The first thing I remember knitting was a toy duck, though I am sure there would have been the odd wonky scarf before that. I was about 7 years old and attended a village primary school where the boys did art and the girls did needlework. I had to queue at the teacher’s desk to get her to translate the instructions bit by bit and I remember getting very annoyed as I spent more time queueing than knitting. I don’t know what the ultimate fate of the duck was but I was proud of what I’d made and I’ve been making things ever since. Craft for some years earned my living as my first job was as a book binder. I still knit, embroider, and spin.
Why make things when you can buy almost anything? The obvious answer is to create something that’s unique and to be creative. Where I make clothing for me it’s also to get something that actually fits. But I think it goes beyond that – it’s the absorption in the process. This is more than a past-time (a very dismissive way of describing any activity as though hurrying time along was desirable and an end in itself) it’s losing yourself in what you are doing. I find spinning quite meditative and I lose all sense of time and, if I’m not careful, forget to eat (nothing like absorbing activity to lose weight!).
Anyway, the purpose of my burbling is to kick start a conversation about craft and to get more people enjoying it. So let’s start with knitting:
If you’ve knitted everything for yourself that you can possibly knit and have run out of people to knit for, did you know that there are charities that would like you to knit for them?
Try looking at: http://www.ukhandknitting.com/knitting_for_charity.php for details of charities and what they’d like to have knitted for them.
If you’d like to be part of a knitting and crochet organisation, or would like to join or start a knitting group there is: http://www.kcguild.org.uk/index.php?id=%204497 which is the website for the knitting and crochet guild. If there’s a local branch near you they may be able to help you set up a group so you can all get knitting together.