For some reason Justin and I share the same itch to dabble in lots of different hobbies. Some of these hobbies are compact and portable while others take up a lot of space and/or have lots of accessories making them challenging to pursue in a small space. Now that we are at Crow Farm we finally have the missing ingredient we have been waiting for…space!
Having the urge to try new things is amazing and so much fun to learn so many different skills. However, the downside is that it means we are storing all the supplies for all those dozens of fun hobbies. It’s a problem that I don’t know how to happily solve. The hobby Justin has been wanted to do is blacksmithing and more tailored welding. I have been wanting to learn how to weave and take up felting. Well, we both have started our dabbling and are getting better and better at our skills as we practice.
Blacksmithing & Welding:
The fun part about learning new skills is the whole family learns parts of it. It creates yet another family adventure and opportunity to be more versed. Justin’s new blacksmithing hobby has required him to get a forge, anvil, scrap metal (which takes up a bit of space and is HEAVY) and then acquire or make all the various tools needed. I know Justin wouldn’t describe it as such but the forge he got is so cute!! I’ve been encouraging him to weld some washer eyes on it because to me it looks like a cute little plump toad with its fiery mouth wide open.
So far he has made hooks, a wood rack, bottle openers, spoons, tools, tool racks, other various accessories needed for the trade and knives. They are all so beautiful! Even when things didn’t go exactly as he planned the end result still is so lovely and useful. And for every mistake we make in our hobbies we have just learned something new which is the goal of it all anyway. It’s definitely fun to watch the process of each of his projects come together. The knives are the trickiest so far for sure. There are so many things that can go wrong that it takes quite a bit of finesse during each stage of the process.
Justin also welded together some worktables so he would have a good working workshop. This proved tricky as it had to be perfectly level. It took him quite sometime to just make everything to get himself started but by chipping away at it on weekends and nights after dinner he made it work.
Weaving & Felting:
My wonderful neighbor told me about an amazing store nearby called Eugene Textile Center and it is filled with weaving treasures! They sell dyes, wool, yarn, string, looms, spinning wheels and so much more. I could get lost in that store for hours. In searching around I found a beautiful old table loom that they were selling. I fell in love and Justin ended up getting it for me for my birthday. After taking an introductory class using my loom I learned enough to get me going at home by myself. I also learned I can get a lot done when I don’t have any distractions!
My first project was napkins for Thanksgiving and I have been working on more napkins and towels since. I’m trying to find what weight yarn I like to work with and find some new patterns to try out. It’s definitely very time consuming but fun. The girls have been able to help little bits here and there throughout the process of warping the yarn, threading and weaving on the loom. I hope to get better as I go and learn new techniques as new projects come up.
Felting has been lots of fun. It started with me doing it with the girls, but honestly the girls felt way more than I do now. In addition to the dozens of little creatures they have felted as gifts or for themselves, they have started to felt little creatures to sell at a Christmas Bizare next year. They really do an excellent job and it’s something they can pick up here and there as they have time. I’m hopeful that the same local sheep farm will give us their wool discards this year. It’s always nice to have “downtime” crafts because as anyone who knows our family knows, we’re always doing something.