Rediscovering craft – the joy of making things

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Rediscovering craft and the joy of making things occupies my time. Once a prolific knitter, dressmaker, quilter, gardener, I stopped making things. I don’t know why, but increasing arthritis probably made it a challenge. Instead, creative pursuits that involved writing rather than making, occupied my time.

I suspect I’d uncover a major debate about the merits of creativity and craft if I chose to look for it. But today, I’m going with my hunch that craft is creative and fun. And choosing to enjoy it for its simplicity.

Rediscovering craft – my journey begins

During last year’s COVID-19 lockdown life became simpler, quieter and more joyful. I bought some beautiful Peruvian hand-dyed merino yarn. Thank goodness for online purchases. I chose a pattern and began to crochet a shawl. Such a joy! My fingers that had given up many movements suddenly responded. Perhaps it was the warmth of the wool or the repeated movement, but they soon moved effortlessly.

I learned new techniques. One involved blocking my rather large piece of work when finished. The technique involves threading wire down the long sides of the work and pinning the work to a padded board. Next, the object needs to be thoroughly wet then dried so that it assumes its new, stretched shape.

The finished article delights me. This was my first steps towards rediscovering craft and the joy it can bring. Here’s a photo.

rediscovering craft - shawl

Next steps on this journey

Two of my wonderfully talented and crafty granddaughters, Claire-Helen Linton and Jane-Heloise Nancarrow, invited me to try my hand again at card making. We’d done it years before, when they were children. I hoped my attempts might be more sophisticated now.

The three of us and Elizabeth Linton, my oldest great grand-daughter, spent one Sunday afternoon creating cards to be given away for special occasions. You can see from the pictures below how much fun we had.

A few days later Alexandra and Edward came to visit John and me in our apartment. Out came my card-making material, and we set to work to make more cards. More shared fun.

rediscovering craft

Yet more craft

My sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth and Peter Worts, invited me to stay with them for a weekend in Busselton. Such a wonderful, indolent weekend it was. My niece Jane Makin also came. Elizabeth and Jane regularly make all sorts of beautiful things. They both belong to craft groups and must inspire the other members.

Jane brought her current project, a ‘boro bag’ in progress, and Elizabeth cut and stitch fabric to make one of her own.

Boro work is a Japanese craft, originally used during the middle ages to patch old, worn clothes. It is a simple, highly decorative technique. Here’s just one example (from the internet).

boro bag

I’m really looking forward to making a boro bag. I’ve decided to use old denim and some striped fabric because that will complement the denim. But first there’s a crochet shawl for my daughter Jenny that I’ve started.

Craft-work of all kinds lends itself to sharing and participation. One of the ways we can keep ourselves socially occupied at any time but especially in our later years would be by joining a craft group. Here’s a blog about joining groups for good health.

It would be lovely to hear about your craft projects. You can describe them in a comment. Happy crafting!

Maureen-Helen

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14 Comments

  1. Oh, I love all your craftwork and the shawl is just beautiful Such a talented family.

    From time to time I make my own cards but my mine are usually computer-generated using my own photographs. I haven’t done any crochet or knitting since last year as most of my spare time seems to be taken up with either photography or computing.

    1. Hi, Sue. Thank you. I really love the shawl, and I think our family likes to try their hands at all sorts of new things, especially when we do them together. I’m very lucky to be involved in their lives still.
      I really understand your involvement with computing, a bit less with photography. I look forward to your blogs with their wit and amazing photos. So glad I ‘met’ you online. You inspire me.

      1. I enjoy hearing about your family and so nice to see the photographs too.
        Thank you so much for your kind and lovely comments.

        1. You always manage to ‘like’ comments, Sue. How do you do that? I like yours!

  2. The shawl is gorgeous!
    Your love of craft and creating is never far away… just hiding for a bit 😉
    My efforts to craft a house are being stretched significantly… but I learnt from the best.
    You’ve “crafted” a few homes in your life!

    1. Claire, dear, thank you for comment and I hope you are right about my crafting. I love that you and Bhen have taken on such an amazing house project. Not only that, you seem determined to do it as quickly as possible. I can’t wait to see how you transform what is now a house in a lovely position into a beautiful home. You’ve made beautiful homes and gardens several times before, and this house lends itself even more to your creative flair. What fabulous memories and inspiration you are making for your lucky children.

  3. Oh Maureen what a delight to see you stretching your crafting muscles again. You have always been an excellent role model of crafting in your family and to me. Perhaps I can join you for a session or two.

    1. My crafting has been sadly neglected over the years, Laura. Not sure what happened there. Perhaps writing and screen time took over? Our family has always loved doing things together. It almost doesn’t matter what it is, gardening, crafting, making things from wool and wood and paper… Would love to work alongside you. You ave so much to teach, offer and for me just to admire.

  4. Ooh the shawl is lovely! I also rekindled some craftiness thanks to Covid and just recently finished a crocheted blanket for Ruben – I must show you next time you’re here! This morning, too, I booked into a crafty workshop with a friend – we don’t get to catch up as much as we’d like now that our kids are at different schools and she lives further away, but we both love to learn new crafts and this will be our second one this year (it’s a silver bangle making workshop). My grandmother passed on to me the value of doing crafty things and I find it such a good outlet compared to screen time.

    1. It’s lovely that you crocheted a blanket for Ruben, Amanda. Such a lovely warm gift (in all senses of the word) to make. I look forward to seeing it. Craft groups are the best – probably better even than book clubs. My sister and niece both go to craft groups and make gorgeous things. Craft is my relief from screens. I only wish I’d remembered I need both!

    1. Indeed, Michelle, crafting is all good, enjoyable and a lovely way to connect with loved ones – and also with others not so well known. How is your massive spring cleaning project?

        1. Lovely to hear from you again Michele, and good that all is well with you. x

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