Creating something beautiful and useful with our own two hands is one of the most life-affirming things we can do. Like many of you, I have been a maker since I can remember.
This is a photo of me from 1976 (!). As a university student, I was working during the summers for the Ministry of Natural Resources in Northern Ontario, Canada as a Timber Resource Technician. We lived in tents or old forest ranger cabins, doing natural forest regeneration studies. We were in remote areas, totally off grid, so evenings were spent by the light of Coleman lanterns doing our own thing. My thing in the summer of 1976 was finishing a latch hook rug that my father bought when I was born.
I eventually learned how to quilt, and began a decades long love affair with making quilts of all kinds. I was fortunate enough to teach workshops across Canada and the United States, lecture at conferences, judge quilt shows, publish my own designs and write a number of magazine articles. This is a photo of me with my Alaska Nasturtium Quilt, after winning a Judge's Choice Award at the National Juried Show at Quilt Canada 2014.
I'm a passionate weaver, in love with my two Ashford Rigid Heddle Looms and trying to find the time to start a whole bunch of tea towels on my brand new Ashford 38" Jack Loom! The following photo shows large knitting project bags I wove and sewed for friends in 2015.
I also learned to knit when I was 23 years old. During my seasonal lay-off, I walked past a yarn shop one day and decided to check it out. I knew nothing about knitting or crocheting but the yarns were gorgeous and it was cold outside! So I asked the owner if I could take lessons and learn how to knit. She agreed, helped me choose some yarn, needles and a pattern. I sat in her shop once a week that winter and she taught me how to knit my first 2 sweaters. I’ve been knitting ever since. Here is a 2015 photo of me in my Hedgerow sweater, pattern by designer Ann Kingstone and knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed DK.
Make. All. The. Things! It's therapeutic, it fires up the brain, it's a lovely respite from our crazy schedules. It doesn't matter how your creativity expresses itself, it only matters that you give yourself permission to spend some precious time making things. We are all healthier and happier as a result. From my hands and heart to yours... :D