27 November, 2014

Thinking about a new hobby

I'm thinking about taking up a new hobby*: weaving and maybe spinning. During our holidays in September we spent several days at my sister-in-law's place. She owns Alpacas. While we were there I had a go at carding (untangling) and spinning. It was fun, but challenging too. I'm interested in having another go when we go back in December. But I'm also wondering if this might be a new hobby that I could take up. I've been cross-stitching for almost as long as I've been married and perhaps it is time for a change. So I'm investigating. 
Spinning on my sister-in-law's
electric spinner.

The big challenge of a hobby for a missionary is that it needs to be something that is portable and not too expensive. For a missionary in Japan it needs to be something that doesn't take up too much room. I don't have a crafting room, or a sewing table that I can just have everything laid out all the time. All I have is a corner, a corner of a not-large lounge room.

I've tried various hobbies like knitting and crochet. Paper craft (quilling, making cards, origami and other similar things). Sewing (clothes, bags) and considered (but never seriously tried) quilting and patchwork.  But nothing has really captured my interest. I'm not good at things that require precision. Sewing I can do, but it isn't very relaxing, actually I get quite stressed at getting it exactly right and usually make big mistakes. 

As a child I wore out the craft volume of our Childcraft encyclopaedias. I loved craft. Now as a woman with lots of responsibilities and a busy home life, I need something that will relax and fit my lifestyle. Cross-stitch does but I'm getting a little weary of it. I'm wondering it's time to try something new and if spinning or weaving would work too?

So, I've been surfing the web and investigating different options. Equipment is expensive! But the other thing I looked for was spinning and weaving groups. I found one only 15 minutes from our house. They meet on Thursday mornings every week. I've been working up the courage to go one day and join them and today was the day.

The ladies were very welcoming and I'll probably join them next year and learn what I can. I'm thinking about buying a simple loom, perhaps a Knitter's Loom, but as you can tell if you follow that link, it isn't cheap. So I'm still thinking. Another possibility is a Inkle Loom, but as a smaller loom, what you can create on it is limited.

If I join the group I'll be able to ask them to teach me things. Much better than learning from a Youtube video (although that's quite a helpful tool too).

As someone with an unusual lifestyle, it is interesting to drop into a group like this. I didn't tell them much about myself, I didn't use the M word. At the end two of the ladies were probing for what I might choose to do, especially joining the group. I explained to them that we usually live in Japan ("my husband works at an international school" is a useful generic line) and that I'd be looking for a craft that's portable and small. They had lots of ideas, including the above looms.

So, I'm pondering.

*Back here I wrote about why I choose to do craft. And it isn't because I've got too much free time, there is a deeper reason related to staying mentally and physically healthy.

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