I know what you’re thinking, “These older traditional crafts aren’t for me” I’ll nod my head and ask you why not?
I’m a maker and just one member of the Irish Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers. The reason I make, craft and create is a personal one but I consider making to be a personal choice; an expression of your inner self. My medium is yarn in all it’s forms. I love the feel of the different textures, I can play with colour, depth, construction, math, precision and on days when I’m just not feeling it I can just curl up with Netflix and knit.
The skills you master over time are the ones that are often worth learning. I learnt how to knit as a child, a skill that has been passed down in my family for generations. I didn’t appreciate it then but I do now. I like math and I like puzzles but I have a strong affinity for the arts so knitting has allowed me to combine all of my passions and to relax and to create. When I knit, I feel like I am still connected with passed family members and I remember times sitting by the fire, chatting and being happy.
Time spent crafting, is time well crafted.
Now, in my thirties I have an appreciation for the artists who have taken this skill to a professional level, spending years honing their craft. I love the handmade wheels from Johnny Shiels in Donegal, the turned spokes, the feeling of solid wood and the care applied to creating the mother of all and bobbins. This in itself is an art and yet I use this as a tool to create yarn so that I can knit. If you have a love of wood or making with wood have a look at these wheels and then take a dip into the drop spindles at the festival. Even if the yarn isn’t for you, I’m sure you can appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into the tools we use to create it.
I find my life fast paced, so much so that it’s hard to keep up at times but when I make, I have to clear my mind and focus on what I’m doing. Making is a sort of therapy that I need in my life and I believe these traditional crafts need to be kept alive and no not because of the coming zombie apocalypse but because each generation builds on the knowledge of the previous one to make something truly exceptional. I don’t need electricity to knit, I can bring it anywhere and find a few moments for myself. Does this sound like something you might like to try?
When we create we put a little bit of ourselves into each piece so why not put a little bit of yourself into something you create and seek out a few moments of quiet in your day to be inspired and to create.