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Here is our first blog by one of our WONDERFUL artist!

The Importance of Knowing Things and The Utilitarianism of Craft

by:  Caitlin Montague-W.

Long-gone are the days of saving scraps, mending, and reworking; so much so that the entire idea of crafting or perhaps the idea of being a craftsman is no longer looked upon with a sense of utilitarian, homemaking longing. Long winter evenings are rarely spent on handiworks, and a rainy day is more often an excuse to watch television than start and finish a project. I often wonder if the ability to create, fix and make-do even a treasured value in this day of Blackberries and Wal-Mart.

It is part of the human condition to create, it has been a matter of necessity to make things for a household, and it is a luxury to take time to craft a beautiful thing for a gift. What we make as craftsmen is an extension of our soul, it is part of our heart, passed through our hands and into a garment, onto canvas, or through a tool to a turning lathe. As craftsmen, we call upon a long line of talent before us, and as we use modern conveniences to make our crafting lives easier, one wonders if the crafter is allowing the technology to take over the technique.

We live in a world where baskets and blankets can be made in factories, in a fully automated way devoid of human hands, human hearts, and stories. The stitches and weavings and carvings passed down and developed through generations have been infringed upon by mechanisms. This not only degrades the crafts, but the craftsmen themselves. We should not be ashamed if we can only create simple, plain things, we should not be ashamed if we are able create beautiful things, what we should be ashamed of is the lack of want to learn, and the impulse to buy something crafted by machine.

Perhaps we are too busy in this life to craft, especially to craft simple things for the home, or to mend. Where have all the homemakers gone? For those with no time, I hope they find comfort in a quilt stitched without a human touch. For me, I hope to be surrounded by things with a story, made by a craftsman who takes pride in their work.

It is strange to think that the same mechanisms that provided the western world with the luxuries of free time, would then devoid us of the wont of crafting expression. As a society we must relearn and take back those skills that help make a home a home. Crafting should not become obsolete, it is important to know how to make things, and it is equally important to make them, allow others to see you making them, and to teach those others to make their own. It is in this way that we connect with each other, enriching our own lives and the lives of others with things that you cannot get on the Internet, and making bonds that go beyond the TV.

If you would like to see more of Caitlin’s work, come by the shop!


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We made the paper a few weeks ago!  🙂  Check us out…  They put our photo in for doing the Knit-a-thon, to make chemo hats, for the Interior Alaska Cancer Association.  When we got the paper, we were a bit shocked at how big the photo was (1/4 page of the newspaper), but you can’t tell that here.  Ha!  

The Stash in the newspaper

What do you think?  Did we do okay?

Knit-a-thon

at

The Stash

for 

Interior Alaska Cancer Association

                                                                    

Soroptimist International of Fairbanks is a group of professional women who work to improve the lives of women and children.  The local group has an on-going project to knit/crochet hats for women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.

 

The Stash will host a knit-a-thon for this cause to

see how many hats we can finish by July 11th!

 

The Stash

544 3rd Avenue

 

Friday June 27th

5-9 p.m.

                                                                   

If you knit or crochet and would like to join us in our efforts we would appreciate your help.  Join us at the knit-a-thon or drop off handmade hats at The Stash by July 11th.

 

Helpful hints:

O        An excellent source for patterns is www.headhuggers.org

O        Hats knit with brown fun fur are in demand.

O        For summer, any color fun fur is good.

O        Cotton hats for sleeping are desirable.

O        Make sure the yarn you use is SOFT!

 

For more information, please call The Stash at 457-8274.

 

Now I can NOT knit to save my life…  But I do love yarn and like to play with crochet.  Yes, I can NOT read a pattern either, but as I was told once, if you just repeat the same thing over and over, it will LOOK like you know what you are doing!  🙂  Great advice huh?

Rebecca sent me an email today about something she came across…  It is a totally cool idea, called Purls of Wisdom.  Such a great way to pull together the strengths of others, a great topic, lots of handmade goodness ALL for the benefit of others. 

I will definetly be looking more into this and seeing how hard it would be to incorporate these ideas into our fellowship OR The Stash.  This could be a community wide event too!  Oh, the ideas are flowing…

Please let me know your thoughts and if you have any ideas about this!

Here are some other sites that I found as well:

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.org

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