In pretty much all of my fiber crafts, I’m noticing a few small annoying things that could easily be cleared up by the use of a better-designed tool. Unfortunately, each next-generation tool jumps an order of magnitude in price (and storage space required). Good ol’ crochet – at least once you buy the hooks there’s no further investment needed…
Spinning – *thud* Hmm, so that’s why it’s called a drop spindle. Hey – the $26 Spindolyn has a supported base, so I don’t have to worry about toe injury. Much better! Hmm, I still don’t have enough hands to draft and introduce twist at the same time. Yes, this is the fault of my technique and not the tool – but wouldn’t it be nice to have some way of spinning leaving both hands free? Wow, spinning wheels are worked with your feet – perfect! Let’s see… a lightweight PVC wheel goes for around $200, and the nice solid wood ones start at $450-500. *Sigh.* And I’d have to make significant room in my crafting closet.
Weaving – the table loom from Craft volume 8 was very easy to assemble and the parts cost under $20. It can hold 10″ x 40″ of warp, great for smaller projects. If I want something that can hold longer warp, keep the warp threads from tangling when threading, and has the possibility to add an additional row of heddles for more complicated weave structures, I could ramp up to a rigid heddle loom… in the $200+ range. More complicated still can get to the $1000’s.
Even sewing – you can get a decent all-purpose machine for $60-100 on sale, but if you are intrigued by fancy embroidery or want a free-direction foot for easier quilting, several hundred to a thousand.
*grumble* You mean I actually have to pick one area to practice in at a time, to make sure I get skilled enough to justify the purchase of the next level tools? That’s not any fun! 😉