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Archive for the ‘Handmade’ Category

I got another one of those knitting fits that strike me now and then. In the last few years I noticed that I experienced the knitting itch not only when I had pleanty of free time but surprisingly also when I felt I had no free time at all. For example this last one came when the boarder line between work and free time was getting so blurred that I was practically working nonstop. At some point when I was in the city area running some errands my feet brought me into a knitting supply store. I had no plans for and did not think I had the time to knit anything but as I entered the store and my eyes took in the colors and textures of yarn from different corners of the world I knew this was what I had to do and that it was about something more than an enjoyable way of spending time.

tools

And for the last few evenings knitting I did for at least 20 minutes no matter how busy I thought I was.  I would remind myself that the to-do list can never really be exhausted, then I would shut down the laptop, pick up the started knitting project and let my hands do the work, my mind go blank. This was a survival mechanism at work, it appears.

Neuroscientist Kelly Lambert offers a well-grounded in scientific research explanation to why crafts are important for our mental health in her book Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist’s Hands-On Approach to Activating Your Brain’s Healing Power”. (An interview with her can be heard on “To the best of our knowledge” in the 2008 December show “Re-considering crafts” and devoted to this particular issue).

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Yet another garment purchased – who could say no to a pair of linen pants in the middle of a hot summer? As it goes there is always place for improvement and alternations. Gray is the color that I can only tolerate as a background for something else.

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A sudden fit of creativity made me start painting a flower on this otherwise very ordinary dress but after that I got stuck and didn’t know in which direction to go until one day I started playing with a thick colored thread I picked up at the local hobby shop, standing over the dress and letting the thread fall onto the garment in a free and haphazard manner, not thinking of anything in particular. I saw a strange pattern getting formed, liked it, pinned it up and stitched it to the dress.

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I said to the wanting-creature inside me:
What is this river that you want to cross?
There are no other travelers on the river-road, and no road,
Do you see anyone moving about on that bank, or resting?
There is no river at all, and no boat, and no boatman…
There is no towrope either, and no one to pull it.
There is no ground, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford!

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sweater massacre

A month or so ago I got this urge to do something with the hands. A friend sacrifices her old sweaters and… sweater massacre begins. (more…)

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