Over the past few months I have been reading several books, ‘Little House in the Big Woods Series, ‘Little Women Series’ and Walden, to name a few, which all included aspects of making and mending the things you need as opposed to buying or discarding them. It occurred to me whilst reading at just how wasteful our current culture of consumerism is, where in we buy new and discard old items so frivolously, that items rarely see the true end of their life span. As a generalisation we rarely make our own items anymore unless it is a hobby of ours and as a result we have become very detached from the hours of work that it take to bring an idea from conception into reality even with the modern machinery we have.
In my experience the possessions we know to be handmade or have carefully crafted ourselves are often the things we take greater care of perhaps it is because we are that much more aware of the effort that’s was pored into them.
I have never been very good at crafts. Infact I think I’ve only ever really made a cushion cover and that was back in high school and was pretty poor to say the least! I have always considered myself to lack the patience and vision for anything artistic or crafty and my attempts have been thwarted by lack of motivation and short temper when things don’t go to plan the first time round. Yet something inspired in these writings and got me really wanting to be more thoughtful over my possessions. To give it a try and to stop simply purchasing new items but to mend and repair things that could be and to see if I could create the things we need before simply running out to buy them. I started simple with just some stitching of holes in my leggings and turning up clothes. Then I realised my travel prayer mat was starting to tear in places and it really needed replacing. I got to doing some research and found that some people crocheted their own.
Luckily for me I have a fantastic mentor in this field. My mum is a craft whizz. As a child she used to make all of my majorette and dance costumes, she made me my very first soft toy as a baby which I still have and is in near on perfect condition even today. She has always had an eye for making gorgeous things. In the past few years she has been making the cutest little crochet gifts which have been in adored by many. You can check out her work on her facebook page Little Knots.
Mum has been trying to persuade me to learn to crochet for quite some time so I was pretty sure she’d be happy to help me get going with crocheting my own mat!
Oh boy did I underestimate how difficult it would be at first, how much dedication and how many hours it would take me too see it through to completion! My first few squares were a disaster and at that point in the past I would have abandoned the idea but I had a real reason for making it work this time and with practice I got better. I had to undo so many stitches and re-do lines and lines of crochet where I’d made mistakes but I got there. 40 squares crocheted, edged and now part way joined together. Im not sure how long it’s taken me at least 2 months if not longer and it’s still not completed but I am very very nearly there and feeling super proud.
Watch this space I’ll be back with an update when it’s completed.