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There's a Hair In My Sweater!

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By Kimara - Posted on 19 August 2008

I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t crafting and creating. I knitted my first sweater in elementary school which was a complex Aran design, including buttonholes! These talents and lessons came from my paternal grandmother who believed the best way to learn something was to fearlessly jump in! (My own mother was talented but often lacked the patience! One day I’ll have a blog dedicated solely to the trajectories and aviation qualities of many of her craft attempts!) From the time I was young, I always had at least one project going. (Today, I probably have 30 unfinished projects in the house, but I stand a good chance of finishing at least half of them!) Over the years I’ve knitted, crocheted, sewed, made candles, wove baskets, stenciled, macraméd, and made corn husk dolls. I would also call specialty baking and cooking crafting! Today, I’m playing with felting and wood carving. Always something new to learn! Being A Tad Bit Obsessive, I have a tendency to go overboard with crafts. When I get interested in something, I acquire books and supplies, and need to redesignate areas of my house!

The following are some basic reasons why I craft and why I encourage others to do so.

Pride of creating: If you lack a true artistic gift, like Leonardo da Vinci or Auguste Rodin, through a little effort and perseverance, even the “ungifted” can learn a skill allowing you to create not only functional, but beautiful items. There is something very satisfying in looking at something you created that you feel proud of…besides your children!

Artistic outlet: I would argue that creative expression is one of our basic needs. True, not at the same level as food and air, but according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a truly self actualized individual will artistically create. Let’s face it, as soon as the most basic of needs were met, Neanderthals were defacing cave walls with graffiti. I’d say the desire to create has been with us seen the dawn of man!

Giving of yourself: In an era when time is money and people never seem to have enough of either, homemade gifts let others know “you are ever so important to me”. Short of giving a kidney, bestowing homemade gifts is a way of sharing yourself with others. It’s kinda a joke in our family that when I make something, I always literally incorporate some part of myself into everything I make. If I’m knitting, I almost guarantee you that some of my long hair will be knitted into the sweater or mittens. If I sew, SOMEWHERE you will find a minute bloodstain from the inevitable finger prick! You just can’t buy this level of personalization!

Quality control: When you craft, you control the quality of materials or ingredients. When making toys and clothing for children, you can make sure all items are safe. Today, you can hardly assume that the label “safe for children under three” is, in fact, true! Baking for your family means you can forego all the additives and questionable ingredients. You know what you’re children are eating!

Thrifty: If you’re watching pennies, and who isn’t today, homemade gifts are cheaper. There were many times I was able to make something that I couldn’t afford to buy. Sometimes, after adding the cost of all the materials used in a project, a homemade item may not seem cost effective, but I would argue, for the quality, it’s a steal!

National pride: Need I say it…home crafted items are MADE IN AMERICA!

Educational: It helps children understand that things are made, not materialized, from the internet, catalogues, or stores. It helps to teach children respect for their belongings, when they know that time and energy went into its creation.

Encouraging: You teach your children to appreciate homemade items and give them confidence to become creative individuals themselves!

Soothing: Crafting has the ability to calm. Repetitive actions can produce near trances like states. If you crafts with friends, it gives you a very therapeutic outlet. There was a reason women have historically crafted together, whether it was making tapestries in the Middle Ages or quilting bees in colonial times. Crafting and chatter seem to go hand-in-hand.

I know that there are many people who don’t craft and have a list of reasons why they don’t. But I would encourage everyone to find some artistic outlet. The reasons are many and the results are rewarding!

If you craft, what crafts are you really “into” right now. If you don’t, is there something you’ve always wanted to do?

We are going to know about different hair styles in my sweater generation. So many things we have did for this website and so much interested to do editing with another blogs. Everything needed to understood the stories and reviews from this website.

I like the idea having you sharing your one of the most unforgettable memories in your life. Such a good read for today. - Paramount Song

I don't really craft. Although I'm interested in some things between the kids, DH and keeping house, I'm lucky to get a book in. When I get some free time I'm apt to veg. However, I totally get that creative need. I paint. (Do you consider that a craft?) I usually paint when I'm very upset, usually angry, or stressed, and need to center myself. A glass of wine, some great background music and my paints. It certainly helps that I keep it all in the corner of the basement where I am all alone. Sanctuary! It is very soothing and gratifying. BTW took a peek at your new blog. Looks like fun. Wish you all the luck just don't stop writing this blog! And Cheryl, sorry about recent BF. Hope you're doing okay :) I'll hold good thoughts that things work out the way you'd like them to. Have a great week all.

I don't know why I insist upon reading your blog. I usually come away feeling so inept;) I have absolutely no craft talents and I guess very little interest. It's crazy because my mom can do everything. She sewed professionally. You would think being around that some of it would have rubbed off on me. I'm feeling pretty much down right now. Was very hopeful about latest BF but I'm not sure that is going anywhere and I have quite a bit of time on my hands right now. I've been reading, a lot. Maybe I should swear off men for a while and take up a craft! Obviously, I'm not very self actualized. (Good ol' Maslow. I'd nearly forgotten him!) Think I'll talk to my mom and have her teach me how to do something! Anything!

Like you Kim, I tend to go overboard when I start a new craft and buy bunches of books, supplies, etc. I really need to get a handle on myself, LOL! I scrapbook a lot but have been on a hiatus recently since I've been interested in other things. I have a crocheted washcloth that I'm working on a bit at a time to learn to crochet better. I always have sewing projects going on, and am currently working on some Montessori materials for my DS's classroom. I also have been making my boys some pajama pants. I bought some cool fabric to make them shorts, but that didn't happen and it's now August, so maybe I will make them for next year! Like Michelle, I have a quilt in the works for the kids that I'd better get finished before they aren't interested in the topic of it any longer! I also started doing some embroidery recently, and I have really enjoyed that, but would like to find some time to do more. And, I just signed up to be a beta tester for a new pattern on how to make wet felted play food! Two apples and an orange. Very excited about that!!! I have tons of wool roving in my cedar chest (a co-op for Peace Fleece that I went overboard on), and I want to try those wool marbles you have on your craft blog. Oh, and I've been making t-shirts for the kids with freezer paper stencils, and I just bought a tie-dye kit to make some t-shirts for them! You're thinking, "is that all?"

Let's see...
I've started the winter-prep knitting. Sweaters, hats and mittens are in process. I'm also knitting and crocheting quite a few toys for the kids' upcoming b-days and Christmas.

I have a stack of patterns for the girls clothes... I really need to find something to make for DS too so he doesn't feel left out.

I always have several quilts/throws going. I have a recycled denium alphabet blanket I need to pull out and finish before the kids totally outgrow the alphabet stage. I started it pre-kids. Of course young kiddos really cut into that crafting time.

There are also a few skirt patterns I've been eyeing for myself.

There just aren't enough hours in the day!