Back in the day when I was a child, I was quite crafty. I learned to sew from my grandmother who taught me on her treadle sewing machine. The first thing I made was a bag for scrabble tiles, complete with the hand embroidered word “Scrabble” on the outside. The embroidery was terrible, puckered and wonky. The bag endured nonetheless: my parents still used it until my mother died at age 92 and my father had no one to play with.
My mother taught me to knit, and I did a lot of it. As teenagers my friends and I would spend our lunchtimes knitting. This was a thing at the time so I wasn’t unusually nerdy.
I’ve continued to sew throughout much of my adult life, with mixed results. I do it more for the pleasure of sewing rather than the garment at the end. Knitting I haven’t continued with. Occasionally I’ve felt the urge but I haven’t searched out yarn and patterns. Yarn has got very expensive too so I don’t want to make something I won’t use.
Crochet is one crafty form I have never tried. Until today. I bought some jute twine and fired up YouTube. About an hour later I had my first little basket completed.
There is something very therapeutic and relaxing about handcrafts. They involve repetitive motions, which are soothing and relaxing, but they also require concentration, counting stitches and rows and so on. In combination this makes them absorbing, and the gradual emergence of the finished product, growing slowly as you go, is enormously satisfying.
I realise how much I have missed this. Making things is inherently satisfying, and learning new skills is too. It’s a great way to spend a weekend, and a retirement.