I spent Sunday morning at Westpoint with my mother at a show called Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts.. It was, as you can probably tell from the title, an exhibition for those keen on crafts, but no amount of dressing of that gargantuan metal container could detract from the feeling that the venue would be more suited to housing a few thousand Friesians.
It’s an annual event that once upon a time was just called ‘Creative Stitches’. About ten years ago, the event had a respectable attendance but nothing like that on Sunday where every square inch was filled with all sorts of human life, jostling in order to observe how you can turn a simple duck egg into Cinderella’s coach or how to turn ribbon into gladioli, if you could be bothered. I’ve never seen so many devoted husbands fall asleep standing up.
I went along because of my love affair with the beautiful craft that is crochet. I rightly thought as the title included the word ‘stitches’ that I might find acres and acres of lovely alpaca, merino, linen, silk and cotton yarn that I could caress and sniff. No such luck. The addition of the word ‘Hobbycrafts’ should have been a warning, because the event was largely dedicated to the relatively new but extremely popular craft of cardmaking.
Now, far be it for me to come over all superior and I realise I’m going to upset a lot of people out there in the middle of sticking a couple of sequins on piece of A5 foil printed luxury felt card but it’s not a proper craft – carefully honed and handed down through generations - is it? It just involves sticking stuff on to other stuff. In fact, the show should be called ‘Creative sticking and Hobbycrafts’.
On top of the fact that it is just an exercise in glue handling, aren’t there enough cards in the world? Really? There are stores selling cards everywhere. Cards for birthdays, for Christmas, for graduation, for Valentines, for Easter, for grandparents day, for condolence for the loss of a budgie, for flips sake. Now people are making these pointless things destined to spend a couple of weeks on your mantelpiece and then make their way to the recycling bin.
I beg of all you card makers out there. Ditch the hobby. It’s fleeting, it’s facile and it’s most definitely not crochet.