Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Madhouse - Crafts

I grew up in a house full of crafts. My Mum sewed, knit, crocheted, made my ballet costumes and clothes, did macrame, made candles, baked, did embroidery and was always making crafty things for fund raisers and school fetes. She collected 'Golden Hands' and 'Craft' and turned her hand to most things in there at one time or another. I know this is where my love of crafts comes from and my older Sister and I were encouraged to try stuff out and learn new skills. Despite this, it was my Sister who taught me knit, not my Mum. One birthday K bought me a knitting pattern (dolls clothes) and needles - she got me a tape measure and made a felt case for it and made me a sewing needle case with needles and a thimble in and some little scissors but the best part of her gift is she took me to a yarn shop in town (Castle Square, Brighton) and bought me yarn - in skeins (which I'd never seen before) - to make the pattern for my doll. I still have the pattern. We came home and together we wound up the wool.

I did knit as a child, K showed me the basics, I used to make shapes up, guessing how to increase and decrease. My Barbie had a lovely selection of garters stitch halter tops (child of the 70's) in a bright lilac colour, but I didn't love knitting for a long time. Even as a young adult I prefer to sew or do needlepoint or crochet. I became a sporadic knitter.

After J was born I discovered patchwork - spent 3 years going to classes - loved it. Went to shows made numerous quilts, cushions, spent almost every free indoor minute working on it. But, isn't there always a but? Too much of a good thing, studying with the OU and preferring machine piecing (at that time) meant I started to fall out of love with patchwork and quilting. Around this time I rediscovered knitting  - we were going on a canal holiday and I wanted to take something portable with me for the evenings to keep my hands and mind occupied. There was a trend for big yarn and big needles (one of my previous issues with knitting was everything, other than baby stuff, took too long) I bought some supplies and pattern and had a 'eureka' knitting moment on the Kennet Avon canal. T'was a rediscovered skill that became a passion. At first I had to badger my Mum quite a bit as I was very rusty with my skills, but then I discovered Knitty and other online resources and off I went.....quite funny really as now Mum picks my brains.

I still do other crafts - including patchwork when the mood takes me. And I am still surrounded by crafts as Mum makes cards and M has his pottery and drawing. At the moment J shows no interest in any craft, perhaps it may skip a generation or it may just be taking its time and sneaking up on him.

I don't know how people live without making stuff and crafting, it has always been such a part of who I am, I'd be lost without it.

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