It’s that time of year when the craft blog might be quiet but the actual crafting is reaching fever pitch- I just can’t post about it for fear of ruining surprises! Here are a couple of cryptic photos…
I have parcelled up one to send off already (in a short-lived fit of organisation at having to be early for overseas postage) and felt a bit… unsure about it. It is only recently that making things has become popular again, probably in conjunction with economies and credit crunchy times, but also with a general surge in the appreciation of slow food, slow travel and workmanship and quality over speed and quantity. Prior to this yarn and fabric boom, homemade was pretty naff. Knitted jumpers for Christmas were the utmost rubbish present, ridiculed in Harry Potter (poor Mrs. Weasley) as well as Bridget Jones. Her Mr. Darcy would be right on trend now in his Christmas fair isle.
I do think the tide has turned, especially as more people start to make things themselves, and realise what a lot of work is actually involved, how many hours spent, stitched unpicked and re-done (always with a smile, naturally) in something hand made.
There’s a Mumsnet custom, now pretty much tradition, that when a poster suffers a terrible loss -partner, child- the community rallies forth to make blankets. Hundreds of women either knit or crochet a square, or donate money or yarn to crafters. Then a couple of amazing ladies spreadsheet the endeavour to keep track of it all and connect all the squares together. They are always personal to the recipient, with initials and patterns (lions, boats) that mean something to them. I well up even thinking about these wonderful people, many of whom do not even know the bereaved poster, crafting away to bring some small comfort at such an overwhelming time. The kindness of strangers is an ever-present force on Mumsnet. The project is called Woolly Hugs, and some of the blankets are pictured here.
It was of these blankets that I thought as I raced to start another Christmas present, resisting the urge to change it to a blanket but staying fast to my original knitterly idea. For it is of the recipient that I think all the time as I wrap the yarn around the needles again and again and again, and I hope that in some small way all that love and thought makes its way to her through something handmade- a bit wonky here and there, perhaps, but made with love in every stitch.