I met with my crafty friends today, two of them I meet up with nearly every Wednesday lunch hour just for a mooch, a chat, finding presents for each other's family members and putting the world to rights "warts n all friends" who are always there offering gentle encouragement in the background. We headed for Lewis' as we always have a look around the craft department although it is not as good as it used to be. (we are limited locally by not having many craft shops in the area and those we do have you certainly need transport for - not everyone has access to transport). Today however they have had a move around - they have upped the department to a small corner of the floor. We know the floor manageress quite well and she came over to ask if we liked the new layout etc. I think we sorely disappointed her because we are not really taken with the new lay out. We knew what we were looking for we just couldn't find it. There was little there that we were interested in and the prices for someone starting off are a tad expensive. Possibly better to go to Hobbycraft.
There seemed to be less there than what there was before and I certainly could not find the patchwork stuff i.e.the specialist rulers (I was looking for one as I have just broken one). You cannot even buy Anchor tapisserie wools there any more. The Manageress said they went some time ago and I pointed out that was a mistake at a time as most people use Anchor wools. She then went on to say that they had stopped selling a lot of bits and bobs and were just supplying the items that were selling. The Manageress also said that they used to keep a list of dressmakers for people to contact to make their clothes from fabric they had seen in the store, but they had stopped doing this because they had all died off and no youngsters were following through. She then went on to say that not a lot of youngsters do craft work these days at which my friends and I turned round and said perhaps because they are not taught and don't know how too. That seemed to stun her, but it is the truth if the skills are not passed on then they will die out.
The lucky ones are the youngsters who have parents who will do things have a try and have a positive attitude throughout. There are not the evening classes around like there used to be and people cannot always access the kind of class they are looking for. When youngsters do know how, they have high expectations of not making a mistake especially if the wool cost over £40 to knit a designer top, which I can understand but we all have to start somewhere and realistically you cannot expect to do something you have never done before and get it perfect first time. It just doesn't happen in the real world. Sometimes in order to learn you have to make mistakes as you learn far more from getting things wrong than you do by always getting things right. Sometimes it is easier to be shown how to do something than try and work out something from a book. Showing people how to do things often registers more easily and they have a visual reference to go back to. Its alright having academic skills but for everyday life you very much need practical skills to do the most simplest of things and that includes cooking, and knowing what to do to feed yourself and that's just to live.
Makes me realise how lucky I am. I will be getting a tutorial this weekend on a knitting - I don't know how to do cable and I have asked my mum to show me as I want to get my head around. She says its easy - we will have to wait and see.
We are never too young or too old to learn and if we are not learning we become stagnant and stuck in a rut. You have to keep the "leetle grey cells working".