Tossed over an unhung mirror in my living room are two pieces of completed needlework. Cross stitch, specifically, is my poison. It's a somewhat unceremonious display for scraps of cloth and through that I spent months stitching, pulling taut on frames and removing them at the end of the night to save the fabric. Eventually I'll either frame them or make pillows, but for now at least they are haphazardly displayed.
Handicrafts are kind of in my blood. I grew up around them. Until my parents divorced, most of my weekends from April to October were spent at my grandparents' cottage. During the day life bustled with activities: cooking, gardening, fishing, swimming, card and board games, a walk down the gravel road to visit family. My Poppa and both his siblings all owned cottages on the shoreline of Lake Simcoe. Our cottage had been in the family for six generations before me. I'm tied to that land, on the inside.
At night, the family would gather around the fireplace in the livingroom. From big bags at their feet, the women in the family - my mom, Nanna and two aunts - would pull piles of fabric or yarn. Baby blankets and children's sweaters to be knitted, embroidery to be sewn, and eventually there was even quilting.
It was around then that I began doing crafty things. Knitting scarves, doing small bits of needlework. Latch hook rugs. Little things. I've picked up various bits of hobby crafts over the years: making Christmas ornaments and jewellery, knitting mindlessly and varieties of sewing crafts. I even once hand-sewed replica of a Roman stola by hand for a school conference.
Having something to do with my hands is soothing. I enjoy slowly watching a flower unfold across a swath of fabric as I make tiny stitches with coloured floss. It's a simple joy, watching beauty come out of knots in yarn or carefully placed thread. Even more, there's a great sense of accomplishment in completing a poject and making something seemingly out of nothing. In the end, I love seeing how all the carefully meticulous work and tracking and perfectionism pay off in something beautiful to be displayed, worn or used.
So here's my question for you: What crafts and hobbies do you do? (Or wish you did?) What's ot there that I'm missing?