Don’t mind me.

I’m buried under paper. For once, I actually have to do some work around here. I know, I know – I won’t make a habit of it.

In lieu of a real post today, I will ask you three questions as part of some research I’m doing for an article:

1) What fiber-related craft(s), if any, do you enjoy?

2) When and why did you begin working in this craft?

3) Why do you continue to work in it?

Edited to add: 4) Why is your craft important to the world? What is its significance?

Please answer and discuss in comments. More questions may come later. Also, I might e-mail you to follow up if I find your answer suitably fascinating.


11 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Carolyn J. said,

    1. Knitting

    2. When I was eight, my mother taught me, then I learned more in school.

    3. I wish I knew, because I suck at it and I’m terrible with spatial relations. I guess it’s soothing.

  2. 2

    Sachi said,

    Oy. Erm… I apologize in advance for the length of this…

    1. Knitting, crochet, sewing, dyeing, spinning
    2. Crochet: I learned 4 years ago. DH was spending a lot of time in the hospital and I wanted to do something that didn’t involve thinking but kept my hands busy.
    Knitting: I learned 10 months ago. I’d tried many times over the years to learn but it never clicked until 10 months ago.
    Sewing: I can’t say that I’ve ever really learned to do it properly but I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember.
    Dyeing: 6 months ago, approx. I wanted to make my own self striping yarn.
    Spinning: About a month ago. I discovered that I’m a process knitter. What better way to feed that obsession than to create from scratch. I will eventually shear a sheep, I’m sure.

    3. I have a bit of a scientific mind. I like to know how things work and how they are made. While spinning might not seem scientific, it breaks something down to its smallest factor…. It’s like mixing your own paint before creating a masterpiece. You are able to start from scratch and investigate what goes into a painting this way. Which is precisely why I’m certain that I will shear a sheep some day.

    4. I believe that preserving tradition is important to understanding life. In order to know where we are going, we must know where we have been. The same holds true to farming, agriculture, story telling… it’s important that we never forget from where we come. It’s vital to avoiding repeating errors; to avoiding pandemics, hate and prejudice. You must understand what an atom is to appreciate what makes a world. You must understand how fabric is made to appreciate how you live. Besides that, most of these things are totally hypnotic and are good for the soul.

  3. 3

    Annika said,

    1. I knit. I crochet a little, and once upon a time I had some small knowledge of weaving and sewing.

    2. As a wee lass (three?) I learned to crochet, but never got further than making a chain. When I was about 16 I asked a crafty friend to teach me to knit, but I just wasn’t able to grasp it. I couldn’t see how it worked. I did, however, pick up some more crochet skills, and made many, many hats. Two Christmases ago some friends visited from out of town. They were all knitters, and I was envious. I wanted to play with them and to make my own clothing. I received Stitch ‘n Bitch as a gift and learned to knit in a day and a half. I guess I was ready to get it.

    3. Easy gifts that are much more appreciated than anything store-bought. Making my own clothing to my own specifications. The friends I have made. The yarn. Oh, I love the yarn. The sense of accomplishment. And the time for myself (even if I am doing something else at the same time) is so valuable, especially now that I have a baby.

    4. I’ll get back to you.

  4. 4

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    You have work?! What the heck did you go and do THAT for?!

  5. 5

    uccellina said,

    MonkeyGurrl: Shhh! Answer questions.

  6. 6

    Laurie Ann said,

    1. Knit, crochet, sew, cross stitch, needlepoint, macrame?
    2. When I was six, my Aunt Wicki got divorced and came to stay with us for the summer. We went camping and it rained the whole time. Dad took the boys fishing, and Katie (my sister) and I learned to knit and crochet. I took to crochet first, as the two needles were too much for my little hands. I learned needlepoint when my sister was in the hospital (age 12) and cross stitch a few years later as a means to make quickie Christmas gifts. Macrame was taught to us at the church Youth Ministry. Sewing? I never learned, per se, but picked up the basics by watching my mother. I’ve only made the most basic things–hooded capes for a haunted house, stuffed animals, and stuffed letters for a Sesame Street-themed choral concert.
    3. Over the years, I have gone through many phases of hyper-creativity in which I produce many pieces in whatever medium I happen to be obsessed with. Right now, it’s knitting. I went on a hemp kick a few years ago and all of my nieces got hemp friendship bracelets. I made jewelry for a while, too. Basically, I need to do something with my hands. I’ll even play a video game just to keep my fingers moving. I cannot sit quietly with my hands in my lap. That said, I love knitting and crocheting more than any other craft. I love yarn–the colors, the textures–and I am always amazed at myself when I actually create something beautiful out of what is essentially a series of twisted loops.
    4.Important? Significant? I agree with Sachi that it’s important to not lose touch with tradition or history. I also think that people who have a creative outlet tend to be more creative problem solvers in the “real” world.
    Plus, if we’re ever forced into an underground, post-apocalyptic society, as in Terminator, someone is going to have to know how to clothe the masses. Spinners, sewers, and knitters will be in a pretty sweet position.

  7. 7

    Sachi said,

    Yeah… I wasn’t going to take it that far, Laurie Ann.

  8. 8

    I knit. Hats and mittens, mostly. Because I’m too impatient to use patterns, and too absentminded to remember what it was I was planning to do over the course of a long project.

    My grandma taught me how when I was in high school. I will continue to work on it again once my toddler is old enough to be trusted not to impale herself on needles left lying on the couch.

    Significance to the world: none. They are cute mittens, though.

  9. 9

    MonkeyGurrl said,

    Aurgh. I *hate* answering questions. My answers are never as witty or insightful as everyone else’s (witness: Laurie Ann’s).

    What fiber-related craft(s), if any, do you enjoy? knitting. I crochet, but I don’t enjoy it b/c it hurts too much. I can sew, but don’t have the patience to cut stuff out with patterns, so its mostly reconstituting stuff already made. I did embroidery when I was young, but never tried that stuff that looks like shag carpet.

    When and why did you begin working in this craft? Christ. 7? 8? I was stuck at my gparents’ house in PA when I was 12 and did a little of *everything* (esp. crochet), but then stopped. I re-discovered them about 3 years ago.

    Why do you continue to work in it? I’m compelled. I have an addictive personality, and everything goes in cycles. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on beading supplies, which I did for 4 or 5 years. Now that I have a stash that would shame all but the most conspicuous consumer, I anticipate I’ll stop knitting in about. . . 3.4 years.

    Why is your craft important to the world? What is its significance? You’re kidding, right? OH, I know – I’m contributing to our BOOMING economy!!!!

  10. 10

    Mykal said,

    Hi, new here!

    1) Knitting, sewing (clothes and quilts)

    2) Sewing b/c my Mom has always been doing it and she taught me when I was young, I’ve been doing little projects as long as I can remember. Knitting I think the urge struck me in college and I’ve been at it ever since, bought a book and taught myself.

    3) Lots of reasons, I love making things mostly it’s just such a great feeling to be involved in a project and when you’re done you can say “I did that!” Also I really just need to keep busy I knit a lot b/c you can sit and talk or watch TV and it gives you something to do.

    4) I think crafts are good ways for people to feel good about themselves, it gives you something to be good at and look foward to, which in turn keeps you happy. I think also people are to quick to seperate crafts from art, crafts are a kind of art and one which every day normal not super rich people can enjoy. I can have beautiful things around to look at and share with others and this also serves the greater good with happiness. I know those reasons aren’t huge things that are going to change society but I think on the smaller scale of a few people its a way to keep people happy and therefor healthy. More interested in their lives and the world around them.

  11. 11

    Stacey said,

    1. Knitting – though I am NOT good at it yet. And Building – garden boxes, pens, shelves – does that count?
    2. I started the knitting because a gal in my singles group showed us how to knit – and I have poor dexterity, so I tried it. The building – well, I come from a family of carpenters, my greatgrandfather’s company built half the houses in their small town in Indiana.
    3. Mostly I make things because they are necessary, the knitting is just a skill I would like to have.
    4. Things are made too fast – and with too little care. If I make them by hand, they are made lovingly.

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