Fiber Handwork in the Post-Modern Era

I sometimes find it difficult to answer people who ask why I love working with fiber.  After all, they invariably ask (and it always sounds a bit vacuous to me), isn’t it easier to go to the local store and just buy whatever it is I’m making?

There are so many reasons fiber artists take the time to create garments, toys, linens and an array of other projects.  I have two key reasons:

EraseFiaPic21. Fiber artists are not only creating memories; they sustain and add color and texture to memories.  For example, now that I live a 10 hours’ drive north from my daughter and her family,  Granddaughter F frequently goes to bed wearing something I’ve knit her; it keeps me close.  And on the highest shelf of her bookshelf sits a red and white poodle, knit by my mother’s farster (paternal aunt) Margit, so that’s Granddaughter F’s great-great-great-aunt Margit) for me when I was born.

2. For many, the actual process of weaving, knitting or crocheting is key – more so than the outcome.  For instance, I enjoy warping the loom more than actually sitting down and weaving!  Others will knit and crochet constantly but gift most of their CrochetIda1projects. If you’re working with high quality yarns (nb: “high quality” does not necessarily mean expensive!), you’re creating garments and projects that can last many generations.  The cotton filet crocheted cover on my bed, for instance, was made by the mother of my morfar (maternal grandfather) as a wedding present to my morfar and mormor (maternal grandmother).

Renate Hiller, former co-director of the Fiber Craft Studio at the Threefold Educational Center in Chestnut Ridge, New York, eloquently sums explains her reason.  (Many thanks to G-Ma Ellen’s Hands’ March 2, 2014 post.)

How do you respond when people ask you why you spend so much time with your craft, art or hobby?!


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Fibers, Miscellany, Other Fiber Arts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Fiber Handwork in the Post-Modern Era

  1. My daughter is always surprised to find I’ve kept (and treasured) various art work from her that’s now almost 30 years old!


  2. sindhoooo says:

    Enjoyed reading this post 🙂 Yes, handmade gifts have their own place in our hearts…


  3. I thoroughly agree! I HAVE to knit while I watch tv. >


  4. I tell people that is cheaper than spending the same number of hours many other forms of entertainment – movie theaters, bars, concerts, sports tickets, etc. It also makes me feel like less of an unproductive slug when I watch tv or surf the internet, as well as when waiting around for things to happen or meetings to end.


  5. I know what you mean. One summer in grad school I put down the needles and pulled out my canning supplies. At the end of the summer the shelves in the garage were nearly all filled and friends learned to leave quickly before I could go into the garage and grab yet another jar of something to give them. 🙂


  6. rthepotter says:

    I vote for ‘keeping sane’ – whether it’s making pots, jumpers, or cards (or indeed cakes) it helps to balance all the other stuff.


  7. Yes, that’s really important to me. 🙂


  8. I love your number 1 reason.


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