Sunday, 9 February 2014

Building Blocks

Buoyed by the successes and enthusiasm of my students in my skirt-making group, I am planning future workshops.

I have been planning a crochet bag workshop for a while, but I had struggled with the colour scheme and the appropriate yarn... and the costings... and the venue... etc- all the usual headaches when planning a workshop. However, this week I have landed on the right yarn, and so I am whipping up a sample. It is very summery, and thus way out of my usual comfort zone, but somehow all the more enthralling for just that reason. Oh, and I designed a new block. As you do, on a rainy Saturday afternoon. No sneak previews though, but I will post an image once the sample is complete.

For your viewing pleasure though, here are two heirlooms I have been lucky enough to inherit:

The embroidered cushion cover has been languishing, pad-less for a while in my house. Today I have ordered a nice plump filling, and I look forward to it gracing my front room. It really is too beautiful to be hidden any longer. The cake frill I was given recently, although I do remember it from childhood Christmasses. I have only sketchy memories of its maker, but I do know that she crocheted all the time. I guess that means crochet is in my DNA somewhere!

I am cherishing the inspirational presence of both of these lovely things in my life. They are from the days when these skills were just part of women's work. I often now hear about how sad it is that these skills are lost and how great it was when everybody made their own things... and in some ways I agree. But whenever I hear nostalgic arguments like this I want to shout out, about all the young women I meet in knitting groups, and all the young people I teach to crochet, and all the women interested in sewing, and ravelry, and blogs, and all of the crafters I know...

As much as I love to craft and create, and to share my skills, I see it as no big loss to womenkind in general if they no longer feel obliged to so. I feel very strongly that we should keep our precious skills alive, and I do think we should avoid exploitative mass production, but making things by hand should be enjoyable, surely, rather than a chore?

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