Learn, make, repeat… What making means to me

I’m a long-time listener of the A Playful Day podcast. This year, Kate rebranded her podcast and is hoping to create a community that supports makers.

The first episode of this season came with a creative challenge:

What does making mean to YOU? 

Making means a lot of things to me, so I may elaborate with future posts. But for now…

There is making with my hands…

Handspun yarn
Spindle-spun yarn from sheep fleece

And making in a less physical manner (digital design, music, writing, photography).

Succulent flowers
Succulent flowers by the pond I made with a little help from my friends… ♬

I might make something designed by someone else…

Knitting a hat
Lovely Westminster Hat pattern with Blue Sky Alpaca yarn

Or design something myself. (Or try.)

Knitted Cloud
First of a couple of failed attempts at designing a mug cozy

I may make something practical, to be worn or used…

Completed Kelso sweater
I made a flipping SHIRT! With sticks and string!

Or maybe I’ll just make something for the sake of looking pretty.

TARDIS sunset painting
Gotta love those wine & paint nights where you just go off on your own wibbly-wobbly-whim.

There’s also something about doing things the slow way that is extremely satisfying to me. Like the time I collected acorns and simmered them for a day, then roasted them for an hour.

They were alright…

Or picking and shelling pigeon peas for days…

pigeon peas
Pretty pigeon peas!

It seems that people don’t know much about how things are made anymore. Because we don’t need to make from scratch, a lot of us don’t.

Knitting seems like voodoo to some that watch me. Planting a garden and keeping it alive (not even thriving) seems like a major feat (when in reality, I probably visit my garden every other week sometimes and it seems to do quite fine without me). Seeing my friends turn flat fabric into a garment blows my mind. When I realized that I could create yarn with my own two hands from fleece, I was amazed. There is always something to learn and most crafts, even if they seem impossible, are within reach with a bit (or a lot) of practice.

Yes, making is a slow process but it is so satisfying to make something from scratch — mindfully — yourself. To know every step from raw material to end product has made me appreciate the conveniences available to me. Most of all, it teaches me patience.

Read about The Maker’s Challenge

Listen to A Playful Day: Season 1, Episode 1

Inspiring #themakersyear photos on Instagram

Some of my favorite blog posts answering what making means:

Lost Projects Club: Accountability for Your Insane Crafting

My pals and I had a problem. We are crafty gals and dabble in many things. Fleur has ceramics, jewelry making, crocheting… Carly has sewing, paper craftiness, knitting… I have knitting, crocheting…

We started lamenting about our stashes of unfinished projects. The things you start with every intention of getting done as soon as possible that end up in the corner of a room or packed up in a box. You think about that project every once in a while, wishing you had just finished it when you had the chance but now you have so many more new projects to work on, you couldn’t possibly…!

We blame Pinterest.

I can’t remember if it was Carly’s idea or Fleur’s, but somebody called out with a battle cry,

“Let’s finish this stuff, dammit!”

We decided that we’d get together over tea and the only rule was that you had to work on something that has stagnated, that you haven’t touched in months (or maybe years). We called it The Lost Projects Club.

Every few weeks, we meet up and spend 3-4 hours together doing our crafty thing. The club keeps us accountable to each other to at least continue on with old projects, if not finish them (we’re not very demanding of each other).

It has helped me by forcing me to keep a list of on-going projects and noting how far into them I am. I even finished a scarf last year that I had started in 2009!

If you’re feeling scattered, like you’ve started too many new things and just don’t have time to finish the crafts you felt so inclined to start before, get a group of your friends together and start your own Lost Projects Club!

Woman crocheting
Fleur, doing some tunisian crochet wizardry. Notice the awesome abundance of snacks available in the background to keep morale up!
Woman ironing a skirt
Carly, working diligently on her skirt-making skills
Loom knitting
Fleur, working at this loom knitting!
Paints and a birdhouse
Carly’s daughter took up her own craft too… then got bored


I’m knitting again!


It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about knitting. I’ve been trying to do more knitting lately and decided to devote myself to knitting a hat for my mom. She’s been asking for one for more than a year now so I needed to get off my butt and just start working! (Actually, I guess I can knit and sit at the same time.)

This is the pattern: Robin’s Egg Blue Hat. It’s terribly cute, pretty easy and has so much potential for personality due to the button detail.

This is my first project to use a seed stitch too, so it’s great practice. Also, the use of 10.5mm needles to get gauge makes this hat “fly off my needles” as they say.


So, it’s been more than a month since I started writing this post. I’m now finished with my hat!

The button is from As Cute As A Button. I still have to send it to my mom, but hopefully she likes it!
Mom's Hat

Gray Button Hat on Ravelry

What do you think?