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By Jo Lynn Francis
Society sees knitting as a social activity similar to quilting, spinning and needlepoint, however; I see these crafts as an essential part of American history and need to be preserved. I am a knit and crochet fiber artist. I prefer to use only natural fibers to create clothing and blankets and hand crafted items. On the weekends I teach knit and crochet classes to women in my church. The items that I knit are often donated to charity, or sold to people who appreciate the craft, or kept for myself to be used as gifts for my family. I was taught to knit and crochet by a dear friend a few years ago. Now I teach.
It’s very rewarding to turn a string into something useful – like a pair of wool socks or a soft sweater or a cozy pink blanket for a new baby girl. I love to teach other women about fiber arts. How to provide for their family. Either by making them clothing or selling for an income. The feeling of making your family clothing is awesome! To see the expression on their faces as they receive the goody. Or when the wear it with pride. To have a scarf in the winter to keep you warm or in the summer a shawl as you sit in the evening air and enjoy heartfelt talks.
To teach a mother the art of knitting, crocheting or weaving. Then they can take that new skill and make goodies to sell to be able to stay home with their children. Watching their online stores fill up with loving handmade items and know you made it possible. I love the feeling when I think of the children that can enjoy their mommy’s love and care. While knowing that the fiber arts will live on in the next generation and will not be a forgotten piece of the past. The one thing I do tell them is to find at least one person to teach the art so it will be kept alive for generations to come.