A baby of the Sixties and growing up in the Seventies (with no television) meant, as children, we made our own entertainment. We were either outside making dens from dawn ’til dusk or inside playing board games or……making things.
Grannies the country over were teaching their young grandchildren their make-do-and-mend skills – borne out of necessity, but usually incredibly beautiful to boot. Fascinated, we watched with admiration and awe the speed at which these ‘old’ women worked those needles to create something useful in order to extend the life out of something seemingly knackered. (In reality, my Gran was only forty-odd – but they didn’t age as well back then, did they?!)
Wisely, knowing that in order to succeed the idea has to come from the child and not suggested by the adult, my Gran waited until we inevitably begged to be taught how to do ‘it’ too. Gradually we learnt how to knit, sew and crochet with the most patient of teachers to guide us.
I can’t really express how grateful I feel to be given such a gift by my late Grandmother; the pleasure I get from these skills she taught me is immeasurable. I even made a living from sewing in my twenties, but now I just pick up the needles (or hook) for relaxation and the sheer joy of it.
So, when my eight year old son came running in from a tennis tournament, threw his stuff down and said “Now will you teach me how to crochet please?”, I knew the time was right!
This is the very first time Bertie picked up a crochet hook, still hot and sweaty from tennis…
And it doesn’t stop there!
My son’s girlfriend, Frankie, is twenty-three and she wanted to learn…..
…..and my sixteen year old niece, Alice, was next in the queue;
Bertie also drew up plans for a doll that he wanted to make;
Here he is, sewing all the bits by hand;
I am sooo thrilled that I have been able to pass these skills on – I only hope that the popularity of crafting continues so that they will in turn hand down the skills to the next generation. Just ten years ago, pre-recession, I was convinced the arts of sewing, knitting and crochet were to be lost forever and it’s fabulous to see more and more people wanting to learn.
At the end of a long crafting day, the kids were desperate to sleep outside. The boys slept in a tent and Alice stayed over especially so she could sleep on the day bed – I did tell you that it was comfy, right? Here they all are, reading books just after sun down and just before the fairy lights start twinkling automatically at dusk….perfect!