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Published on May 8th, 2018 | by Merion

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What makes you a maker?

This month we’re looking at why we love making things! What makes us makers? We’ve asked some of our LoveKnitting and LoveCrochet Flock to tell us what they love about making…

Was necessity the mother of invention?

Since the dawn of time, we humans have made things. It began, we assume, from necessity – ancient people must have felt the cold in winter, and needed textiles to keep warm. Once they’d got past the sabre-tooth tiger fur chic phase, they discovered weaving, and yarn making, and then the heady magic that happens when you loop yarn together with a hook or needles. I strongly suspect, that in amongst those early tribes of people, certain individuals discovered that they really loved making things – and that they were really good at it – and these were the people who ended up making clothes and blankets for everybody else. The Makers.

Here at LoveKnitting, we’re makers – but what is it about making that thrills us so much? We don’t need to do it anymore – we can buy sweaters and blankets and scarves – so what drives us? We asked some of our gorgeous Flock,  members of our knitting and crochet bloggers ambassador programme, and this is what they said:

Sue Rawlinson, designer, teacher, maker

“Crochet is my happy place I love to create and I also love to teach. I’ve loved being part of LoveCrochet’s stress awareness campaign. I’ve gained such an insight into how craft especially crochet really helps people cope and work through difficult times. I love sharing my work and daily happenings over on Instagram.”

Explore Sue’s designs as SweetPeaFamily here!

Julie Taylor, designer, maker

pixie hat

“I consider myself to be very lucky to be a maker. It answers a lot of different needs. When I’m feeling creative, I can explore new ideas, ponder over colours and designs elements. When I’m feeling stressed or my mind is over active, the rhythm of the stitch slows my mind down, soothes me and gives me clarity of thought. When I’m looking for a gift, I know I’m not restricted by what mass markets dictate. I can come up with something personal, that suits the recipient down to a T and will be unique. Because I come from a family of crafters, making is also a connection to fond memories – memories of my Mum patiently starting to count her stitches again when I ran in and interrupted, Christmas gifts my Dad made from wood, clay ornaments and little stitched trinket boxes that my children made me for Mothers Day. All beautifully imperfect and made with love!”

Explore Julie’s patterns here…

Wilma Westernberg, designer, maker

Wilma

“I love making new things because I can use my creativity to tell stories and inspire others. “

You can find Wilma’s gorgeous patterns on her blog, here – and on Instagram too.

Robin Hunter, designer, maker

Robin Hunter

“I’m a maker because the challenges make me happy. I love working with the issues of silhouette, fit, colour and the textures of my knitting projects. I love wearing the unique garments I’m able to create. I believe we must continually look for ways to improve in every area of our lives. Being a maker has made me a lifelong learner.”

Explore Robin’s blog here and her Instagram too!

Merion, writer, knitter, crocheter, maker

knitted heart

“Making something – with crochet or knitting – fills me with joy. I pour love into my makes, and they love me back – just the feel of the yarn in my fingers, and the magic that happens as the fabric evolves. Every day is a school day for me – there’s nothing I love more than learning something new.”

Alice Neal, designer, maker

“Making, for me, is the perfect antidote to ‘busyness’ and the many stresses of daily life with a big family; a form of creative meditation. And making something for someone is so personal, so intimate. But I’m also a very selfish maker. I’m always looking to create that perfect garment; something I will never take off. I’m still working on it…”

Explore Alice’s patterns here, and her blog Alice’s Adventures in Knittingland.

What do you love about making?

Tell us all about it in the comments and we’ll write up a blog post to share!

If you’re a blogger and you’d like to find out more about The Flock, click here for information and how to join!

 

 

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About the Author

Merion admits that her stash is wildly out of control, but has many projects in dream-form! She loves knitting, crochet, Shire horses, cake and garden swing-seats.


Last updated: May 8th, 2018.

10 Responses to What makes you a maker?

  1. Eva Malnovicz says:

    I started knitting at the tender age of eight years, growing up in Poland during the communist era, when basic things, such as clothing and household items, began disappearing from the store shelves. Women and girls were forced to find alternative solutions to the problem of clothing themselves and their families. The various crafts were passed on from mothers (or, as in my case, grandmothers) to daughters and granddaughters. Many girls and women sewed, crocheted, knitted, and embroidered; and virtually all were skillful at at least one of the crafts. I had tried my hand at all of them too, but only knitting “stuck with me”. Yarn was difficult to come by too, and good-quality yarns were virtually unknown to women in the Eastern Block, even though sheep were raised and sheered for yarn in the villages and pastures of the Carpathian Mountain region. Old sweaters were often unraveled, the yarn washed and reused; and when increasingly rarer shipments of yarn appeared on the store shelves, long lines of women would form, all hoping to get a hold of whatever yarn there was, regardless of blend or quality.
    So knitting in those days was more of a necessity than pleasure.
    Things changed dramatically when I immigrated with my young family, first to Canada, and then to the U.S. There was an abundance of clothes and other merchandise the likes of which I had not even imagined. Going to school, raising two young children, and taking care of the household left little time for me to pursue my hobbies, so my needles were stored in a drawer and temporarily forgotten.
    Then, in 2010, my husband died, and I needed something to keep me busy and, frankly, to keep me from drinking.
    I took out the needles from their confinement, bought some yarn and started knitting. The skill that I thought I’d lost was still there. My hands, as if with a mind of their own, picked up the yarn, held the needles comfortably, and worked with ease, while I enjoyed the softness and texture of the yarn, and my mind became completely absorbed with the pattern and the steady, rhythmical movement of my hands . For the first time in weeks, I felt calm, focused, and relaxed. That day, needles and yarn became my addiction and therapy; my friend and constant companion.
    In time, I started designing my own patterns, thus adding another benefit to knitting. It allowed me to use my imagination, let loose my creative, artistic spirit. I learned to transport my creative ideas into my design book and an Excel spreadsheet, often making my own stitch patterns, and designing unique garments with varying degrees of difficulty and complexity. I am a maker because making beautiful things with two needles and balls of yarn makes me a better, calmer, and more emotionally balanced person.

    • Merion says:

      Dear Eva, thank you so much for sharing your amazing story with us – you are a great inspiration! It’s wonderful how the act of making things, in our case with yarn and needles, can transform us – and how much it means to us all to be in the same, happy tribe of makers. Kindest wishes from Merion and the LoveKnitting team xxx

      • Eva Malnovicz says:

        Thank you, Merion! I am truly honored and proud to belong in the community of knitters. Making my own patterns is a great outlet for my artistic side, and it gives me great satisfaction to create something unique and beautiful.
        I am also an incorrigible yarn collector (I guess knitting and collecting yarn usually go hand in hand), and I often buy yarn at LoveKnitting. Every now and then I check knitting patterns too, usually looking for inspiration. But since I am completely self-taught, I do not know some of the knitting techniques (for example, I only recently learned provisional cast-on, from YouTube!), so every now and then I buy patterns too. In time, I’ll possibly try posting my patterns on this website, but not before I get into a habit of writing them in an organized, precise fashion. Right now, they are rather messy, and even I sometimes have difficulty deciphering them!

  2. Chrissie says:

    I can’t actually remember learning to knit although I do remember taking my mistakes to my mum for her to sort. She was an excellent knitter and knitted for the Isle of Sanday knitters making fairisle and Icelandic jumpers look easy! I taught myself crochet a few years ago when recovering from multiple knee surgeries to help distract me from chronic pain and now I’ve just returned back to knitting again. My mum died nearly 2 years ago and before she went she made sure I took all her knitting needles, wool and patterns. So I guess my inspiration is my mum, I love colourful yarn and especially indie dyers and have thousands of things on my want to do list I need to live until I’m at least 190 years old.

    • Merion says:

      Hello Chrissie, thank you so much for sharing your story with us – I am sure you must treasure your mum’s needles – I am lucky enough to have my grandma’s and I love them. That generation just made it all look so easy didn’t they! Now we know just how amazingly skilled they were! We wish you much happiness with your knitting and crochet – and thank you again for taking time to comment!
      Kindest,
      Merion and the LoveKnitting team xx

  3. Helen Cooper says:

    Was suddenly transported back to when I remember starting knitting and so many “me too”!
    Very sunny classroom, I was 7/8, standing in line with my blue knitting waiting for the teacher to put me right. We had to make 7 rectangles the teacher would then,
    miraculously, sew (and stuff!) into a horse…but not mine… I just could not get the hang of it, at all. But, another sunny day, the weekend, at home in the garden with my Grandma. Blue horse had to be finished; I was the last in the class…the pressure was on ( it must have been near the end of term). Monday morning and there I was – knocking on the staffroom door…”I my horse is finished.” The feeling, when I was presented with the finished project, was…” Is that it? What I am I going to do with that?”
    Now that could have been the end of my knitting, but no! My other Nana was also a knitter and would knit my Dad a pair of socks evey weekend we visited. A lovely soft cotton ( not cheap blue double knit). Now there was reason for knitting!
    A gap of 10 10 years and the kneedles were calling and straight into a cable cardigan!! Mum was patience on a monument. But dad just left the room…
    40 years later and I’m still knittings every day. I have taught classes to knit ( but no blue horses!), and only gave up on a Chinese left- hander student.
    I have arthritis in both hands but if don’t knit every day, it’s not good; ‘ if you don’t use it, you loose it’.
    I have a knitting stash that could supply a shop ( don’t we all and whose partner really knows what we have hidden away for that next project?!), and a least 3 projects on the go: concentrating knitting, TV knitting, travelling knitting. Oh, and the: ” Auntie Helen, I really like that.” And kneedles collected from charity shops (oh they could tell some stories). Yeh, knitting isn’t as popular and youngest don’t want hand handknits…rubbish!
    Long life to all knitters!

    • Merion says:

      Dear Helen, what a story!! – I’m not sure I’d have kept going after the disappointment of the blue horse!!!!! Teachers are cruel! (I remember the trials of being told off because I couldn’t cut paper in straight line – why on earth this mattered so much at the time I can’t fathom now!) I hope we can inspire a younger generation of knitters between us all – I taught a class at my daughter’s school and there were some little ones who took to it like a duck to water – I hope that in ten or fifteen years’ time they will rediscover it, just like we did! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Kindest, Merion and the LoveKnitting team xx

  4. Monkey says:

    I really codl’nut ask for more from this article.

  5. Sue R says:

    These comments have brought back so many memories! My first item of clothing I made was a waistcoat. I was around 8 I think. So what did I choose for this first foray into knitting (mainly teaching myself as others thought I was ‘cack-handed’)?
    Not some soft, fuffy wool for an easy scarf – no, I went all out and did a cable fronted long waistcoat. The yarn had no resemblance to wool and was more like a brillo pad! Nylon yarn that cut into my fingers if the tension was too tight. Well, at least I learnt to get an even tension.
    My guess is that the waistcoat has a half-life of 10000 years!!
    I now love to use all the beautiful new, soft yarns available with quite a few cardigans waiting to be sewn up. And it is so easy with ordering on-line and delivery to my door. Does anyone else hate sewing up?
    My crafts vary but knitting is the constant – when I was giving up smoking and had to keep my hands occupied, knee operations and couldn’t just sit still and breast cancer when I had to do SOMETHING or go mad!
    We are a happy band – and yes, my husband doesn’t really know how much wool I’ve got. He probably will when we move house though! 🙂

    • Lynette Hume says:

      I know where you’re at Sue, I hate sewing things up too. At present I am attempting to organise my stash which is in boxes and bags in almost every room of the house. A couple of weeks ago, while attempting, I found approx 30 unfinished projects (and I’m sure when I continue there will be more, some over 25 yrs old). Well the charity I niw knit for will be lucky IF I ever get them finished – I have finished 3 items (well almost, they still don’t have buttons). Why we do this puzzles me because I am so thrilled when I see the finished article. I have found an answer though – I am now addicted to rugs and thows. No sewing up just a few ends to darn in and PRESTO, a finished project

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