By Lynn de Bersacques
There is something about the announcement of a new baby coming that makes our fingers itch to create. Whether we crochet a blanket, build a wooden crib, knit booties or get decorating, we are celebrating. We make this new burgeoning life tangible by making something with our creative energy. All the promise of learning and love to come, the skills and knowledge we will be able to share with this new child.
On the arrival of my first baby, I received no less than six beautifully crafted baby blankets; bright quilted colours, pastel crochets, chunky cosy knits... all of which have been much used and cherished over the years (now for baby number three). A hand-made gift is a labour of love, more or less laborious according to the proficiency of the creator. The hanging threads and uneven squares of the less conventionally perfect are testament to the time, sweat and tears that went into the making, and just as precious as the exquisite patterns constructed by more experienced fingers. We love it because it was made with love, a bit like a baby.
In my early thirties, I'm on the outer cusp of the touch-screen generation, but not old enough to have learnt traditional handicrafts like knitting, crocheting and needle work at school. Memories of my first painstaking movements of wool over needle rekindles a deep link with my roots; particularly those elders and friends of the family who taught me. Through sharing, practising and teaching craft, we pass knowledge along the chain, old to young, experienced to novice, making and strengthening connections between people and introducing others to the peaceful satisfaction of making useful things.
What a lucky generation we are, where access to knowledge (both esoteric and practical) is so simple. There are so many skills to learn and to improve... find your inspiration here!