The first knitting I did was to earn a Brownie badge. I had to make a 50 by 50 stitch square which was added to an afghan that the entire group contributed to. In 7th grade, the girls in my home economics class were taught how to make a proper cup of tea and how to sew from a pattern. We all made shift dresses out of cotton that year, as they were the style in 1968. I have done crewel work, knitted slippers and scarves, crocheted a poncho (think granny squares, hippies) and have sewed a lot of clothes over the years.
When my daughters were in grade 7, the girls and boys were not separated for shop and home studies. The girls and boys made CD shelves and metal boxes, and they all sewed an apron of their own design. I never taught my girls to knit or do any kind of needlework, other than threading a needle to mend a button. Grandma T. would be horrified to see how little her great granddaughters know about domestic arts.
Most cultures have unique handwork and art with techniques that have been passed down for generations. When I first visited
In our instant world, taking time and effort to craft something by hand is quickly becoming a thing of the past. I rarely find time to sew, and may cut just one or two patterns a year. I still knit dishcloths from cotton yarn, so simple a pattern that I do not have to concentrate on them at all. (I cannot watch TV without doing something else with my hands).There will always be crafters, but the average person is unlikely to practice and learn skills which were once common for most people in the recent past. It is important to nurture our creativity and there will always be new ways to do that. Whether I pick up my knitting needles, or my camera, I can create something I enjoy and can pass on to others.
(I had this post done as a draft a couple of weeks ago. See what Laura says about her latest handwork project. Must be the season that provides similar inspiration.)