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.
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.
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).
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!