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It’s great to have time finally for your old hobbies. After a few months, though, they can get stale. Well, why not look at your old hobby and see if you can find new hobbies that are related?
No, it’s not an illness, though my husband may disagree! From childhood I sewed, and when we moved to Vermont, it was time to try quilting. That was fun for quite a while. I was still quilting when I joined a local fiber arts group. After about a year they finally got me to try spinning on a wheel. I really took to it. Trouble was, I soon had all this yarn and nothing to do with it!
So I got a book and learned how to knit. That helped some but by now I was getting going on my rate of production. Hence, weaving. Surely weaving would take up a lot of yarn!
Weaving took up time, space and some money. And I love doing it when I have a day or two to set up the loom. That’s the most intensive part. Then it’s just weaving when there’s time, and that’s pleasant and productive.
I made curtains, dishtowels, placemats, scarves and even just fabric, because I do sew, and a light blanket once. But most of my yarn was too fat to weave with decently.
One thing leads to another
About then I found out about dyeing wool. The first thing I found out was that it was fun. The second thing was that my husband, whose perennially stuffy nose can detect zucchini fumes in parts per billion, would not stand for the smell of wet wool, however clean.
So, bowing to his allergies and sensitivity, I developed a way to do it all on the deck and dry it where it would not offend. By that time I’d learned not only to buy prepared wool to dye and spin, but also to buy a fleece and prepare it by hand. That takes time and lots of water and it’s smelly work even outdoors. Then I learned to card and comb it. That took care of Vermont summer weekends, if it didn’t rain.
But wait…There’s more!
Having joined a handspinner’s organization I could go to biennial weekends full of workshops. They teach spinners how to do fancy knitting, felted rugmaking, nuno felting, rigid heddle weaving, dyeing with plant-based dyes, how to run a drop spindle… They haven’t yet run out of tricks. I’ve run out of time though. At least till I retire.
From making yarn on a spinning wheel I’ve gone and at least tried a host of related skills and there are more to be attempted. Plus I’ve begun to put my sewing and quilting skills back into play making bags and organizers for the tools. The one thing I won’t do is have livestock of any kind, though I know people who enjoy raising sheep, goats and angora rabbits.
So what do you like to do?
Here’s a few ideas about things to do and where they can lead.
- Writing, journaling, reading–These could be useful in writing for money, blogging, or proofreading for money. They’re also great on their own. Who knows? You may have the Great American Novel in you, or become an outstanding sports reporter for the local paper.
- Photography–Besides the snapshots, there’s a world of pictures to be taken. All you have to do is look and capture them. You might learn to operate an SLR camera with several lenses to help you get just the right shot. Make gifts of your photos. Sell prints of them, framed or just matted. Do a photoblog.
- Gardening–Make the most of your gardening skills. Take the Master Gardener course and become an authority on the subject. Use your skills to landscape your home, either by yourself or directing the help to do your design. Then show it off to garden clubs. Grow fruits, berries and vegetables for great seasonal treats.
- Sewing–Try making stuff you never used to make. If you sew clothing, try home decor. Start with pillows and work up. Try quilting. Again, you can start small with a table runner and grow with it. If you like the old ways, hand-quilt. If not, you can try quilting by machine, but if that’s not your thing, tie it off or hire a machine quilter to finish your quilt. Sew for a theatre group, making costumes or set decorations. You might also get into historical preservation by repairing or restoring old textiles.
- Driving–If you love the open road, you can find things to do. Work with a car dealership. They often need people with good driving records to pick up and deliver cars from other dealers and to customers. See if your State Medicaid office pays “friends and family” rates to individuals willing to drive others to appointments they can’t get to with public transportation.
Your turn to find new hobbies
Make a list of things you like to do and then, as you think of them or find out more, write down what possibilities exist. Even watching TV could lead to activity! Imagine that. People love to read reviews of shows that you could write as well as the next person.
In retirement we have that most wonderful resource, time. Time to explore and widen our worlds through hobbies and pastimes that were once limited to “spare time.” So make the most of it and see where it takes you.
What hobbies and interests can you grow into other things?