If you’re one of those people who still think crafting means ugly dust-covered projects that someone’s grandma made back in the 70s or even 50s, get your head out of the sand! Crafting is hip for both genders these days. To rid yourself of those outdated, cobwebby images of crafting check out some of the handmade things being sold on Etsy.com (love, love, LOVE Etsy) or pick up a copy of Readymade magazine. One of my friends here in Madison, WI belongs to the Goth Girls Knitting and Quilting Circle. if you live near at least a mid-size city, there’s probably a similar group near you. You can start one if it doesn’t already exist! For anyone who feels puzzled by the combination of the words craft” and goth”, try checking out Mooky Chick’s Indie arts and crafts.
The concept of alt crafting” is emphasizes DIY projects as green, anti-corporate, anti mass-produced activity. Making your own stuff, or buying handmade items from another crafter, represents a form of creative recycling as well as an means of avoiding giving money to corporations that offer cheap merchandise made and sold by low wage employees. If the new crafting movement sees itself as not grandma’s crafting” it may actually identify more with great-great grandma who made her own soap, candles, clothes and decor largely out of necessity but also as means of using creativity to enliven mundane chores. Alternative crafting also often crosses the previously rigid gender and tool boundaries in DIY projects. An alt crafter is equally likely to pick up a power tool as a pair of knitting needles. Alt crafters love the handmade but don’t have a Luddite attitude: they might sew a cool case for an iPod, or Starbucks cozy, or use software to make a template for a knitting project.
Craft fairs are a great way to connect with other crafters buy their wares and get inspiration for your own home projects. Check out the alternative style of crafting by visiting one of the Renegade Craft Fairs which take place annually in several urban centers across the US including Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Brooklyn and Chicago. Bust magazine sponsors an annual Bust Craftacular event in NYC.
Knitted Coffee Cozy: Way Side Violet