Crafty Manolo » Quickie Question: What Do You Gain?

Quickie Question: What Do You Gain?

By Twistie

First off, sorry about yesterday. There were technical issues which have since been resolved. So unless WordPress goes blooey on me, we should be fine for the rest of the week.


Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of odd questions about my lacemaking. One of the most common, for some reason, is how I make money off of it. Here’s the answer: I don’t.

Sure, I do get paid for writing this blog, and for a very short period I did make a try to sell copper wire lace jewelry… which made me a lot less cash than this blog does and cost me a bundle, to boot. So no, I’ve never specifically made any real money out of lacemaking.

I suppose I could try writing a book about it, or create some patterns to sell, or start up a company to supply other lacemakers with the tools they need… but I don’t really want to do those things.

On the other hand, I’ve gained things from lacemaking that are more precious to me than a few dollars in my pocket. Here are a couple of the things I’ve gained.

Friends. I’ve found some truly wonderful people through a shared passion for tossing bobbins.

Knowledge. I’ve learned a lot about how cottage industries work from reading about the history of my craft. I’ve also learned some gloriously grizzly trivia about eighteenth century smuggling techniques, some quaint rhymes and traditions, and the names of some very interesting folk who have done their small part to make our world what it is today. And all that’s in addition to the technical skills I’ve acquired.

Patience. I like to tell people that I took up lacemaking because I’m not terribly patient at heart. It’s true. I can’t stand to sit around without doing something with my hands… and this way I have more to show for it at the end of a long evening watching television than I ever did when I played solitaire to keep my hands busy. But with all the demonstrations, all the repetitive questions, all the times when rushing made a hideous tangle of my threads, I think I finally have learned a form of patience that I wouldn’t have done without the lacemaking.

Pride. There’s nothing quite like finishing a big project and seeing how well it turned out to make your heart swell and your back get just a tidge straighter. I wore my own lace with pride on my wedding day. I felt pride seeing my friends put up my lace elephant picture in the nursery for their first child. I feel pride whenever someone looks at what I’ve done and thinks it’s beautiful.

So no, I don’t make money off my lace. I probably never will. So what? What I have gained is far more important to me.

So what have you gained from your craft?

2 Responses to “Quickie Question: What Do You Gain?”

  1. dinazad Says:

    What I’ve gained?
    Patience – a scarf isn’t woven in a day, a sweater isn’t knitted in a day. Not if they’re a scarf or sweater you really want to wear with pride.

    Playtime – I don’t like to play games. But I make up for it by sometimes playing around with materials or making things just for the fun of it.

    Connection – mastering even just the basics of a technique connects me to the artists and crafters of the past and possibly the future who used/use/will use this technique. I’m one in a line. A very small one in a very big and very illustrous line, but I’m part of it all. I belong.

    Knowledge – technique, history, secrets, trivia, connected techniques, history, trivia. History and techniques connected to that. And so on and so forth. Happily, there’s always something new to learn. Sometimes just for the kick of knowing how to do something, like knitting the English, the Portuguese and the Continental way…

    And so many other things: independence, pride, accomplishment, joy, friendship….

    But in the end, I just enjoy making things. A lot.

  2. Orora Says:

    Oh I do love the people who say “Isn’t that nice? You can save money by knitting your own sweaters!” I try not to double over and hyperventilate from laughter. You don’t knit to save money. I’ve spent more than I care to think about on beautiful yarns in wool, bamboo, alpaca and cotton. You knit because you love to create, to fashion something with your own hands. You knit because it gives you an immense sense of satisfaction to say, “Oh this? I knitted it.”

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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