learnanewcraft

Like I said in my introductory post, 2013 is going to be a crafty, hands-on sort of year for me. Each month I’m going to tackle a new craft form, learn the basics, and start a new project. This month I’m learning crochet!

But why? What’s the point?

It’ll be fun, of course, and a little bit frustrating. But what I really want to achieve here is growth. If you’re up to trying a new craft, you can grow, too.

You can combine crafts into something new.

There’s only so much you can sew, embroider, knit, crochet, carve, mold, what have you. But what happens when you combine two of more of those techniques? I’ll tell you – magic. Embroidered bags, lined knits, carved candles and the like are just the start. What about a cross-stitched chair? And then there’s the beauty you can create when you mesh as many disciplines together, as in this piece done for the Swedish Handicraft Society’s 100th anniversary.

You’ll appreciate handmade skills more.

It’s easy to look at beautiful, handmade things without understanding the work and love that gets put into them. It’s the skill and soul of the crafter that turns raw materials into something more. When you’ve had a go at sewing or calligraphy, it’s much more clear just how much quality is worth, both in price and in care. And if you decide to pursue a craft form seriously, it’s obviously because it’s worth your time. (Which I think is the most precious currency of all!)

You can make something to suit YOUR needs.

I’m sure it happens to you, too: you find that amazing jacket, or pillow, or picture frame – but for one reason or another it doesn’t quite fit your needs. It’s the wrong size. The wrong colour. The wrong material. But hey, if you make it yourself, it’s perfect for you! (And your friends will probably want one, too.)

It boosts your creativity.

Studies have shown that highly creative people tend to have a few things in common, one of them being a trait called ‘divergent thinking.’ Divergent thinking is when you use ideas from different skills and disciplines to find solutions.  It’s a thought pattern that can be summed up as ‘big picture thinking’. The more skills you have, the more you can add to your ‘big picture’ thinking.

It’s an easy way to increase your network.

Even if you don’t sell crafts, it’s fun to know other crafters. A simple way to meet more of them is to start learning a new craft. Local courses are perfect for meeting face-to-face, and after you join social networks like Twitter and Pinterest it’s pretty obvious there are DIYers and crafters there in hoards!

Best of all…

.. You don’t really even need a good reason. The best reason to learn a new craft is to learn it for you. There is little more precious than a beautiful passion that gives results. I love the feeling of holding something I’ve made. My crafts are my babies!

Back to my new crocheting adventures,
Anna xo

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