03. 20. 2008
Where tech meets tradition: The joys of online crafts sites
I'm not a particularly "crafty" person myself. Oh, I can be sneaky, for sure, but when it comes to hand-made crafts... not so much.
But I totally admire anyone who can create something beautiful from a ball of wool and a couple of zippers (or whatever) and lately I've been intrigued by the huge variety of online resources for craft fans. Most well-known is probably Craftster: the craft fan's Facebook, this site is a place to network, pick up new ideas and learn new skills. Ravelry is a similar site aimed solely at those who knit and crochet. It's invitation-only at the moment but is growing fast.
Then there are the multitudes of blogs devoted to everything from scrapbooking to sewing and much more besides. It's all about making things for fun rather than necessity and there's often a heavy dose of irony involved (Craftster makes this explicit: "No tea cozies without irony," their tagline proclaims).
Of course, the surge in popularity of traditional crafts over the last few years has been fulled by the worldwide Stitch 'N Bitch movement, founded by Bust editor Debbie Stoller, who wants feminists of both genders to reclaim their right to take part in traditional crafts (if they so wish).
If you'd like to make something yourself, you might be inspired by online oracle of all things handmade, Crafty Crafty. On the other hand, if you want to knit something but don't know how, find online video tutorials via KnittingHelp.com. You can also find a Stitch 'N Bitch group near you by clicking here, but you're sadly too late for the "Stitch and Beach" cruise.