Beginning to Craft

I’ve always been a sporadic sort of crafter. I can’t remember not knowing how to thread a needle and at least be able to attach a button or follow a cross-stitch pattern.

I know I was taught to sew and knit as a child – I have memories of making a satchel for school out of fake-fur off-cuts, with a Dalmation print, when I was maybe 7. I don’t know what happened to it, but I’d be surprised if it lasted more than one outing. It was unlined, and I’d sewn it by hand. I remember it being very flimsy.

I’ve made the odd garment since then, usually simple things without a pattern (like circle skirts or cloaks made on the same principle).

My knitting has never been brilliant. I can just about knit and purl a square, or the sort of lacy shawl where it doesn’t matter if you drop a stitch.

But it’s only been in the last five or six years that I’ve become a more dedicated sort of crafter, and built up my supplies.

You see, I came across Mouseloft, a cross-stitch company which makes stitch-in-an-evening kits. I started with the summer hedgehog shown above, and just like that I was hooked again. (The swallow was a magazine freebie.)

And then a few years later, a colleague taught me the basics of crochet. And I haven’t looked back. I very much prefer crochet to knitting, because I only have to worry about one stitch at a time on my hook.

Now, I have a large collection of cross-stitch and crochet supplies, as well as a stash of fabric and patterns. I finally sorted through all my magazines a month or two ago (mostly cross-stitch) and reduced the space they take up by removing the patterns I might actually make and recycling the rest. Sixty magazines went down to two lever-arch files. It only took a weekend.

Who taught you to craft, or did you teach yourself (maybe with a little help from the internet)?

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