Where Do You Craft?

mother knitting

In the old days, women’s hands were always busy by necessity.  They did handwork while sitting by the fire at night, and when friends visited.  I’ve learned this by reading period literature and observing art from past eras.

GirlKnittingWithSheepB

That’s not to idealize the past.  It was hard.  They worked every moment because they had to.  If they allowed themselves to be idle, even for a little while, it might mean their families would be cold or hungry.

But idealizing aside, there was also a high value placed on work and the quality of industriousness.  Now industry is not so valued, and it’s not socially accepted to keep your hands busy while you do other things.

woman knitting boyfriend

I love to read Amanda’s posts about how she knits everywhere she goes (although her crafting prowess extends to many areas…knitting is so portable)…in the car, at ball games, picnics, and even the movie theater.  I can so identify.  It feels like such a waste of time to just sit and do nothing for hours on end at athletic practices and other activities.  My crafting time at home is very limited and it’s tempting to use hours spent away to indulge myself a bit.

WomanDrivingKnittingB

Of course, one of the main reasons I go out to such gatherings is to get to know others and spend time with those I already know…So often, I spend that time visiting.  That’s not wasted time.  It just feels like I could multitask and bring some knitting or embroidery along as well.  I’ve tried it a few times, but I always get funny looks.  Everyone seems to be perfectly content to just do nothing…Well, except those who constantly text, do business on the phone, or do paperwork…That is accepted.  I’m not complaining about it, it’s just that those things are considered normal in our culture, while doing handwork is not.  So I’m shy about it.  I don’t want to make others uncomfortable or embarrass my kids!  (I have seen this happen when a mother refuses to join her family in a socially acceptable manner…I’m a nonconformist in many areas, but nonconformity is not a virtue in and of itself, certainly not a chief virtue.)

woman knitting rainy day

So what about you, crafting ladies?  Do you find it awkward to craft in public, or does it matter?  Am I alone in feeling conflicted?

(Adorable knitting images from here.)

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2 Responses to “Where Do You Craft?”

  1. Heart Felt Says:

    What adorable images you have found to illustrate your posting ~ fantastic. x

  2. Jen Says:

    Sigh…I want to be crafty…I have lots of crafty things to learn/do, but I just don’t make the the time to do them. Cooking and writing are my favortie creative outlets, but there’s only so much cooking that really needs tobe done around here and writing…well, there will be a season for that! I wish I had someone to teach me how to crochet better and more evenly as well as sew more than a basic seam. I really like the idea of keeping our hands from idleness. It’s a good example for our children and a good discipline to learn. I could definitely use some improvement in that area!

    That’s it…you’ve ins[ired me to dig out my knitting needles today and start a pair of slippers…there’s plenty of time before Christmas!!

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