I haven’t read the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie books in decades, but a happy memory that lives on is the image of women crafting, their hands busy with making things both beautiful and useful. The women are seated around a table, enjoying a break from regular routines as they engage in easy conversation and sip tea from pretty cups. Now, I have no idea if this is an actual scene in one of Wilder’s books (probably not!), but a desire to experience that sense of togetherness and purpose amongst makers has inspired me to host the occasional crafting bee in my home.
My “Party on a Wrist” bracelet has been such a conversation starter, and so many have expressed an interest in making their own, that I decided to host a how-to gathering, visions of a modern-day Little House on the Prairie in my mind.
1. Email invites were sent out with a caution to RSVP quickly, as seating would be limited. Final number of crafters reflected 20% last-minute cancellations.
2. It’s been four years (eek!) since I made my first Spiny Knotted Bracelet, so a little practice of Stephanie Sersich‘s technique was in order. Her book‘s step-by-step illustrations are user-friendly and before I knew it, I was stringing and knotting with ease.
3. Set out the tea cups and light snacks and let the fun begin.
An infusion of chocolate was necessary mid-afternoon.
A symphony of metallics with black.
Woo-hoo! Everyone completed their Party on a Wrist bracelet! Aren’t they beautiful?!
The crafting bee was everything I hoped for. We laughed, we shared stories, we admired each other’s beads and bracelets. Some confronted a desire for perfection, whatever that might look like, and found a new way to think about pattern, balance and visual texture. There was no calico in sight — we’re a modern bunch — but I like to imagine that the extra tea cup was for Laura Ingalls Wilder, our spectral crafter.
p.s. If you’re teaching a new technique to your crafting friends, don’t count on finishing your own project. That will have to wait until later.