Packed away with the few Christmas ornaments still in my collection is a small, faded paper rocking horse. It is too delicate now to be hung on a tree; instead, it serves as a reminder of the pleasure I had making it. I remember working intently to recreate the pattern I found in a book of children’s projects. When my mother’s scissors seemed too big and crude, I used cuticle scissors to cut the fine details.
There are kits and plans to create homes for our imaginations, our chickens, and our selves. Would I actually be happy in a Tiny House? I do not know, but designing one could help me plan for what I will need most in the next place I live.
Rubber type sets have enabled me to create my own text for everything from homemade business cards to hand-stamped silk clothing. I once made a little book from some of my linocuts and was greatly relieved I did not have to carve every word.
Many people have vivid memories of learning to weave a potholder on a little red loom. My grandmother showed me the different patterns I could form by the way I placed the colors.
When I was a child, my mother had a kit for a painted linen tablecloth. I was wild to make it, but she always said no. By the time she allowed me to open the box, the paint was all dried up. I have often wondered if that was the experience that set me on my long path of textile exploration. After all, the pattern was made up of rose buds.
Well-planned kits and patterns can serve as personal teachers. The very best can help us understand something new about a craft or project. Do you enjoy working from patterns or kits?
Cate Fitt, a.k.a. knitfitt, has been a member of Etsy since 2007 and is an experienced critic, curator and juror. She earned her MFA in fiber in 1978, later receiving an artist’s fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Through the years, she’s been a maker of one-of-a-kind hand-painted clothing, pottery, jewelry, and linocut and monotype prints. She lives in a little house close to the James River with two whippets named Moose and Peach.