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Gotta Stitch ‘Em All

May 20, 2010

Right, so novelty crafting is somewhat new to me, and so far something I’ve only observed. Seeing as I can’t even thread a needle, this might be for the best, at least for the sake of public safety. But it seems to be taking over the world either way. Invective cross-stitching, guerilla knitting and custom-made clothing may well be the future. And I’m not just talking about those woolly beanies every posh girl was wearing during the winter. You know, the ones that make them look like they scalped a panda.

Custom crafting opens up whole new possibilities for taking pride in your possessions and, let’s face it, making your friends jealous. I know I should probably advocate the Buddhist-style surrender of all worldly goods, but I’m a materialist to the bone. A custom gift is unique, usually. Having something that no-one else has (that you have made or have had made for you) makes the act of giving so much more personal. The crafter has made a real gesture, and the recipient has something to treasure. Which just gives everyone involved the warm fuzzies…and probably saves them a few quid too.

Caroline's cross-stitch

Cross-stitch by a close friend. A Christmas present.

What’s really intriguing about the whole thing is the new ‘craft economy’ that has sprung up from it. Sites like Etsy have opened up a fascinating niche market of vintage enthusiasts and skilled crafters. Everything from felt badges to one-of-a-kind cuddly toys are up for sale. There’s a refreshing DIY spirit to it that raises you out of the gutter after seeing the seventh person on the street wearing the same t-shirt you just bought from Topman.

And now for a bit of indulgent geekery, my secret ulterior motive for this post. See, it’s a beautiful thing when two subcultural groups come together, and there are few unions more blissful than that of the crafter and the video-game dork. MishYooona on DeviantArt is prime evidence of this. Turning to crafting as therapy for anxiety disorders, she has produced my personal favourite in custom clothing:

Pokémon hoodies!

Hoodie by MishYooona

Umbreon hoodie, bought by an acquaintance

At the sight of these, my inner child elbowed his way to the fore and took over.  They are inexpensive, utterly unique and SO. DAMN. CUTE. I know that this kind of a purchase edges dangerously close to furry territory, but I bought one. Pictures will follow when it arrives. (It’s a Dratini, by the way.)

Hoodie by MishYooona

Raichu hoodie.

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