Wrong planet…

??? Why are people so proud of not having the time or patience to learn how to do things ???
Shawl made on the Simpleframe knitter, using Noro's Ganki Abaka yarn

Shawl made on the Simpleframe knitter, using Noro's Ganki Abaka yarn

I’ve recently rescued a small 1980s handheld, handpowered knitting machine from the tip, luckily complete with instructions. I’m no good with two needles (I’m always dropping one needle, or the stitches, or the cat that inevitably attached itself to the ball of wool. Or my glass…) but this little beastie has genuinely made the whole ghastly process easier, and I mastered the basic stitch within a couple of hours. It’s small enough to take into work with me and as the place runs down there’s nothing much else for me to do, so I was sitting knitting a lacy shawl (for a Christmas present) in the office this morning. And one by one, my remaining tenants trotted in and said, “Ooooh, aren’t you good? I wouldn’t have the patience to do that/learn to do that…” Bless their cotton socks, they say this every time I take any kind of project in, and they’re not the only ones. And there’s definitely a little element of “I’m too busy/important/got better things to do with my time…” with some of them. As the tenants are all OAPs, mostly this something better consists of sitting in a traffic jam outside our local Shopping Experience, queueing for somewhere to park before battling through the crowds to buy something identical to everyone else’s for 100 times what some poor slave-child was actually paid to make it…

I do know that many people of that age group see having to make your own stuff as a sign of poverty & failure. As a result of which there’s an entire generation growing up who can’t make anything for themselves because their parents & grandparents looked down on people who could & did. This includes skills as basic as cookery; most of my friends think I’m “good” (or possibly just daft) for cooking nearly everything from scratch. And craft is just an activity for tiny children, before they get on with the real business of formal learning, aged 4…

I’ve just been round our local market’s “craft” hall and was dismayed to find it nearly all just “handmade” (i.e. embellishments stuck haphazardly onto blanks) cards, with two shining exceptions, a woodturner and two ladies who were spinning their own wool & trying to sell nice chunky knitted & handwoven items. People were happily snapping up the cards, squawking, “Oooh look! This one looks just like one you’d buy in a shop!” and paying well over the odds for them, but hardly anyone was even looking at the lovely, inexpensive handmade wooden & woollen stuff.

I think I’m on the wrong planet sometimes…

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