Craft Friday

I love Thanksgiving and always have. I love the simple focus on family and food. I love that there are no gift-giving expectations. I love the reminder that I actually already have everything I need – and a whole lot of what I want.

Given that I actually need nothing more than what I have, I am very happy to decline the frenzy of shopping on Black Friday. I choose instead for this to be a gentle, quiet day at home, with my family. As I pick up my needles and yarn, as I put my feet on my spinning wheel, as I practice ancient arts passed down through generations, as I use tools provided by the earth and the animals, I will do so with ongoing gratitude. I am mindful of what a great freedom it is to opt out of consumerist compulsion, and what a great privilege it is to create.

So I’m joining the Craft Friday Party!

A few things I’ll be working on:

handspun colorwork mittens

handspun colorwork mittens


A test-knit for Kirsten, which I had to set aside for a quick gift knit that I finished up in the wee hours last night (pictures and story of that soon).

handspun pi shawl

handspun pi shawl


Of course!

Hello Yarn Romney, "Tideline"

Hello Yarn Romney, “Tideline”


After a few weeks of no spinning, my stash finally told me what needed to go on the wheel next.

cross-stitch!

cross-stitch!


Yep! I started this on Craft Friday four years ago – ’bout time I picked it back up!

So those are a few things I’ll be working on today. How about you?

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Butterfly Hat, Mackinac Mitts, and Craft Friday

Here is something I didn’t really appreciate until I became a knitter. Crafters love to see their creations in use. I wish I could rewind about nine years, to when my kids were wee. So many wonderful people gave us handmade baby gifts, and most of those people never got to see the gifts actually in use. In retrospect, I wish that I had snapped pics of the babes on their various knitted, crocheted, and quilted blankets, and sent those along with my thank you notes. I was a frazzled new mom of twins, though, and I was barely managing to keep everyone fed, clean, and dry (including myself!). Also, I just didn’t realize how much it might mean to the makers/givers.

But now I know – there is a particular joy that comes from knowing something you’ve made with your own hands is being both loved and used. So my heart is super warm and fuzzy looking at this picture:

my beautiful niece and great-nephew

my beautiful niece and great-nephew

That is the Butterfly Hat I made for my niece (previously shown to you on my stepson; he’s good-looking, but for some reason the pink butterfly hat didn’t seem to suit him), along with the Mackinac Mitts I designed and knit. My niece rocks pink like no one else I know. (It doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty much super-gorgeous in whatever she wears.) And her sweet five year-old is just killing me with the cute. It actually makes my heart hurt to see this picture because we live so far from each other and see each other so rarely.

By the way, if you’re knitting either the Butterfly Hat or the Mackinac Mitts, Tumped Duck just posted a tutorial last week on how to knit lifted strands with slipped stitches. It’s a great how-to, especially if you are a visual learner.

In other crafting news, have you read about Craft Friday? I am in total solidarity with this and I will NOT be doing any shopping on Black Friday. Here in Ann Arbor, lots of shops (including most of the mall) are opening on Thanksgiving Day, as well. I worked retail in high school and college, and working Black Friday filled me with a special kind of anxiety and dread; I can’t imagine how I would have handled leaving my family, including out-of-town guests we only saw once a year, before Thanksgiving dinner was even done. I guess there is no way now to turn back this tide, but I won’t participate in it. I’ll be having brunch with out-of-town family on Friday morning and then settling in for some craft time later in the day.

I hope you find some craft time, too, in the midst of these busy days!