'm an artist and here's what I do:
knit, sew, crochet, design knitted, sewn and crocheted garments, dye yarn and fabrics, bead, embroider, paint, computer graphics, cake decorating, Fimo buttons and beads, metal clay jewelry

Anonymous said...

Umm I would say no, I can not manage to cross craft.
I just knit ... and a somewhat limited palette of knitting at that.
I am very impressed by those who can and do so many other crafts though!

Anonymous said...

Definitely cross craft - knitting, sewing, cross stitch, embroidery, needlepoint and I want to crochet and weave. My daughter thinks I have a problem - too many projects!

Leslie

Willow said...

I do cross craft. Spinning, knitting, crocheting, felting, sewing, a little embroidery. As I write this, I have to confess I don't have a lot of time these days to do much more than just carry my knitting around in my bag.

Christine said...

I quilt, embroider, needlepoint, cross-stitch, knit. However I have never combined any of these within a project. I was at the Topsfield, MA fair yesterday and was drooling over the rug braiding demonstration.

Teresa said...

I thought I was just scattered. It is nice to know that I cross-craft. I like that better. I tend to do one thing at a time until I get tired of it then I switch back and forth until something else grabs my interest for a while. I am knitting mostly now but I also quilt, crochet, can embroidery but it has never been a passion, and bead. I want to learn to tat and weave. It is wonderful to be able to combine different techniques in one project as the need arises. Thanks for asking. It has been interesting reading others comments.