The Value of Craft

There’s an epidemic of pregnancy going on among my mom friends right now. Between actual friends and Facebook friends I probably know a dozen people who are expecting or just gave birth.

And while certainly all of those people aren’t close enough to me to get gifts, those who do get showered get handmade gifts.

I usually make a baby blanket — usually knit — for new little ones to welcome them with warmth and love. But this current batch of babies has me mentally overcommitting big time, not only hoping to make them blankets but booties and hats, too. On my more productive days I even imagine making gifts for the big siblings.

So far I’m made one pair of booties:

hand knit baby booties
Baby booties for a new little guy's feet

and made pretty good progress on a crocheted blanket:

crocheted baby blanket homemade baby gifts
A closeup on a crocheted baby blnaket I'm making.

I have yarn for two more pairs of booties and a wee hat or two.

I mention all this because I was at a a consignment sale last week where there was a whole stack of crocheted blankets for sale.

For between $3 and $5 each.

We crafters know it’s not possible to machine-produce crochet. Someone, probably a friend or family member of the little one, made that blanket with her or his own hands, working love into every stitch, not to mention time, effort, creativity and skill.

All of which, by anyone’s reckoning, is worth more than a couple of bucks.

I probably don’t have anything new to add to the debate about the value of handmade things in a disposable world. But I know that to me, and a lot of other people I know who make stuff, handmade is beautiful, more meaningful and more real than anything that could be bought in a store.

And if you don’t feel that way, and I make something for your kid, and you’re ever tempted to sell it at a consignment sale for $5, please just give it back to me.

You don’t deserve it. Or the $5.

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