The Joy of Crafting

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What’s on my needles now

Today a blizzard is hitting the Midwest, and my work had the great good sense not to encourage our clientele to drive in it, so I have an unexpected day off of work. I also have a new knitting project I’m working on, the Layered Turkish Gloves from Interweave Knit’s Knit Accessories 2009, using KnitPicks Palette yarns in rich blue/greens with orange and gold. I’m currently knitting the first ‘underglove’ using a coordinating JoJoLand Melody superwash that I picked up at the Yarn Barn in Lawrence KS last year (no shrinking!) yarn that unfortunately has a tendency to curl and split.

If it was just about getting a pair of new gloves, I could slip down to the Dollar General a few blocks away, or the Target a couple of miles away and pick up a pair for a few bucks. Certainly less money than I spent on the yarn, which, because of the colorwork will be frankly enough for several gloves. (I’m debating buying more and making a coordinating tube scarf. Warm and amazing.)

For me, crafting, and especially knitting, is all about the process, the way it puts me into an almost zen state and, simultaneously gives me an almost instant gratification as I work the stitches.

Today’s dance explores the many ways that crafting things by hand enriches our lives and gives us something that simply buying an item can’t provide:

  • What craft or crafts do you enjoy? Are any of them rare or unusual in some way?
  • Is crafting something that plays a small part in your life, or do you devote significant chunks of time and money to your craft?
  • When you make things, do you make them primarily for yourself, other people, or a combination of both?
  • Do you primarily choose one craft (knitting, crochet, woodworking, sewing, blacksmithing, etc.) or do you regularly engage in several different crafts?
  • Do you primarily engage in crafts that are traditional for your gender, or do you explore crafting more generally?
  • Do you explore the history and context of your favorite craft, or do you ‘live in the moment’?
  • What got you started in crafting? Is it a family tradition, or did you pick it up through books or the internet, classes or friends?
  • Do you craft pretty consistently in your life, or do you have periods of relative inactivity and productivity?
  • Do you have seasonal variations in your crafting?
  • In your view, are activities such as writing, gardening, cooking, and baking crafts? Why or why not?
  • Do you craft for the product, the process, or both?
  • What is your favorite item you have ever crafted? Your most spectacular ‘failure’? The item you most want to craft but haven’t done so yet? Why haven’t you?
  • What does crafting do to enrich your life? Have you passed on your love of your craft(s) to someone else? Who? How?
  • Collaboration and charity tie crafting community (
  • Knitting and crocheting on the road (
  • Crafters find their niche in Casper (
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