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Gen. Chat “Craft Nerds: Advice for a Novice?” by Pixie~

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Pixie~ 2 years ago on 04/20/12
Equipped: Alucard's 454 Casull named "Trio of Doom rolls mad deep."
I realize that's a very vague thread title but I'm honestly unsure of where to begin. Come August I will be a stay at home mom again for an indefinite period of time. For my sanity (I get cabin fever something awful) I'm looking to get into something crafty that could possibly turn a small profit. Many of you are amazingly talented artists in multiple mediums so in this thread I humbly request your advice.

What arts and crafts do you do?
What is your favorite?
Can you suggest something that is fairly easy on a beginners level?
What equipment would I need to get started?
How time consuming is your craft of choice?

I know a little bit about making jewelry and I could halfass my way around a sewing machine. That's about the extent of my craftiness but I am ready and willing to learn new things!
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Chrispy 2 years ago on 04/20/12
Equipped: The Most Annoying Fairy Ever named "Hey! Listen! Hey! Hey! Listen!"
I think knitting or crocheting are pretty affordable, approachable crafts that can net a nice reward once you're proficient.
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Pixie~ 2 years ago on 04/20/12
Equipped: Alucard's 454 Casull named "Trio of Doom rolls mad deep."
I'm considering both of those honestly after checking out Jake's thread and seeing all the cool stuff he's been making. I'm not sure what kind of needles etc. I should get to start with though and I don't want to waste money on equipment I don't actually need.
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dreamergurl 2 years ago on 04/20/12
Equipped: Cockblast of Vengence
I'm not sure if it's considered a "craft" but i LOVE scrap-booking. It's a lot of fun making themed pages and it's a great way to get family pictures organized. It can get expensive if you overload with scrap book specific stickers and page backgrounds, but you can easily make up your own pages with any paper and stickers you already have. If you have a Joann Fabrics near you they sometimes have a 40 or 50% off all scrapbooking material sales going.
PS: ~ Sorry, didn't see the part where you said you might make a small profit, but it's still lot of fun :)
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Creepy Stalker 2 years ago on 04/20/12
Equipped: N00dz of akanepanda
:)
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Laurette 2 years ago on 04/21/12
Equipped: Triforce named "DANANANA NA NA NANANA"
GUUUUUUURL I GOT YOU. I do so many crafts, let me break each one down.

Embroidery, cross-stitch, and needle point: Easy, Cheap, Great results, Portable super affordable once you invest in a pack of floss, which can seem pricey, but honestly unless you're doing ENORMOUS works it'll last you a really really long time, and you can use pretty much any woven fabric. The only downfall is that while simple designs can be whipped up in a day (like the basic league of legends "LEGENDARY" hoop I made for the boy,or my super basic "I'm not crying, it's just been raining, on my face" hoop with only basic lettering and "tear drops") more detailed stitchery can be very time consuming, but it's being the very portable craft that it is (when working when small hoops) you can work on it in waiting rooms and the like. You can get super simple beginners kits at most craft stores, and if you go with cross stitch, you really only need to be able to count and look at a chart to make flawless images, and there are tons of programs to design your own simply!

Clay Sculpture: Takes more artistic ability, fun, pricier I have less to say about this one. It can be very relaxing to smash some clay around and see what takes shape. Sometimes I get great things out of it, and other times I'm like "WHY ARE MY HANDS RETARDED". Sculpey is expensive-ish, and having to bake it and paint it and whatever else can be very time consuming.

Crochet: Price varies, easy to pick up, portable Crochet is fun and very relaxing, and once you master the basic stitches, all of the rest become possible. Prices vary because when you first start you might just grab some inexpenisve acrylic (please please please don't get red-heart. Spend the extra dollar or two and get some lion brand (just never homespun). I really recommend Vanna's Choice to start, it's acrylic so can be machine washed and dried, it's super easy to work with, and is very inexpensive. Get a hook that fits the yarn (according to the label a size J or 10mm is recommended) and just learn the basic stitches. Do NOT, i repeat, do NOT start with a scarf. This might be good for some people, but when you're just jumping into a craft, that much of the same stitch over and over and over (though you can do stitch patterns) before you get a finished product can be kind of mind numbing and turn you off the craft. Learn to crochet in the round (which is UNBELIEVABLY simple) and do arm warmers (so basic) and then hats. For books I recommend Debbie Stoller's Stitch N Bitch: Happy Hooker, or Teach Yourself Visually: Crochet. Once you get a collection of hooks in different sizes you're pretty much set. There is a set available of about 20 hooks, but with the exception of the sizes D-J, over half are the teeny tiny needles used with crochet thread to make doilies and the like, and unless you are FAR more patient than me, will almost never get use (i do use them to weave in ends on my work). The reason price varies so much is because once you start making bigger things, you'll want different yarns, and yarn can get PRICEY. I have two skiens of lace weight that set me back 15 bucks a piece and they're JUST enough for the project I have in mind. I want to make this amazing wool coat i found, but it's going to take a minimum of 50 bucks of yarn, because I can't bring myself to use acrylic for it and then it'd still be at least 25 or 30 dollars.

(Part 1/2)

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Laurette 2 years ago on 04/21/12
Equipped: Triforce named "DANANANA NA NA NANANA"
Part 2

Knitting: My favorite, prices vary but generally a little higher than crochet, easy to pick up, but different techniques can be tricky, still portable I love to knit. I can't stop knitting. My current new addiction is I just started knitting a small stuffed creature. Again I recommend Stitch N Bitch books or Teach Yourself Visually: Knitting. Knitting to me looks just much neater than crochet, and I love the stitch patterns and cables and lace and just everything you can do with it. I feel like I'm always learning a new trick with it and it makes my day. Price here is going to be a little more, because while you need to build up a collection of straight needles, you also have to consider circular needles, or double pointed needles. With circulars you not only will benefit from different needle sizes, but different cable lengths. In most chain craft stores you'll find a max of 24" circulars, to get longer ones, or certain needle sizes, you'll have to go to a specialized yarn store, where one set of needles can cost up to 25 dollars. Now, you don't have to spend that kind of money, because its' always possible to just stick to thinner weight yarns and just use two circulars of the same size to do what would normally be done with the double pointed needles, and there is no rule that you HAVE to knit with bulky yarn that would require needle sizes not available at a Michaels type establishment, honestly you can probably find ways to knit a lot of things flat, if you want to avoid them all together, but knitting in the round does open a lot of possibilities. While crocheting in the round you still just use the same hook and all you do is connect the ends, knitting in the round can be a little more difficult to pick up, but is worth it to make all sorts of things. I'm actually knitting socks right now. I've knit shawls, lace, socks, dice bags (which i'm actually super fond of doing), and I ADORE it. I just get made fun of for always having knitting in my purse, and ONE TIME some hard candy. My friend called me Granny T for weeks.

Various Others Now I also do things like paper cuttings (including some super basic ones of ob members in AV chat one night) making felt stuffys, mini-collages, and wood carving, but those all involve more small pieces and sharp things, as well as being more involved both process and clean-up wise, which I know with little ones is a consideration. I'm kind of WALL-O-TEXT-ed out right now, but if you do have questions about any of those let me know. I'm sure I'll think of more later.
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marinasaurus rex 2 years ago on 04/21/12
Equipped: Shark With Frickin' Laser named "Raymond"
Laurette posted so I didn't have to, I wrote up this big huge post but then my computer died. ANYWAYS CROSS STITCH RULES! (check the Artist Alley or my FB Cross Stitch album to see the silly stuff I've done do far!!)

it's super easy and ultra fun though!
PS: pps Cross stitch is also awesome 'cause it's basically just pixel art!!
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Laurette 2 years ago on 04/21/12
Equipped: Triforce named "DANANANA NA NA NANANA"
Oh yeah, marina makes a good point in that if you have any interest at all in relatingg your craft to gaming cross-stitch is definitley an excellent medium for it!
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aUdioquark 2 years ago on 04/23/12
Equipped: Banana named "practice."
DRIN I WILL HOOK YOU UP WITH ALL THE KNITTING TUTORIALS (if it sounds good to you).

Although if you're looking to make money, crochet is faster and easier. I can't do it because it jacks with my hands too much, but the speed and simplicity are super duper satisfying.

Also just like, draw, all the time. Everyone should and nobody does. Doesn't matter if you're great at it, it'll help supplement all of your other crafty bullshit.
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Pixie~ 2 years ago on 04/23/12
Equipped: Alucard's 454 Casull named "Trio of Doom rolls mad deep."
Gaaah thank you Tiff for all that info! That's exactly the kind of stuff I was wondering about, like what size needles and types of yarn I should start with etc. Luckily there's a JoAnn Fabrics, Michael's and a specialty yarn shop all within 15 minutes of my apartment so I can check out prices of materials and see if they have any of the books you recommended.

Sarah, I actually have some scrapbooking supplies my mother gave me I just haven't gotten around to trying it out yet. I need to, I have a gazillion pictures of my daughter that need a home.

Tori, links please? I'm seriously clueless (and broke) so any free guidance you can direct me to would be greatly appreciated. I do draw, on occasion, but it's just for myself because I suck.
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aUdioquark 2 years ago on 04/23/12
Equipped: Banana named "practice."
How to start knitting for free:

Go to a free pattern index and find a simple pattern you like that has an average needle size from 6-10 and require a Medium, or Chunky yarn. All of these things will be on the pattern itself. Scarves are very good first projects. Don't be afraid to pick something out that might be a little ambitious for the sake of being interesting. Some projects can be very repetitive and time consuming so having something you can actually wear with some pride is high on my priority list.

Here are some good free pattern indexes:
http://www.knitty.com/
http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory.php

Now for the actual knitting part books are good and all, but with the advent of youtube there really isn't much you can't learn just as easily or better with the aid of an actual video you can pause and replay at your behest. Stitch Diva has the best video tutorials I've found to-date and I refer my clients to these videos on the regular when I'm not around to help.

http://www.stitchdiva.com/tutorials/knitting

Once you print out your pattern, there's going to be a lot that looks like gibberish like "CO" and "P1." This is where sites like the Knitting Abbreviations Glossary are a godsend. Don't forget we are knitting in the 21st goddamned century and you can google just about anything that comes up in a pattern and get a good result.

http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-glossary
PS: If you've got questions about what kind of needles and yarn to buy, pick out a pattern and PM me and we'll go from there.
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Laurette 2 years ago on 04/24/12
Equipped: Triforce named "DANANANA NA NA NANANA"
OH! I forgot links, but for knitting, Ravelry.com is great, because you can search by craft (knitting or crochet), free patterns, what you want to make, what kind of yarn you have, what size needles you have available, and difficulty. You might not always find something that matches EVERY criteria, but there are somewhere around 50,000 free patterns listed on the site, so you're bound to find a few you can conquer and love.

For really detailed, super specific knitting help, I second tori's links, as well as http://techknitting.blogspot.com/ just scroll down the side bar to "revised unified index" and look through that for what you need.
PS: I know I'm posting like a madwoman in this thread but I get excited because I don't really have anyone to talk about my craft shit with.
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Pixie~ 2 years ago on 04/25/12
Equipped: Alucard's 454 Casull named "Trio of Doom rolls mad deep."
You guys are the tits! Thanks for all the info. Once I have money to get started I will talk crafts with you all day Tiff.
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Amanda 2 years ago on 04/25/12
Equipped: Flux Capacitor named "THE FALLOPIAN TUBES OF TIME TRAVEL"
jeezo petes, casting on is INFURIATING

I CAN'T DO IT

I only started this because of this thread, and I am so frustrated. It's pretty sad!

My new ravelry profile: http://www.ravelry.com/people/abyssalmissile
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aUdioquark 2 years ago on 04/25/12
Equipped: Banana named "practice."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulFEjY87sZo

Super simple cast on video! If you've picked a project without a basic cast on, just use the basic cast on and a basic bind off at the end.
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Amanda 2 years ago on 04/26/12
Equipped: Flux Capacitor named "THE FALLOPIAN TUBES OF TIME TRAVEL"
OH MY GOD YOU USE THE TAIL AS YOUR CASTING ON THREAD I AM A MORON

I knit my first row!
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aUdioquark 2 years ago on 04/26/12
Equipped: Banana named "practice."
Nono. You use the live thread to cast on
PS: But hey, if you're only a row in it's not too late to start over and hate yourself!
PS: *not hate yourself
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Amanda 2 years ago on 04/26/12
Equipped: Flux Capacitor named "THE FALLOPIAN TUBES OF TIME TRAVEL"
nono, see I thought BOTH threads in this example were the live thread (initially) but the thumb one is the tail end!

http://www.stitchdiva.com/tutorials/knitting/double-cast-on

again, I am the biggest moron
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The Virgin Queen 2 years ago on 04/26/12
Equipped: Automail Arm named "Wanking Arm"
Crocheting for sure! It's cheaper than most things, easy(ish) to pick up (as a leftie I find it difficult at times) and there are a bajillion nerdy things out there to do with it. I totally second the recommendation for Ravelry!

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