Now that the temperature has dropped, everyone is pulling out their sweaters, blankets, scarves, and hats. The chill in the air makes everyone want to bundle up in warm and cozy textiles that insulate their bodies. It is so easy to purchase these wonderfully warm articles of clothing, but the challenge of creating your own is more satisfying. What are some ways to do that, though? How can someone make their own cozy accessories? Well, there are quite a few ways to embrace the fiber arts.
Firstly: knitting, probably one of the most well-known ways to make an article of clothing or accessory by hand. Using two pointed needles, knitting entails interlocking yarn to manipulate the yarn into a single piece of material. Even though scarves and blankets are the most notable things that can be knit, a skilled knitter can knit nearly anything using yarn or other types of string, for example, dresses or jewelry. Knitting allows for one to pick a wonderful fiber that speaks to them and create a unique piece that no one else could have.
Crocheting is another way of using a needle to interlock yarn together, however, a crochet needle is more aptly described as a hook because it is hooked at the end to enable better grasping of the string. In contrast to knitting, crocheting also only requires the use of one needle, rather than two. In similarity, crocheting grabs and pulls yarn through loops, like how knitting is wrapped and pulled through. Although crocheting uses only one hook, it still can create nearly anything one could think of: hats, cardigans, slippers, etc.
Felting is a fun, less used, way to create accessories. Using a needle, felt board (which resembles foam), and felts fibers, felt can be formed by jabbing a needle in the fibers in a specific manner. This process can easily be conducted in the home, then turned into add-ons to hats and sweaters, or even become a scarf itself. By “add-ons,” I mean forming decals from felting that can then be attached onto other pieces as details. In fact, felted decals do not only need to be attached to felted works, but can be added to various other fiber art pieces such as knit, crocheted, or sewn items! Felting can also be used in jewelry making and bag making.
Sewing, of course, is a very efficient and versatile technique to make wearables. With sewing, textiles are used to form not only thicker, woven pieces, but thin shirts and jackets to layer and accompany thick scarves. There is more flexibility in the textile type in sewing and using a machine can help elucidate the process.
Comparable to simply purchasing clothing and accessories, hand-making wearables fosters a sense of pride and satisfaction in the creator. Buying things is a transaction, whereas making things is a journey. Have you ever seen a scarf and wish that it was in a different color or that it was a bit longer? Knitting, crocheting, felting, and sewing are ways of having that autonomy to wish for something and make it happen. Possessing the skills to create allows you to make your wishes come true.
Overall, being able to create a unique accessory or piece of clothing elicits a rewarding feeling in the wearer. There is nothing like being able to say “I actually made this,” when someone compliments your clothes and asks where you got it. The various modalities of creation in the fiber art realm can open doors to expressing oneself in more ways than a person can buy. Embracing this craft allows for people to demonstrate their own uniqueness and showcase their talent via physical appearance. Personal style varies from person to person so being able to tailor your wearables to your specific taste is a wonderful thing.