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Look! I Made It Myself!

on April 6, 2016

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Remember as a kid what a rush it was to show off something you’d made yourself? If we were lucky, our parents or teachers made a fuss and displayed it so we could bask in the accomplishment (if you didn’t get this kind of praise, blame Dr. Spock who felt that excessive compliments did not foster independence). This is purely my own unscientific belief, but I would argue that making anything by hand–food, clothes, a card, a simple, useful little item you probably take for granted–stimulates the brain, encourages creativity, and saves money. This book by Matthew Crawford purports to present “the immense psychological and intellectual satisfactions of making and fixing things.” With an author bio like this, I’d be inclined to believe him: Matthew Crawford is a philosopher and mechanic. He has a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Chicago and served as a postdoctoral fellow on its Committee on Social Thought. Currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, he also runs Shockoe Moto, an independent motorcycle repair shop.

making by hand

To test my and Crawford’s theory, I’m embarking on “A Month of Making It Myself.” 30 days…30 handmade projects. While I didn’t make the knitted sunglasses case in the photo above all in one day (it took a weekend and a weekday evening), I’m happy with it.

Easy as pie: 50 stitches on size 3 needles: 10 rows at the bottom; 6 rows of two contrasting colors 5 times, a row of eyelet stitch, and a final 10 rows before you bind it off. Fold it in half, sew up the bottom and side seam, lace a ribbon through the eyelet, and you’re done!

This also made me stop in at one of my favorite shops in Manhattan–M&J Trimming where happiness is buttons and bows, boas and crystals, ribbons and decals by the dozen. image

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