Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crazy crafter?

Thanks so much for your stories and responses to my Made with love post, I loved reading them so much.

So I was wondering if you'd indulge me in taking the handmade question one step further.

I am pretty obsessive about my creating, as I know a lot of you are too. I am always walking around with bits of over-locker thread stuck to my clothes, I would always rather make something than buy something and there are often strands of wool dangling from my handbag and yet I still assume that I'm pretty normal.

But in the last few days I've had so many strange interactions that I'm starting to wonder.

If you are not a maker yourself, do people who hand make objects that can be bought in shops seem weird to you??

  • Last week a woman at the fruit shop told me she loved the twirly skirt I was wearing. Thanks, I replied, I made it myself. Oh did you? she answered. How very Sound of Music of you.
I wonder what she'd have said if I told her that I do in fact make my some of my kids' clothes from curtains and table cloths.
  • Last weekend at a playground with my kids, I cast off the cardi I was knitting. Realising I had enough wool for a beanie I asked the woman next to me how many stitches she had cast on to start her daughter's ribbed hat. You would have thought I was speaking another language by the look of confusion on her face. Yep, you guessed it, she had bought it from a chain store. For $12!! Why ever would you make something you could buy for 12 bucks?? she asked me. But in my defence, it did look like a chunky hand knit.
  • Yesterday the woman who made my takeaway coffee said she loved my red skirt. She said it was the type of skirt that makes people look twice. I thanked her, paused, and then added that I'd made it myself. Oh, she replied slowly, thaaaaaaat's nice.
It's silly because that's nice is a completely acceptable response, but if someone told me they had made something I had just said I loved, I would most certainly keep the conversation going a bit longer. Wouldn't you?
  • A couple of days ago I got a message from someone I once knew saying something like: I'm flicking through a baby fashion mag and there's a vintage looking floral dress in it that costs $98 and I finally get what you do.
Get what?

Don't get me wrong, for every confused comment about my crafting, there are many, many more complimentary ones. Just this morning a little boy at library time asked his mama if she could ask Knitting Kate to teach him to knit a cool hat too.

But was I so wrong in thinking handmade was making its way into the mainstream?
Do you have stories like these that make you feel a bit out of touch and alien like?

Anyway, it's almost time to get the girls from school I must go and pop my bonnet on and hitch up my wagon.

See ya. xx

ps. Farmer Bren's beanie Raveled here, even though I could have probably have bought it cheap.


  1. I deliberately bought some fingerless gloves from a local gallery, handmade by a clever cookie, using old jumpers, for their uniqueness. I adore this person's ingenuity and care.
    Long live handmade!

  2. I have a couple of non-crafty girlfriends who don't really get it. I also live in a suburb that doesn't really get it.... but I just live in my own little bubble ha ha!

  3. Hi Kate, Aren't people funny! I think there are people who just don't get the idea of handmaking and can't understand the satisfaction and happiness that comes with creativity. And a lot of people I think, think it is a waste of time and can't see the point of making something that is so cheap to buy. Poor them! They don't know how great it is to create a unique thing with your own hands and skills!
    I'd like to think hand made is becoming more mainstream, but I think it has a lot to do with where you live, some towns are more into it and nurture and value the handmade scene, and then you have the rest of the places with big generic stores trying to make their mass produced stuff look hand made (pretty cheaply too).
    I do feel a bit out of touch sometimes, and my kids think I'm a bit of a hippy mum because i make stuff, but it makes me happy so who cares!
    Sorry for the long comment, have a great day, Julie :)

  4. I am 23 years old and so I am the only one of my friends who knits, crochets, sews or bakes. They all think I am a little strange! But then everytime I go to my sister in laws house and see the blanket I knitted my niece being used basically everyday I realise it doesn't matter what those people think because there are some people in this world who think the fact I can make things is pretty cool and they appreciate the things I make for them.

  5. Oh I know this to well. I have been knitting since I was a kit and because I grew up in Germany in a very rural area (my father is a baker) it was always commented on positively. Simply because everybody crafts in a village. When I moved to London 13 years ago I sat in the tube knitting and people looked at me as if I had fallen from the sky. Only in recent years the comments are more of the sort "Oh you knit, doesn't celebrity so and so do that too?" That comment is the most infuriating as it implies that I only knit because it appears to be the latest craze. The good thing is that knitting will thank God never be a craze.

  6. Ha ha I also find myself rushing out of the house with bits of thread still stuck to my clothes! It's who we are :) Let's be proud to wear our handmade things no matter how others react. There will always be those who don't get it, and then others who genuinely think we ate pretty damn clever :) yesterday I was in my sons pre primary class and every where I looked I saw my handmade hair accessories being worn by the girls- made me smile x

  7. Ps farmer Bren looks very proud sporting his very cool beanie

  8. I think handmade is 'in' and 'cool' with certain people. Just like anything, really. That said, I have been known to argue with those who don't quite get it that most any garment is actually handmade. Unfortunately, so we can purchase something for $12; these garments are made by people definitely not getting enough coin for their labour.

  9. I get that all the time. Most of my friends aren't "crafty". Pisses you off after a while. I also get, "how do you find the time" like i have extra numbers on my clock than they do. At work i get asked everytime i wear a new homemade outfit "so whats that made from..curtains..tablecloth" and is usually accompanied by that smirk know the one...
    If they dont get it then they dont deserve to get it...that is my only way to deal with it.

  10. You are so right. I think that's the reason I started blogging. None of my friends or family (bar my mum) do any type of crafting. Most are happy to buy cheap clothes weekly, even though they don't last. Most love the handmade look, but would rather buy it in a chain store. They just don't get it. I think they look upon those that make stuff as a curious oddity.

  11. I WISH I was as creative as you lovely ladies are! It should be something you are proud of/pleased with regardless of the reactions of others. That said, I bought an 'Everything But the Thread' dress for my cousin's newborn recently and have to admit I was a little concerned about the reaction it might get (they LOVED it by the way). Now I just need to work on sourcing stuff for me or, of course, working out how to make my own ...

  12. Hmm, yes. When people comment on something I've made I say thanks and don't say anything about it being made by me mainly because of the luke warm response I usually get.
    The best response recently was about a super structured skirt I made. I was at a baby shower and a pregant mum I didn't know said she loved my skirt. I said the usual thanks, she asked where I bought it, I said I made it and she excitedly asked if I had a shop where she could buy one!

  13. So, a hook and yarn hanging out of my bag isn't normal? :-P Oh well, it's normal for me!...I think I'm quite lucky as a lot of mums at school are crafty, or if not, they appreciate the time and effort that goes into what I make. There is the occasional odd look from some people but that's their issue, not mine. Love your twirly skirt btw :-)

  14. It seems the "Why would you bother with all that time and effort when it is so much cheaper to get the Made in China mass produced item???" I like to do things, making or cooking that take effort and have an interesting outcome. So worth the effort when you get that smile from the children or the receiver. The one that says I will treasure this item and wear it to all the time. (I forgot to say yesterday) that I love your eggs too, I think they are definitely worth the value... maybe more and amazing produce YUM, the colours and the freshness beautiful. Sad that people don't understand how rich our lives are with the simple things!

  15. I have two types of friends those that get it those that dont. I have noticed tradesmen get it. Because they make ( in particular builders) things that you could buy. I came across this when I took crochet to do to a friends place for dinner. I later found out that her husband thought it was so rude but I was just doing lines of crochet for a blanket i wasn't counting or following a pattern, it was just my hands moving... I get excited when someone says they made it, i always say how? show me?? That is ace, you are clever etc. I took some stitching ( embroidery ) to do at Busy's swimming class and honestly the looks I got. I may as well have been masturbating!! I was made to feel like some kind of freak with people asking me what I was doing like I was doing this really strange thing. ( I was cross stitching the work Fuck- but well, so what!!)

    Did I even answer the question you asked? Yes, I did. Alien, Yes. indeed. Yes.

  16. Crafting is definitely not mainstream. Some people find it interesting, some intimidating and others just a little weird. I know many, many people who have never heard of Etsy or Made it and would never buy handmade.
    I still think we're cool though, in all our crazy, obsessive, creative ways.

  17. @littlebetty - yes, you are all very definitely very cool

  18. I always hestitate to comment here because you get so many responses and I think what's one more, esp. as I am fairly new to reading your blog too... but the comment about 'handmade' that drives me a little crazy is, "You must have too much time on your hands!" and it did put me off bothering to make presents for people anymore. I don't have a lot of spare time ony my hands now, so I only *wish* I could do more sewing or creating, and I certainly wish for more time to learn proper knitting & crocheting & felting & more BUT it was never about how much time I had, how much money I'd save or how clever I'd look... people just don't get that, I guess.

    Yes, if someone told me "I made it myself" that would certainly be the start of the conversation, not be the end it!!

  19. People at work would never guess that I can knit, and that I have made some of my clothes. I do get my knitting out at swimming lessons and expect no one to sit next to me :) however its always nice to get a comment that Maya is dressed nicely but I hardly ever say that I made the outfit. I do love Farmer Brens beanie. He will need it with the weather we are having!

  20. Let me just say that I make. I craft. But I too cheat, I bought a beanie at Big W cos it was $5.99 & a pair of fingerless mittens cos they were $2.50. BUT like I said, I make. I craft.
    Some people just don't get it. Please keep telling people that you made things, cos the daft people out there need to know these things. What really annoys me is when I go to the effort to make someone a present and they say Oh, you made this, I wish I could do something crafty. Well, derr, I think, you can, you just have to TRY!!
    So knitting Kate, I made this cushion I'm sitting on & this granny blanket that is wrapped around my knees. And tomorrow when I go into town, I'll wear my Mum made beanie and my scarf that I made & bubba Joe will wear the Grandma made beanie, jumper, booties and be covered in a knitted blanket too. And if anyone asks, I'll proudly tell them that they were made with love!!!!!!

  21. I think I am known around town as the woman who makes her and most of her kids clothes. I still get asked where I find the time which i just find an odd question. There are lots of people who think I am a bit odd, but I think people who buy clothes for their children from certain places a bit odd. Now my SIL is having a baby I am back in the dilemma of do I make quilts and toys for her - will they be appreciated?

  22. I do believe it must be a missing gene!
    I definately inhabit a different planet to some . I have friends who physically shudder at the thought of buying second hand clothes.
    Some of these same people get confused and wobbly when I proudly present them with homegrown gifts of wonky carrots,mammoth cabbages,leeks with dirty roots.
    "oh...thanks !?"

    I've given up trying to analyse it.
    I feel proud that when the aliens invade,or society finally collapses ;-) ~ that I will be able to feed myself and my family ~ darn our socks and spin wool for our jumpers.

    Except I'll probably have to go into hiding as demand for the 'Village Darner' becomes too much !

  23. I have got the occasional "Can't you find something more productive to do?" comment when I'm knitting/crocheting/sewing. I tried once to explain what I do and why I do it. The person didn't get it. Now I just tell people I get bored reading about boring people in magazines - I'd rather create something I'm proud of. Keep up the wonderful posts - I'm a daily reader even if I lurk a bit. Ohh and love the beanie....very nice. Farmer Bren is a lucky man.

  24. He he. I usually get the be "OH"

    They start by saying...Oh, Leonie were did you get that skirt? then I reply.....I made it....then I get the....OH.

    and then they have nothing to say.

    Bugger them I say...stand tall, be proud and LOVE IT!!


  25. I can't even imagine not crafting and the wonderful sense of warmth and belonging I get when I look around my home, or at my husband or daughter wearing my handmades is irreplaceable. Just yesterday I kept a young boy very entertained, crocheting granny squares at the park - after chatting with me a while about what I was doing, he kept coming back to check up on the progress - you know, I really hope that this one afternoon contributes to him thinking about where things come from a little more as he grows up. :-) Wishful thinking perhaps considering that I agree with you, making it ourselves is seen as a bit twee. Also - I cannot bear "cheap" clothes or homewares or food. They are just sooooo NOT CHEAP. The horrible damage inflicted upon our environment and society every day by the making, transporting and selling of cheap is so terrible. How about the "cheap" wages the people who make these items earn. How about the "cheap" ingredients that go into them - how little did the farmer get paid for the production of cheap wool, or vegetables or meat, how poorly did his or her animals have to live or badly was his land cared for to sustain cheap, or how many petrochemicals went into the production of that cheap acrylic wool and fabric. How many carbon miles have the cheap products travelled. Sorry, I''m ranting now but honestly. People have to get over cheap. It's a false economy - how much less would we consume, how much more would we make ourselves and how much better care would we take of our things if they were no longer cheap.

  26. Another great one Kate. The reason I am blogging is because I know NO-ONE who makes things... NO-ONE. All of my friends treat my craft like a weird eccentric foible I 'have'. I don't even bother telling anyone anymore that I made something. Sometimes friends ask 'did you make that' and it's inevitably followed by an 'aren't you clever' but not in an interested way, if you know what I mean. They're not being mean, they're just trying to be good friends by asking so I accept it on that level (does that make sense?) I don't really have any expectations in that arena ;)
    Actually, I don't even talk about my blog or other people's blogs... the eyes either glaze over or roll, depending on the person. One year I was in charge of the craft stall at our school fete and sent out the call for contributors... not a single one. When I asked people I was told 'no-one does that kind of thing anymore. I ended up making absolutely everything on that stall and made $2000 for the school, which I was incredibly proud of but had no-one to share it with because, well, there was no-one.
    Anyway, it is the way it is and I treasure my blog friends, visiting and getting comments, because that's all I have.
    People are funny. I hope you don't let these people get you down, Kate. So they don't get it, well, you have plenty of online buddies who do :)

  27. I think the only people that get what handmade is all about are those that make stuff themselves. There's still very much the perception that if it's handmade then it's cheap, it's something that you quickly put together because you couldn't be bothered to take the time to go shopping for a "proper" present. What they don't realise is that no matter how small your handmade present is it actually took a lot of time and care to make it.

    I once had a lady looking at my handmade cards, she was looking for a card for someone's 70th birthday and I heard her whisper to someone else how expensive they were and how she could buy one in the shops for half the price. I usually charge £1.5 for my standard size cards and I know for a fact that most cards they sell in the shops are a lot more expensive than that and they're mass produced while mine are usually one of a kind!

    Over the years I've learned to only handmake gifts and cards for people that I know will appreciate them, the others get shop bought cards (the cheapest I can find) and generic gifts!

  28. Hi there, I've been lurking on your blog for a while, I like your take on kids and life and second hand stuff :) And can I just say - perhaps those strange reactions to your home-made declarations are in fact comments tinged with envy? Because I, for one, would LOVE to have the skills to sew my own clothes. The number of knitting projects I have begun, only to get stuck at the sleeves and neck line (oh, so you reckon I should follow a pattern?! Ha!). I am in awe and wonder (and ok, feel a tiny bit of envy) at people who can take amazing ideas and make them into reality in fabric or wool. So keep on sewing, girl, and wear home made with pride. Mook BTW. When are you launching a range of boys pants based on recycled fabrics?

  29. I used to feel so freakin insure with the mock kind comments on my handmade goodness but now I just don't care what anyone thinks, my kids look so awesome in their handmade threads and I know they know and I bet they are jealous!! Keep doing what you do because it's real and it's important and it's worthy of the world!!

  30. 18 odd years ago when I first become a young mum I got many the odd look because I made most of what my baby wore...and I kept on sewing and knitting until in my children's eyes it was no longer cool to wear what mum had made.

    Like you Kate, if I come across something someone has made I want to know all the ins and outs of their skills and talents but I think only other crafters really get it...that said I have found handmade to be more mainstream nowadays than in the early 90's when I first started out :)


  31. Ah we are tortured souls aren't we?!
    Can relate to alot of these comments. I have got to the stage also where my friends expect that everything I have is made by myself - so the pressure is on!
    But then I was on the plane recently and the male flight attendant complemented me on my skirt(shown in my last post) , followed by "did you make it?" and it is so fashionable So of course I immediately was paranoid and thought "gee- is it really obvious (for the wrong reasons) that it is handmade?" I was also thinking is he patronising me?
    Also agree with cath re:the tradesmen - have noticed that too.

  32. I get the same responses from people especially when I say the word 'crochet', they really don't get it! I'm with you, I thought hand made was well & truly making it mainstream, it's like there's a handmade revolution going on if you ask me..x

  33. i agree with Mook - they are jealous they are creatives (or maybe justa little dim on imagination..) anywho ; if you dont blog your upcoming caravan-a, I will be sooo disappointed! I would love to take a vicarious road trip with you &your fam!
    lv vic & baz, sash & zac

  34. Kate - you in a bonnet and hitching up the wagon has me in stitches (pun totally intended)!

    I live in inner city Brisbane and there seems to be a fairly high awareness of the handmade scene, my friends are very encouraging of what I do and some go to handmade markets and stuff, but almost none of them sew themselves. Most people give a very positive reaction to me admitting to making something myself (for some reason I am always very shy to admit it). Only one lady at a kids party told me there was no need to bother with sewing for your kids anymore unless you wanted something "really special". I thought that was pretty damned shallow.

    Anyway, today I wore my own made skirt and my big pregnant belly had little bits of cotton stuck to it from the sewing room, and my boy wore a shirt appliqued by me. We went swimming, we went to the shopping centre, it felt good to be different. I don't really give a toss what other people think, feeling happy with yourself and in yourself is the most important thing.

  35. Maybe I have very understanding friends? Everyone I speak to understands my handmade attitude and most do at least a little something themselves. Those who don't craft still understand tho and think it's cool.

    I seem to only get good feedback, although for an early 30-something I do much more of this sort of thing than anyone I know. And I'm usually the youngest one in the craft shop by at least a few decades. It kind of freaks the old ladies out a bit I think when a youngin can match them in the quilting department.

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to shop and it does kind of make me wonder why sometimes when you see cheap beanies and stuff. But I do it for love, not for money.


  36. But would his head have been as warm with out all that love stitched in to it?
    I find people really love it if you make things as presents for their children but do not understand when they ask you to make them another one for someone else. "Of course I'll pay you" then you tell then how much it will be and their face drops. So I explain that will take me x amount of hours to make, how much do you get paid an hour? And they look sheepish and say "oh yes I hadn't thought of it like that" all the time thinking," but I could bought it in primark for a tenth of that price, I know it will of been made by blind Indian babies, but these days cash is cash!"

  37. OOh and here is another funny one to add to your list. A friend of mine who is a costume maker here in London, she makes the most beautiful and artistic creations for all on London's leading Ballet companies. Any way her friend was getting married and she asked my friend to make one of the bridesmaids dresses. The little bridesmaid when told this was not as we expected ecstatically happy, but just said. "I'm not wearing any homemade dresses!" Win some loose some!

  38. I have friends that get it and friends that don't. I grew up with people making things so it has always been part of my life.

    I always have something with me at dancing, swimming, etc. That time spent waiting would feel like a colossal waste to me if I wasn't making something.

  39. Gosh Kate - that sound of music comment would have had me fuming i must say!

    You know I have had alot of negativity since starting about 2 years ago - mainly from my mother.

    The worst was probably recently, when trying out a sewing machine in a shop and I was asked what I make. When one of the ladies saw - she said "theres always a show off isn't there?!"

    Its seems alot of people are unable to compliment others on what they do. It will bring them down some how. I still find it quite shocking and totally uneccessary.
    Its exciting and inspiring to me to see others make/do good.
    Thank you so much for this post - I think its made alot of us feel better after experiencing alot of REDICULOUS negativity. We're not alone.

  40. Alien ? kate Iam 42 or 43 I can never remember and I live and breathe toy making...I sometimes write whole back stories about them and spend days making props for their litle stories...not so much alien as a whole other galaxy !
    The weird slightly askew perhaps negativity is always there, and yep I edit but I no longer question my craft cause I love it. I am a better person when I am making stuff and it is not something I can seperate from who I am any more ?
    The bonus is that the people who "get it' are the best people fo all.

  41. I sometimes get the "you must have way too much time on your hands" comments... but also I had a really positive experience of giving something handmade to a new baby at playgroup, and getting a room full of genuine(I think)admiration from people who were definitely non-crafters... I've been thinking a whole lot about the "being different" thing lately, for a whole pile of reasons that I may manage to blog about one day, and overall, even though being different can make for some uncomfortable times, being different is actually pretty good (especially when you know lots of other "different" people!)

  42. It's the idea that came out of the times when everyone had to make that to do so showed you were poor. Then technology stepped in and mass production started so suddenly all the poor people could feel they were rich. Handmade = poor: store bought = rich. Only thing is we are leaders in life and have come full circle to realise that handmade is rich because it has soul while store bought does not. It's like admitting that you shop at an op shop. A few years ago that would have been enough to get you black balled. Now it shows you are with it. I'll just stick to me made and pat myself on the back so no one else needs to. lol Cherrie

  43. I've not had any negative responses to things I've made by hand. I was recently making granny squares while my daughter was at swimming squad and the lady next to me was very interested.
    Today I was asked by my daughter's friend who is 17 if I would teach her to crochet. WOW, I've only just learnt myself. One of my daughter's other friends loves penguins so I crocheted her a penguin and she loved. We are talking an 18 year old girl here. I also made her a slouchy hat and she loves that too. My daughter who is 18 wears two slouchy hats that I made which didn't turn out quite right. She loves them and is proud to wear them 'cos they are different.
    I really don't care what anyone thinks of me and what I'm doing anymore. If they don't get hand made it's their loss. I did feel sorry for one of my friends recently as she made some gorgeous knits for her grandaughters. When visiting her daughter one day, she noticed they were on the bedroom floor being trampled on. The daughter just didn't appreciate the love and effort that went into the making of superior quality items.
    My daughter recently made two friends felt keyrings as birthday gifts. They absolutely loved them.
    So I'm wondering if this aversion to hand made by some people is because we live in a fairly afluent society and if something needs mending it gets chucked out because we can buy another one. What do people do when buttons fall off their shirts? Do they sew them back on? Probably not. I think sewing and mending clothes are basic skills we should all have. Heaven forbid this country should ever suffer a serious economic difficulty where we don't have the money to go out and buy a new whatever is that is ripped or broken. I don't think many people would cope very well.
    Sorry this is such a long comment. I've finished now.

  44. Kate, I have found your last two posts especially interesting! I was thinking yesterday about some singlets I had embellished for a co-workers premature twins. Decorated two by cutting some patterns from an old crocheted tablecloth that had a few stains (that a friend of my mum's gave to me because she thought I might have some use for it) and sewed them on. The other two I sewed on some pink vintage buttons. I had no idea if the Mum would actually dress the babies in them, as she is not a crafter (her other child wears brand name clothes!). Although she said thank you at the time, I never heard anything else about them and worried whether I had wasted some beautiful vintage buttons for nothing. Then today she told me that she had dressed her girls in them a lot and loved them so much that when the babies grew out of them she gave them to another mum with premature twins to use, on the condition that she give them back when she was done with them! I was so happy! About the comments you have been getting - I wouldn't worry. If everyone loved crafting and sewing with vintage fabrics there would not be much fabric to go around! It is good to be different! Although it is also nice to know that there other people with similar interests out there - and that is the beauty of the net!

  45. I could be very opinionated about this topic Kate! Crafting and crafting people are just awesome - anyone who insults it or rejects it is ignorant and quite frankly I would offer the blame of global warming on them (just joking). LOL. Seriously though - some people just don't get it. Like they don't get thrifting or reading a story to their kids. I once heard someone say their favorite comment was "People are Stupid" , at times I tend to agree. I am also living in my own bubble and chose to. It's a happier place, I'd love to bump into someone down the street with over-locker thread hanging off them - how original! xx Rach

  46. It's tribal. People in your tribe get it, and people from other tribes just don't, full stop, and it's hard trying to bring them round.

    It's like op shopping - people either understand or look at you like you're mad.

    On a similar note, today at work a group of my colleagues were talking about women who don't shave their legs or underarms. Their attitudes ranged from mild bemusement to outright disgust. I sat very very quietly because really, there's no point.

    I'm happy with my handmade or opped clothes and hairy armpits. They're not and never would be. End of story.

  47. Those of us who grow and make our own will surely have the last laugh as the era of cheap food, energy and consumables is well and truly over.

    My MIL, although being quite affluent, always buys the cheapest of everything, but always loves and appreciates the handmade cards I make for her. I had a small rubber stamp made which states 'handmade with love by Jak' which I always stamp on the back of cards, this mother's day I forgot to stamp it on her card and she was very disappointed. I was very heartened as I never realised this meant so much to her!

    Jak x

  48. I've been pretty lucky with giving homemade pressies with not too much negative feedback but I do have a friend who wants me to make handmade for her but I never see her wearing or using anything I make.... Oh well I love doing it so I'll keep making. Handmade is the best and I totally understand:) Farmer Bren beanie is totally cool by the way. xo

  49. We are the hip ones and they are so last week.

    Handmade is definitely the coolest thing, they are just out of the loop......

    Hehehehe, who am I kidding, I have never been hip....

  50. get over it Jod, you're just old love ;-)

    Have been having a similar conversation here with some UK bloggers and we have come to the conclusions that a)some people never get 'it' whether that is handmade goodness or blogging and b)would rather make something for people who will appreciate it than waste all of my creative time on those who couldn't give a crap.

  51. YUP! YUP! All the time peeps look at me like they are going to go cross eyed if they try and comprehend WHY I would bother.... oh you can see them think.... it must be cheaper.... mmmmmm.

    PS... I would totally make something for my cuties rather then pay $12 for it.... you know why...cause I can ;) Mind you I didnt make that super cute purple cabled pom pom hat I picked up in the $2 box..... but I coulda and thats ok with me...

    PPS... YUP! you totally coulda bought it cheap but would he love it as much. Would he wear it with the memory of catching you clicking away at it just for him......

  52. You're asking US?

    Nope, handmade is not mainstream and you and me we are crazy as coconuts. Here's betting you've even MADE YOUR OWN BREAD sometime, you insanely crazy lady. Probably your own biscuits and muffins too.

    Farmer Bren's beanie rocks. A glorious example of crazy lady handknit. Awesome work.

    P.S. imagine growing, handpicking, hand processing and hand roasting your own coffee. That's a whole world of crazy in a cup. It's our own little revolution: I will make it myself.

  53. I know that strange alien feeling very well.
    Being an adult whose main passion in life is making bears and animals ( and stories about them)
    i get alot of people just not getting it, or saying things that aren't necessarily very nice. I would say 90% of people actually. I find it
    I guess that's one reason why I love this blog communtiy I'm lucky enough to be part of, that's it's filled with the other 10% of wonderful people who do. that was a huge eye opener to find a world of people like me, and who had the same, need urge and desire to create like me.
    Because before i discovered this world I lived very much in that other world which made me constantly doubt myself and worry etc, and feel like frankly at times a freak.
    i still get all that stuff all the time, but I guess now there's this other world , where we're all freaks together ( hehe) the people who don't get it and the things they say ( or their very little interest in what I do) matters/hurts less xo
    PS everyone else said it for me, so sorry if this is a lame comment lovely Kate xo

  54. I think people who don't make things, or aren't artistic minded, are intimidated by those of us who do. I think you're on track with more of us being in the mainstream, but so many people in a lot of cultures have gotten away from knowing how to be self-sustaining. I think as the economies continue to scare people, and the threats of disasters loom, more and more people will realize that we're ahead of the game. Plus making things is soooo rewarding! Until they 'get' it and truly understand that they are capable of being creative and hand's on I'm sure they'll continue with their strange comments that we just don't know how to take.

  55. okay so I am one of those people who don't 'get it' but in the sense that I can't do it AT ALL...yes that is right I do not know how to sew, knit, crochet, any of that.....for a long, long time I thought why bother to make something when I can just go out & buy it BUT I have always been drawn to original stuff, one of a kind pieces and so find myself now rather wishing I did know how to sew, knit, crochet so that maybe I could give this 'making stuff' a go!!! Those of you who do make stuff enable those of us who don't to be inspired, and in some instances to support home grown businesses and purchase such items, thankyou for your continued creativeness, TK xx

  56. Hi Kate!
    As a 23 year old, most of my friends accuse little ol' crafting me to be a 'nana'... I just tell them they don't know what they're missing!!

  57. I hang around with people who understand crafting so I don't feel like an alien - but there are also lots out there who just don't get it.
    In answer to that woman's question about why you don't buy the $12 hat. Well because a) you never get it in the style/colour/softness you want. secondly) you don't get the satisfaction on knowing that you made it and and 3) you don't get the pleasure of sitting down and knitting it. Actually it's not just the sitting down and knitting it - it's such a wonderful process of finding a beautiful yarn, finding the perfect pattern, casting on and then knitting it. Don't get me started on the world's problems - I think most of them stem from the fact that buying gives instant gratification and not the wonderful feelings associated with producing something yourself - be it vegies, dresses, scarves or paintings. We all need to stop buying and start making :)
    I mean seriously - have you ever met a cranky crafter?

  58. hey Kate,

    I can't give a present that I haven't made, it just wouldn't feel like the gift came from me. Often people assume that I have brought a gift and are amazed that I have actually made it.

    I've always crafted (I can't imagine not having something to sew, knit, draw, cook) and felt the odd one out. These days I think the internet and the large number of makers markets helps to make me not feel so strange.

    I Iove these days, where I live, I am surrounded by so many talented crafty people, it inspires me to create more.


  59. and another thing, start asking people if they bake for there kids school lunches.
    There's another 'craft' that seems foreign to alot of people. I bake all the time, and it is not unusual for me to whip up a batch of bikkies first thing for amber's school lunch.

  60. Maker of sourdough, cakes, biscuits, yogurt, (anything) trying to work out quilting and crochet... all equal a bit of a freakazoid around these parts unfortunately. (All along with no daycare and stay at home mum *sigh*)

    Straighten that bonnet and sit proud on that wagon Kate.

  61. I grew up sewing, baking, crocheting, etc and I thought everyone grew up learning these skills. Turns out they don't, and people either are amazed that you could know all these things and appriciate it. Or those that say "oh thats great..." and you know just don't get it. I try and give both lots handmade pressies (especially the kids of the don't get it people). Those that appriciate it, appriciate it. The kids of those that don't get it usually love their gifts and can't believe that you made it. They ask questions and want to learn about it.
    I gave a not really crafty friend hand knitted jumper for her 2 month old last week (a granny knitted op shop number) and she loved it. She commented that it is so hard to find hand knitted goods- made me happy to know she had been actively looking for them but sad that she hadn't been able to find them.

    I think we should all wear our sometimes not perfect but made with love handmade goods with pride. spread the handmade love!


  62. I loved reading this post and all the comments : ) I'm so lucky to have a great network of friends and crafty people who get what I do. For me, the crazy looks come when I tell them I haven't owned a TV for 2 years and have no idea what the latest cool shows are. But that's a whole other topic.... : )

  63. 'Knitting Kate' what a fabulous nickname! I worked on an animation called 'Wyatt Earp He Makes Me Burp!' and my credit was Alisa 'Cactus Butt' Coburn. : D
    Forget the 'handmade heathens' and lavish your hand made goodness on those that would happily carry you down the street on their shoulders… Huzzah for Knitting Kate! xx

  64. I am Christina's of "a little bird told me" twin sister. She is my craft goddess - she knits, sews, crochets, makes jewellery etc. But I (to a much lesser extent) make stuff too. If I am wearing a dress I have made and someone comments on it, I also say "Thank you, I made it". The replies vary, but generally it seems to make people uncomfortable unless they are a fellow crafter, in which case they ask about the pattern.

    I am making things for my wedding at the moment. The cake, the pew decorations, the ring cushion etc. and Christina is making things for it too, like all (90) of the crochet napkin rings, the boleros for the bridesmaids etc. My Mum is helping with the cake and sewing the bridesmaid dresses. I want it to be a really handmade, hand crafted affair. But after reading you post and thinking about some of my experiences, I wonder what the response will be from my non-crafty friends and relatives?

  65. No not crazy at all...the worlds would be a very dull place if we bought everything at cheap import shops!!!

    Keep doing your bit for the rest of us crafters and we will continue to join you.

  66. I take my crochet to my little part-time reception job at the dance centre where my daughter dances. A little girl (7-8 years old) was watching me last week and started asking me about it, then went back to her mum and asked if they could go get some wool and needles...yay!!!
    Hey did you see the heart cable that Georgie Hallam has made to go in the Milo vest, so sweet.
    x Sandi

  67. I think that those odd comments come from those that are a little jealous that they have not learnt to knit or sew or bake! We are not weird or strange in any way at all!!! To me those that can't knit or sew are the odd ones, i always thought it was natural for women to be able to do these things.

  68. I'm still getting over the sound of music comment. I can almost hear the slight patronising tone. I think there are large chunks of the community that think of handmade as somewhat odd and inferior. But there are many many more who are inspired and interested. I think people are often just nervous of what is unfamiliar and we need to educate them. My daughter has had several comments about the lovely dress that you made and several from people with buckets of money who only buy fancy brand name clothes for their kids. And the thing I love is that if none of your friends really get it, there are buckets of people in blogworld who do! Find your tribe I say! melx

  69. You are always going to have those people who prefer store bought, they somehow feel quality and style is better...But then you have those people "who arent necessarily crafty themselves" who enjoy the "one of a kind" aspect and thrive off of it.

    I think handmade can be so expensive in some areas and pretty darn cheap in others. And the thing that bugs me is things like knitting/crochet/sewing seem to be on the cheaper end unless they are being sold from a big brand...

    But we do what we love and really that's what matters right??

    And oh I would so much rather say I made this one someone asks where I got it, then name a store..:)

  70. Lovin' the beanie. Fancy!!!

    For me it is about the process. Making things makes me feel healthy. Teaching myself to sew and learning to crochet has enabled me to feel good about myself - so even if I could buy it cheaper in the shop that's not really the point. Also - I like that the things I make are unique.

    ... and yes some of the people at my work think it is funny that I go to the op shops at lunch looking for sheets to swap and make things from - but some of the older ladies give me a knowing wink. The lady who sits next to me (and who I wish was my mum) gets that making things is about teaching my children values and about taking care of myself too!

  71. All my good comments have already been taken!
    SEVENTY comments. SHEESH!!!! ;)
    Ultimately ... does it really matter what anyone else thinks?

  72. fortunately most of the people I choose to associate with totally get it. Even if they don't craft themselves they appreciate it. I was in Minotaur Books the other day (very nerdy Melbourne bookshop selling manga and such stuff) with a handmade felted bag and the shop assistant went into raptures over it! My nearly 18 year old daughter loves it when I make her stuff, and wears it, and makes her own stuff, and her friends all either do the same or envy her. But then maybe I just ignore the rest of the world that does not 'get it'. I usually find that if someone asks me about something and I say that I made it, they ask interested questions. I must be lucky!!

  73. Kate, I am so lucky to live in the rather crafty community of Beaufort. I have had the good fortune to become part of a network of spinners and fibre frolickers. It doesn't matter how daggy my latest project is or how mis-shapen my latest vest is, they all celebrate achievement. I have spent 13 hours drafting and spinning 150 grams of fibre ready to crochet for the annual scarf exchange. If I had to pay for the true value of the finished item, I couldn't afford it, but I am happy to spend that time making something for a complete stranger because I know that stranger will appreciate the final product. I only make things for family and close friends that I know will appreciate the hours and creativity that has gone into a hand-made item. Craft is a great therapy. Another Kate

  74. Kate...I know what you mean...
    I have all my life " well nearly all my life" had to withstand the look of distaste almost that you get when people actually ask "what do you do"...
    "I crochet" I say in a rather positive tone...The answer is always..."Oh that's noice" Yes in that exact tone....noice...
    But I have learnt that none of these comments matter...I think it's NICE...
    And that's what matters the most...

  75. :) you might enjoy this

    I knit and craft because I enjoy it - yes I too could buy a beanie for $12 - but it would acrylic and crapy and not made with LOVE.

  76. Most of the people I make stuff for love it...some even ask me to make them things. I recently made a baby hat for someone at work..I don't know her that well, but we were having a shower...she was thrilled and said she has been looking online to purchase one...I making her another, smaller one in cotton for the hospital, as the one I made was for the fall and she is due in was surprising...I've been pretty lucky

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