Why Do You Craft? - Albert and Me
2005
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Why Do You Craft?

Why Do You Craft?

crochet granny stripe - Beak Up Crafts

I wanted to talk about something a bit different today and delve into the reasons why people, including some of my favourite craft bloggers, love to make.

Ever since I started crafting I’ve found it has made a real positive impact on my life, so much so that I think craft can be used as a fantastic and inspiring form of creative therapy. Stick with me, it’s not as kooky as it sounds and I promise this isn’t going to get all heavy!

I first picked up a crochet hook and some pretty silvery-grey wool just over a year and a half ago because I wanted a new hobby. I also wanted something to focus on away from a pretty horrible family situation, a stressful time at work and the breakdown of a friendship. Sometimes it seems like life just wants to pile on the misery and if you ask me you can do one of two things: Give up and descend into a negative spiral or try and power through, grabbing onto something positive as you do.

Lionel  the crochet lion - Beak Up Crafts

I’m not saying that crochet was a soft and woolly lifeline as that would be WAY too dramatic (and Facebook drama queens totally do my head in – you know the type!) but learning how to make things and the satisfaction of something simple like finishing my first granny square gave me real joy. I learned how to do it and I made it. And do you know what? With all of the other rubbish going on, it felt GOOD!

Mindfulness and being aware of what you are doing 100% is a big buzzword at the moment, from tasting every mouthful of a meal to stopping in the park and literally smelling the flowers (or the coffee in your kitchen if you live nowhere near a park. Or it’s raining). I think craft can be included in this too. Focusing on making something, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, really can give you an overwhelming feeling of calm and satisfaction.

flowerSince my first tentative steps into crochet I branched out a bit and started to try other crafts, getting inspiration and tips from a wide range of bloggers and sites. I then decided to launch this blog with the aim of inspiring and helping others to try out crafts themselves, while also sharing the stories and efforts of other people who love to make. That’s another thing I really love about crafting – there’s a real sense of community, sharing and celebrating the creations of others, both on the internet and in crafting groups around the world.

 

I was chatting with my friend Kirstie about how craft can be used to relax you as she’s a keen knitter, and found out that she got into making things for similar reasons as me.

Of all the things my lovely mum has ever done for me – and obviously it’s a lot –  introducing me to knitting is up there with the best of them,” she said.

Mum first encouraged me to pick up some needles about 10 years ago during a particularly difficult time and it has been therapy ever since. It doesn’t seem to matter how manic life gets, I can empty my head within minutes simply by following that familiar routine of knit one, purl one. And that feeling of satisfaction that comes with completing a project – not to mention the joy it brings to someone else when they are the recipient of a snuggly scarf or cuddly elephant – is well worth its weight in wool!

Maybe craft is quite underrated as a way of making you feel more centred, calm and better about yourself? It really got me thinking so I decided to find out how some of my favourite bloggers got into crafting and why it is so important to them. Here’s what they said:

Stephanie, from All About Ami

 

I always loved doing crafts as a little girl, from making my own beaded bracelets to knitting sweaters for my teddy bears.  It was so exciting seeing a project come to life from such simple materials, and this love of crafting continued on into adulthood.  I find a lot of joy and fulfillment in being able to handmake my own gifts as well as items that I can wear and use everyday such as cowls, zipper pouches and baskets.  Crafting really helps me exercise my creative and artistic side, and it’s been such a pleasure sharing my love of crafting with people from all around the world through my blog and hearing about their crafting journeys as well!

Rachel, from OH NO Rachio!
onr
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I’ve been creative since I was really little. In fact I spent most of my first year at school
colouring (no joke) thanks to an incompetent teacher. I’ve always loved to draw, paint
and make – if it’s a crafty pursuit, you name it, I’ll be into it! My dad is very artistic and
my grandma was too so I’m certain I get my skills from them.
I’m happiest when I’m making or designing, sitting at my desk in my little studio day-in
day-out never gets boring. I do it because I love it and I feel so privileged to call
myself a full-time creative.
Making something physical, be it out of clay, fabric or found materials for my home is
the best source of calm. If ever I’m feeling stressed I just get stuck into a craft project
and slowly but surely any tension melts away.

 

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ClaireClaire, from Claireabellemakes

I have always been a creative soul, but my passion for crafts was reawakened when I completed my academic studies in 2011.I closed the books and got out my sewing machine! I am hugely inspired by my grandmother who was a fabulous dress maker and knitter. I was very lucky to inherit the contents of her craft room too which provides me with a whole ton of inspiration. Much of my crafting revolves around my glue gun, but I also turn my hand to crochet, paper crafting and sewing. I am a chronic migraine sufferer and find that crafts help me greatly in coping with pain and general well being. The best part for me though is the community. Crafters are the friendliest people I know!

 

KatemayKate, from The Homemakery

Homemakery

 

Like many people I loved making things as a child but crafting fell out of favour as I entered my teenage years. I rediscoverd my passion for crafting when I moved to London after University. I was working in a stressful job in Finance and craved a creative outlet to counteract the day job. Crafting was such a release from the long hours and competitive nature of my work I found I could really switch off and relax when I crafted. Now I couldn’t imagine a life without making something everyday, creating something from a stack of fabric or a basket of wool truly makes me happy and never fails to lift my spirits.

 

liveit

sammy

Sammy, one half of the crafty duo (with friend H) from Live it. Love It. Make It:

H and I were both lucky enough to have been raised in creative and practical households. Both our Mums and Dads were always making things and encouraging us to be creative. We had a break from all things crafty for a while in our early 20s but the bug had bitten us again before we knew it – we wouldn’t have it any other way. Crafting is our lives, it is the best therapy. Creating something with your own two hands comes with the greatest feeling of accomplishment. I think the thing that H and I love the most about craft though is being able to create something that is special and totally unique.

 

fallfordiy

Fran, from Fall For DIY

fall logo
For me I make because I like to have well designed things. For the money I spend on materials and new tools I could probably just buy some very nice items, so I find it difficult sometimes to explain why I choose to spend most of my free time making and documenting. One reason I make the time is that I love learning practical skills. I think that’s why I got hooked on blogging. It’s a lot like craft to me as in the more you do something the better you get and with hands on skills you can visually see the improvement.

 


But how about you? Why do you love to craft? What are your reasons for picking up a pair of knitting needles/crochet hook/needle and thread for the first time? Do you think crafting can be seen as a sort of therapy and how does craft enhance your life? Has craft changed your life? I would love to hear your stories!

Also, if you’re on Instagram I would LOVE IT if you would like to get involved with my crafty challenge, #craftyaugust. For more info on that please click here.

Lots and lots of positive crafty love,

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6 Comments
  • Sam (@patternpiper)

    Aug 01 at 9:17 am Reply

    A great post! I love getting an insight into people’s crafty pasts and it so interesting to find some commonality between reasons for crafting. I began crocheting again after many many years because of a stressful work related period in my life about 4 years ago – I would definitely concur to the creative therapy theory! I don’t think I’d be the person I am today without crochet in my life.

    • Kate

      Aug 01 at 11:45 am Reply

      Hello and thanks for such a thoughtful comment. It’s so nice to find that other people have found making things so soothing. Crochet rocks! x

  • Jane

    Aug 01 at 9:18 am Reply

    I have been making jewellery for over six years, what started as a hobby after nearly having a nervous breakdown after leaving midwifery, has turned into a successful business. Check out my website http://www.janeakesterdesigns.co.uk. Love this piece on craft, very inspiring. I also dabble in a bit if crocheting too.

    • Kate

      Aug 01 at 12:39 pm Reply

      Thanks for such a lovely comment and what an inspiring story! So pleased craft and making things has helped you in such a positive way. I’m off to check out your website now x

  • bibbledibs

    Aug 01 at 12:11 pm Reply

    What a lovely post and I could relate to so much of it. I’ve always been into crafts of some sort, my mum is a seamstress and my dad is a fantastic carpenter…so lots of inspiration. But nothing really inspired me more than having my baby boy, who’s now two and a half. I started crocheting when I needed a hobby and I loved it, tried knitting and couldn’t get on with it and then…then I discovered the sewing machine! Now I have a small business which I’m trying to make full time. I love cross stitch and will try any kind of craft I’m presented with. I agree it’s like a therapy, for me a way to unwind and escape real life for an hour or two, sat in my shed with my sewing machine listening to the birds and usually drinking tea…perfect! ♥

    • Kate

      Aug 01 at 12:41 pm Reply

      Thanks so much for your comment and I love how you are turning craft into your business. It really is an underrated way of escaping the stress of everyday life I think – more people should try it! Your time sewing in your shed listening to the birds and drinking tea sounds perfect! x

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