Friday, January 19, 2018
Why Handmade and Current Works in Progress
I just wanted to talk a little about why I even bother to make handmade as much as possible. Of course, the the most obvious is the personal satisfaction - the creative outlet - the joy.
But what I want to talk about today, is the fact that how we choose to spend every cent can be an act of resistance or an act towards changing our economic systems. Who we support with our dollars means everything. So many people think their actions will not matter - but that is crazy thinking. If we all stopped buying at Amazon, then Jeff Bezos would stop being the richest person in history, the CIA would stop paying him, he would cease to own the Washington Post, and he would stop buying out smaller companies. One person should never have so much power. Ultimately, though, the power is in our hands. I know this hard but it is so possible. I think our income may have us very close to the poverty line for a family our size - but we are hardly poor (to me poor means without hope). It is truly a matter of priorities for most (not all - there are many that are not as healthy as we are, don't have any hope in their lives - for many cheap is truly the only option. Please don't think I am judging. )
So, when I create from raw materials, I am supporting the maker of those raw materials and the business I purchased them from. I definitely don't choose to buy those materials from Amazon (although I have, such as paper - and I am committed to not doing so again). I sometimes buy my yarn from Knitpicks and although, I would much prefer to buy from local stores and small fiber farms, with the amount of knitting I choose to do, I could not afford to do so. However, when possible, I do often buy yarn from my local yarn store in Belfast. Her prices are not any higher than most online stores. This way I support a shop on Main Street, I support an individual that is sharing her passion with others. In addition, when I attend a fiber festival I enjoy supporting the local vendors depending on what my budget can afford, which is such a treat. I am also challenging myself to use up textiles that I come across that would have otherwise been trashed, such as when our children out grow their jeans, recycled jars that can be made into holders, and bits of old clothes that can be used to make quilts.
The pictures above are my works in progress. The first is my first handmade holiday gift. It is a pair of socks for Mike. Although he sees me knitting them now, he will for sure have forgotten about them by Christmas. The pattern is free from Purl Soho and I am using some yarn I had purchased this past December. My goal is to finish by February 15th or sooner.
The other is a gift for Emmy for Valentines Day. She was looking over a Rite Aid flyer that came in our mailbox and saw stuffed animals holding candy boxes and thought that would be a wonderful Valentines Gift for herself. I commented that it would be so much better to have a handmade little animal holding a small box of sweets. So, a Valentines Day cat is in progress.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and what you are making.