The phrase "they don't make them like they used to" springs to mind, doesn't it?
Other handicrafts like knitting and crochet also seem to me to teeter on the brink of extinction nowadays. If it wasn't for sites and online communities like Ravelry and Etsy, I feel quite confident that these pasttimes would slip into the past forever.
|Fruits of our labours! Knit-a-Square-bound squares and toques|
A few of us grad students from our department got together in late September for the inaugural 'stitch and bitch', or knitting party. It was a great way to relax and have a laugh, and of course catch up with everyone's projects, experiments and publications. It was made even better by Corinne's chocolate chip cookies and Jen's lovely bottle of red!
|Clockwise beginning with pink: Corinne, Mel, Mel, Jasmine, Corinne and Corinne.|
|Please visit Knit-a-Square.com to read more about this innovative charity|
|From Knit-a-Square.com - an orphaned boy and his Knit-a-Square charity blanket|
So why not have a few friends over (male and female, if the men are man enough for the task!) and try your hand at knitting or crochet? Knitting instructions can be found online in a myriad of places (including YouTube) and there are even the basics on the Knit-a-Square website.
You may wonder where you can get the necessary materials, and boy do I have good news for you! I received more knitting needles than I could possibly make use of simply by taking out a free ad on Freecycle - a lovely neighbour left a whole box of them for me on her front porch! But if that's not going to work for you, the Salvation Army at 4th and Cypress has a whole jar of knitting needles in every size (go for a medium to large size, 4 or 5) for $0.49 a pair. I'm sure other thrift shops are similarly stocked (the MCC on Fraser sure is). You can try to buy yarn there as well (often sold in bags), or pop down to Dressew for the $1.99 skeins! Michael's on Broadway at Cambie (now open) has a terrific selection, but is at least twice the price on average.
|I bought all of this lovely yarn (and more!) from the SPCA Thrift Shop for super duper cheap!|
- Knitting needles (and/or crochet hooks for weirdos like me that prefer to crochet)
- Yarn (various colours - varigated yarns that have multiple colours are great for learning!)
- Knitting instructions and/or a nearby computer and pertinent websites (or a resident expert willing to teach)
- Project (start with 8" squares for Knit-a-Square - easy, fast and of benefit to a needy child!)
- Guests (obviously!)
- Finger food (preferrably not greasy or sticky or messy!)
- Beverages (I think cocktails are beneficial to the process, but that's just my opinion)
- Comfy couch or chairs and a place to host (home, the workplace or boardroom (after hours), a large coffee shop that won't resent your presence, etc.)
Read more about learning to crochet (my handicraft of choice in the yarn-field!) on my earlier blog post.
|The majority of my stockpile is from a coworker's sister who donated it to me! Ask around!|