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The Right Thing December 22, 2010

Posted by Fiona in Big things, Craftiness, Look what I did, Lovely people, Small things.
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Individuals are important to me.  People are important.  Small things are important.  If there is one thing that has been constant while my outlook on the world has changed, it is that everyone is important, and they are important individually.  Look after them.  Care about them.  Joke if you like, if you must, about oppression and injustice in all their myriad forms, but don’t actually support them.  Don’t, if you can at all help it, give them the benefit of your support, your consent, or your money.

Economies of scale are almost universally recognised to be a good thing, but something in me is always uncomfortable with too much scale.  My sister asked me earlier if I disagreed with someone because I Have Principles And They Represented Corporate America, and I think she’s missed the point.

I’m not trying to change the world, and I don’t think I’d like it that much if the world changed too dramatically.  What I’m saying is that I eat bruised apples and handmade things are important to me.  I like it when individual care and attention goes into something, and that’s why I wear handknitted socks and someone made my week the other day when they bought me a copy of the pattern for Grove, entirely out of the blue, because they knew I’d like it.  Yay for the independent designer, and yay for thinking about individuals, and double yay for that person because they’re fantastic.  Homogeneity is terrifying, and I’m not saying Dare To Be Different, I’m saying that different is out there and we should hang on to it with both hands and share it with everyone we know.

I’m knitting most of my Christmas presents this year, and getting the rest from places I trust.  If you get a handmade gift from me, please take it very personally, and as a sign that I want to spend the time on you, and that I care about you especially.  You’re very special to me.

(That’s also why I got a little upset that I made my dad a pair of socks last year and he never wears them and only vaguely even knows where they are.  My dad Fights The Mainstream by watching Horizon and complaining it doesn’t go into enough depth.)

I don’t have any more time than you do, but I still knit things in front of the television – and I still wrote a novel last month.  I don’t have a lot of money but I buy clothes from charity shops, and eat less meat, put my pennies in a charity box and my handbag is handmade and was a special treat.

I am not doing this to be smug.  I am doing this because actually, I think ten extra minutes every so often are worth spending, and so are a few extra pounds but less often, and I would like to prove that by actually spending them.

Please spend them also.  Let’s swap nice things.

I pledge to buy handmade for myself and my loved ones, and request that others do the same for me.

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Comments»

1. Jenny - January 19, 2011

I am getting there. I’ve got the knitting-and-telly thing sorted now, and I fully intend for that to continue. I met a woman on the train the other day who was making a jumper in the round, making up the pattern as she went along, and the wool she was using was from a jumper she’d found in the bargain basket in a charity shop and unravelled (apparently it was truly horrible). I’ve thought about doing that myself, actually – unravelling stuff and making new stuff from it – but up until recently I didn’t feel like I was a good enough knitter to risk *not* using the specific yarn specified by a pattern, or to try altering a pattern myself. I’ve got a small box of Craft Things and I always plan on making my own christmas cards but then I never get around to it – and never send any…!

Still, I’m trying. And if I, the most disorganised and poorly co-ordinated person on hte planet, can do it, then no, I don’t see why anyone else can’t!


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