In the Skein of Things: The interview with my crocheting wife

IMG_5660

So the topic of Yarn came up on The Daily Post (a daily topic suggestion blog) and I knew that I had an expert in my corner. Even before I married her, Chastity, my now wife has impressed me with her extensive knowledge and amazing ability to create. She is most definitely the most creative person that I have ever met. I’m very excited for her to join me and Daniel in our blog on this special occasion: The interview with my crafty wife.


Me: So even though I know a lot about you already, can you tell me when, how and what got you into crocheting/sewing.

IMG_5646Chastity: I remember whenever I was a child, and my grandmother used to babysit me. I remember her sitting in her rocking chair crocheting stuff when I was young. But it wasn’t until I was in my teenage years that I went to stay with her some summers, and I asked her to show me how to crochet because I was so intrigued by it.

Chastity: I idolized my grandmother. I always thought she was probably the most wonderful woman that I’ve ever known so I always wanted to do everything that she could do and do it with her.

Me: What has kept your attention to that aspect of crafting more than any other that you have encountered?

IMG_5652

Chastity: To me, crocheting is very simplistic. All you need is a skein of yarn and hook. And from one simple strand of yarn the end result feels like such an accomplishment.

Me: Is the gratification from completing a project with your hands intensified if the person that you are making it for truly appreciates the hand-made item?

Me: And why do you think that there has been a reduction in the amount of people producing/making homemade gifts?

Chastity: Oh yes, it’s greatly intensified. Whenever you make something handmade you’re doing it with love. FullSizeRender-5It’s almost like knowing that your love is appreciated.

Chastity: I just don’t think that people appreciate handmade gifts anymore. I
think in the way that this world has grown, greed and the desire to be cool or popular is a big factor. Handmade doesn’t come with a brand-name. Handmade gifts are also a lot more expensive than fast fashion or buying bulk overseas. Most people don’t see the point in paying more for something handmade when they can just go to their local Walmart and pick it up for cheaper.

Me: What would it take in our society for people to start utilizing tradesman instead of looking towards the big name retailers?

Chastity: I’m not sure the right answer to that question. However, I believe that if we learn to grow as a society of people that reuse or repair instead of throwing everything away just because it has the slightest flaw, that we could learn to fix things instead of throw away and buy new. We might learn to value quality over quantity better.

Me: Excellent point. What is something that you enjoy repurposing and bringing new life to? What would be the easiest and most fun repurposing craft project for someone who doesn’t have as much crafting experiencing as you do?

Chastity: I personally would prefer to repurpose things that she wouldn’t commonly expect to see repurposed, like the neck tie chair that I made. And my next project will probably be to sew in a hand crochet embellishment in a cut out on the back of a shirt. I also have seen people use the ends of rakes as jewelry hooks or all door knobs on wood pieces as coat racks. All of those things would be very good for someone without a lot of experience.

Me: So the necktie chair is one of the focal points of interest when people walk into our living room. Can you tell me more about the thought process that went into its creation? How did you come up with something like that and can you describe our investigation and what we found out about the chair itself.

Chastity: Ah, the tie chair. Crochet actually inspired my idea of the tie chair. IMG_5656.JPGCrocheting itself is just a series of woven Yarn in a particular way. I saw this chair at an auction and noticed that the seat part of it was very damaged, but the back rest was flawless. I hated to see such a beautiful chair be cast away. I think we won the auction for the chair at a measly $3 bucks. I decided before anything I was just going to removed the bad seat part and go from there. After I had it cleaned up and chose the neckties for the project, I began by tying them one at a time horizontally. Then, weaving them over and under vertically. I secured the under side with some staples and done! Seriously, that is all there was too it. Any beginner could rock that.

Me: So since I’ve gotten you way off topic and we’ve already talked about your other crafting projects, what is your favorite thing to crochet. Do you have a favorite brand of yarn?

Chastity: Ha! I was thinking that this had gone a little off IMG_5648.JPGtopic as well. My favorite thing to crochet would have to be dolls or baby dresses. I like to do blankets but I find that after a while it’s so repetitious that it gets boring. And anyone that crochets or knits seriously will tell you that they always have a favorite brand of yarn. My go to yarn is I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby or Caron Simply Soft. I have found so far, that they are the easiest yarn to crochet with.

Me: So thank you for answering all of my questions. Do you have any words of wisdom to anyone wanting to get into crocheting? 

Chastity: Learning to crochet was actually, at first the scariest for me to learn. It looked so intimidating. It is an art that quite literally comes with its own language. I just knew I could never do it. My advice would be to ignore that little voice, it’s not as scary as it seems and is and has been a huge stress reliever for me. I joined a bunch of crochet support groups that have lots of very experienced crocheters and they have always been more than willing to offer assistance so go find some groups as well!

IMG_5651


Images: Courtesy of Chastity Brown, own work. Not for redistribution.

Prompt: Courtesy of Daily Prompt: Yarn

Advertisements

Celebrity Crush: Beauty in Pop Culture

As someone who has an affinity for all things popular culture; it always intrigues me to see other people’s opinions about all the different avenues of popular culture. Pop culture has become such a vast wonderland that flows down different avenues and gets influences from many different venues from all around that world. These avenues allow us to encounter new interesting ‘celebrities’ who we inevitably end up liking one a little more than the other. Whether our significant others like it or not, sometimes we develop a

640px-magazines_on_stand_of_bookshop_in_nanhai_road_20090801

Magazine Stand on Nanhai Road

celebrity crush. My only question is that based on the pantheon of the normal “Sexiest Man Alive” or “Most Beautiful Woman” choices that People magazine presents to us once a year and other media outlets push down our necks every day….do they fit your criteria? Does your personal taste and your personal celebrity crush fall within the usual guidelines and perimeters of who is chosen for “Sexiest Man” or “Most Beautiful Woman”? I was curious about this because some of my choices wouldn’t appear on the list and most of the ones that are up there….shouldn’t be.

To ensure that I was not alone I created a poll/questionnaire that I posted on a popular social media site (I won’t say which one but its the one that let’s you read people’s face) and the answers that I received astounded me.

img_1838As you see in the picture, in the questionnaire/survey I asked both male and female participants: agree/disagree with the choices for Sexiest Man and Most Beautiful Woman (the last 5 year’s worth of choices), who their celebrity crush was if it was not on the list, if their ‘type’ was also indicative of the person they were attracted to in real life, how big of a role that their celebrity crush’s popularity plays in the selection of their choice, and who their celebrity choices were 10/20 years ago.

I was pleased to receive responses for the questionnaire/survey from 23 people (24 if you include me).

  1. Adam Levine and Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson received an equal amount of votes for being a female’s celebrity crush while Scarlett Johansson received an overwhelmingly large amount of votes on the male end.
  2. Male celebrity crushes who were not on the list included: Chris Pratt, Joshua Bell, Clive Standen, JJ Watt, Kit Harrington. Females who were not on the list included: Jenna Fischer and Blake Lively.
  3. A resoundingly large percentage of the questionnaire/survey participants said that their celebrity crush is also indicative of their personal dating choice.
  4. All but two of the participants in the questionnaire/survey indicated that the celebrity’s popularity had nothing to do with their selection. But some did bring up the point that they would have never been exposed to this person, if not for their immense popularity.
  5. The female participants indicated that 10 years ago their crushes ranged anywhere from Ryan Gosling to the Backstreet Boys while they indicated that 20 years ago their crushes ranged from Peter Steele to Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck. The male participants also presented interesting choices for their crushes from 10 and 20 years ago. The male choices from 10 years ago ranged from Trish Stratus to Erica Durance while their choices from 10 years prior to that ranged from Terri Hatcher to WWF wrestler Sunny.

I won’t deny that I was surprised to read some of the participants responses, I was pleased to find out that I was not the only one that deviated from the usual list of ‘most _____ person’ .  What did I truly learn from my investigation? In my investigation, I learned that we end up having crushes on people that we see and things that we love. My friend had a crush on Terri Hatcher back in the 90s but that was because he really liked Superman. Another friend really liked Peter Steele but that is because she was/is really into rock music. Without seeing these celebrities and being followers of them, these crushes wouldn’t exist. And even for me, you can’t really say that I am deviating from a norm or following a trend but take my celebrity crush as an example. Scarlett Johansson is my celebrity crush because….I mean…she’s Scarlett “the Black Widow” Johansson. Have you not seen her?!? 🙂

Sooo….How would you fill out my survey? Answer the questions in the comment section below.

___________________

Photo attributions:

Featured image ‘People magazine title’ accredited to and by Time Inc. – http://www.people.com/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30478424
Magazine stand photo accredited to and by 玄史生 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33730954
Scarlett Johansson SDCC photo accredited to and by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27440650
Scarlett Johansson at the Don Jon premiere photo accredited to and by GabboT – Don Jon 09Uploaded by tm, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30090976