March has been designated as National Craft Month by the Association for Creative Industries, previously known as the Craft and Hobby Association. Started in 1994, the idea behind National Craft Month was to encourage people to spend time crafting and embrace their creativity. Since then, a level of social activism and development of the next generation of crafters has also been layered into this event.
You know we love all of the benefits of our healing arts, and we hope you’ll engage in some mindful crafting with us this month! If you’re looking for an easy way to celebrate, we’ve shared some quick ideas below, but we are celebrating creativity, so let yourself go and do whatever sparks joy!
Finish a Current WIP
There may be no better cause for celebration than finishing a work in progress (WIP). Finish up that new year’s cast on or dig through the closet, find a neglected project and bring it back to life. You’ll enjoy such a sense of accomplishment and feel that much more excited about the next pattern.
Start a New Project
The anticipation of a new project is like a fresh notebook or opening a new novel. There is so much potential! If you tend to be a monogamous maker, dare to have two projects going - even if one is a small piece so it doesn’t distract from your primary work! If you always have a ton of patterns in progress, make this new one extra special. Find a design you’ve been eyeing for a long time and commit to it. Or, maybe find something totally outside your comfort zone and reach for it!
Learn a New Skill
Some makers thrive on learning new techniques while others are quite content with a few comfortable methods. Either way, shake things up this month and try something new! We have a new knit stitch tutorial coming tomorrow, or you could learn a new cast on or teach yourself that magic ring technique for starting crochet in the round! Even if you don’t need the skill for a current project, you’ll feel good and have another tool in your toolbox.
Try a New Craft
A fun twist to the fiber arts is that many of the materials needed are interchangeable between crafts. If you’re a knitter, but have yarn and a piece of cardboard, you can try weaving! If you’re a weaver and have roving in the house, you could probably give needle felting a go! Punch needle and embroidery are just a hop, skip and jump away too. Classes and educational materials are readily available on the internet or through your local library, so stretch yourself try a new medium!
Share a Craft
We may not be gathering as often as we used to, but go ahead and schedule a Zoom knit night with your crochet circle. Make a small gift for a neighbor and surprise them with a treat. Box something up and send some handmade snail mail to your loved ones down the street or across the country. Offer to teach an interested friend or child to knit, crochet or weave. Find ways to engage others in creative pursuits with you!
Support Your LYS
While we feel your love every single day, make it a point to shop locally for your next project. Stop by or order online from a small business. If financial support isn’t possible, log in to your social media and follow, tag, save and like! We get such joy out of seeing what you’re working on, and if you’re a visitor here (hello!), we know your LYS would too!
Support a Local Dyer/Designer
Similar to helping out your local yarn shop, go out of your way to find local-to-you yarn dyers and pattern designers and support their work financially or through social media! You can help boost their reach online while also encouraging them with your interactions. Who knows, you may just find your new favorite artist while making someone’s day!
Organize & Donate Materials
Maybe you don’t get the same level of enjoyment out of organizing that we do, but we still think it’s a great idea to go through our supplies once in a while and find what we no longer need or no longer fit our style or goals. There are many organizations that accept yarn and other materials, so find one in your area and donate creativity!
Volunteer & Donate Time and Talent
Even if you don’t have physical goods to donate, you can always donate your time and talent! We shared some ideas for Crafting for a Cause a few weeks ago, but there are endless ways to volunteer. It may not be an in-person activity right now, but find an organization your identify with and support their mission however you can. We have a feeling you’ll find yourself pretty darn inspired by the people around you!