Friday, April 10, 2015

Crafting is Catching

A very good thing about doing DIY crafty stuff is that it's catching.

I caught it from Mom, who would bake, cook, sculpt, sew, glue things to other things, cross-stitch, do leatherwork, arrange flowers, and decorate wedding cakes (and probably lots of other things) as I was growing up. She continues to be crafty, and has added quilting to sewing, has done a pottery show, taken up crochet, and has added making pretty things with glass to that list. This last she herself caught from a friend with a talent and love for working with glass; I'm happy to hear how much they enjoy going to glass workshops together!

Really, I also caught it from Dad, who would garden, compost, build fences, build things for the house to make it work better, build the house itself (two of them!), and with the help of friends and relatives with a lot of DIY know-how, make it a well-functioning house too. I may not have acquired many of those particular skills, but thanks to Dad, I know they are acquirable. Whether or not you learn the actual skills from someone, learning that something can be learnt and done yourself is even more important. 

I also feel very happy that my family has found crafting to be catching as well. Last weekend, there were all sorts of projects on the go. My husband has a great old ex-military jacket that he wears a lot, only the collar was getting thoroughly worn-out. He's taken it off of the jacket, and has cut a piece from an old corduroy skirt that I don't wear anymore. He'll be sewing on the new collar, and will get to enjoy the satisfaction of having preserved a favourite jacket by doing a bit of mending.

My 6-year-old finished up a sew-your-own-mermaid kit, which has a blank doll to put together. Isn't it darling? While I did the hair and some of the cutting, and my husband and I helped her start and tie off threads, she did do the rest entirely herself, including cutting out the scales, and decorating with beads.

My 8-year-old made the cute little fish-themed purse for the mermaid, and is working on a weaving project (thanks to a kind friend for lending her a loom to try out)! She also took the time to make a little bag in which to put teeth for the tooth fairy, entirely on her own.

I'd love to hear who you caught craftiness/DIY from, or any stories you may have of craftiness and DIY spreading, or of being inspired by someone to learn a new skill. For fun, let's make a giveaway out of this, shall we? Comment on the blog with a story (or link to your blog with a story) about crafting being catching by the end of next week Friday (April 17th, Midnight, MST), and by random draw method I will select a winner of a coupon for a free pattern from my Ravelry shop (also listed on my pattern page).


  1. First of all, leave me out of the draw. I get to see your patterns anyways.☺
    It's in my genes. My Oma raised sheep and spun and knit, her two spinster sisters were seamstresses, my mom and dad both knit/crocheted all my life, my dad designed petit point, and filet crochet designs. My maternal uncle wrote poetry (as have I), My dad was a handyman--I do finishing work on my renos. My dad was an accountant in the old country, I love numbers, always doing math for no reason at all, also do my own accounting. I had to learn embroidery and sewing skills--like homework. My dad spoke 7 languages--I'm stalled at three.
    My daughters know how to knit and crochet but are not obsessed. Two of the kids enjoy writing as recreation. The son is also mechanical like his dad.

  2. scarpetta17:56 am

    Among my treasures is an angel crocheted by my daughter at age 4. I don't recall teaching her. She must have watched me. At the time I was developing a whole series of wacky finger puppets, and there was yarn everywhere. My son is mechanically crafty, with magic screwdrivers.

    I learned early to give them good materials and then get out of the way. No toy stuff. Teach them to use the sewing machine right off.

    As Jessie says, the knowledge that it CAN be done by a real person in your environment is very powerful.