Beautiful Disasterscomments (16) April 13th, 2009
As you may know, I really hate to fail. I don’t like to waste time, money, or materials in my crafty pursuits, so I often wind up making the same thing over and over (once I master it, of course).
When I do venture into new craft waters, I get over my head now and again. Although I’ve been knitting for a decade, I still have to rip out stitches when I screw up a pattern or gauge. I threw out a huge resin experiment that, let’s just say, ended badly. I’ve wasted loads of pine cones and feathers while cooking up projects for my upcoming book, Backcountry Betty: Crafting with Style. When making jewelry, I’ve burned through a lot of wire—literally melting it with a torch or wasting lengths of sterling when wire wrapping.
In a word, d’oh!
My biggest disappointments tend to be of the knitted variety, mostly because I invest a lot of time in knitting up a garment, only to bungle it along the way. I knit a hat for a friend with a big head, only to find that I apparently knitted it for a giant watermelon. It was way too large for her melon head. I took a wonder shibori felting class with Leigh Radford and in my enthusiasm ruined a yummy alpaca scarf by loading up the entire length with giant shibori bobbles. Newsflash: A bobbly scarf doesn’t exactly fit around the neck real well. After pouring loads of time and three spendy skeins into the scarf, I have to say that one really hurt. And now that I've started sewing, I've discovered a whole new world of failure and frustration.
While some crafters are more willing to work without a net than I, we all have had our share of disappointments and disasters. To that end, Heather Mann, the genius behind Dollar Store Crafts and CROQ Zine, has created CraftFail, a communal blog where we can share the good God, the bad, and truly fugly. While I love seeing the bloopers, I actually am getting a lot of creative inspiration by seeing how other crafters approach projects and think their way around a creative challenge. I particularly love Heather’s Spam and cheddar cheese soaps. What came out as off-color batches of soap was turned into a fun concept body product. When you have lemons, make lemonade, and when you wind up with Spam-colored soap, make labels to match.
What are your most memorable craft disasters? Have you ever been able to take a failure and salvage it in any way?