In modern society it can be hard to find community. Families are often disparate, with children and siblings working in geographically different locations. Older and younger generations lose touch and it’s uncommon for full families to live together. It can be easy to live side by side with people in your town or village and often know very little about them.
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with the very lovely Moira who runs local craft business Daisyknots. Experienced crafter and ex-Teacher Moira runs craft workshops from her beautiful Tring home and more recently has found her love of mosaic crochet, which you’ll find covering her Instagram feed. I’ve had my eye on Moira’s classes for a while, so when the opportunity came up to pop along to her macrame plant hanger workshop – I was there!
So, what is macrame and what is a plant hanger? Well, a lot of you Instagrammers out there will probably know, because you can’t scroll far without seeing the super popular macrame pop up in your squares. Macrame is a textile formed by making a series of knots…and yes, if you’re a Sailor you may recognise them as they are also the same knots used there – “reefs” and “hitches”. And plant hangers are just about THE favourite macrame accessory of the moment – you hang them from your ceiling or walls and fill with your favourite (so on trend) indoor plants.
It has to be said, I’m not a natural crafter. I lack a major quality necessary for craft – patience. It’s true. But I love to try things and I’m always game to give something new a go. Moira had created easy bags containing everything we needed to make our holder with careful written instructions we could take away and use again. She talked us through the process, gave us some tips, and then we were left to knot each part. Despite my lack of that quality (er, patience) I found the knotting really relaxing and actually managed to form a 3D shape quickly that looked pretty amazing. We spent the afternoon in the company of a couple of Moira’s regular crafters chatting about life, how Moira came to do what she did, and with the occasional direction to keep us on track. Oh, and there were biscuits… and tea! As afternoons go, it was about as relaxing as they come.
I am so thrilled with my plant hanger, it’s something I’ve always wanted to own and it means even more that I made it myself, on such a lovely afternoon. In all honesty I’m going to say you can’t tell it’s homemade – it looks all the Insta-goals. Although, it’s not all a happy ending – sadly the plant I bought shortly afterwards to fill it has already left us…but house plant husbandry is definitely not my thing and you have to focus on your strengths ?
I was so pleasantly surprised by how relaxing this afternoon was and I’m definitely keen to do more macrame. Going back to my first paragraph, spending the afternoon in the quiet, light-filled calm of Moira’s house, productively knotting and chatting reminded me of a different time. It reminded me of time when communities would get together to sew or knit or mend or make and how marvellous that feels. We are lucky to have several businesses offering craft or art classes on our Directory, Daisyknots being one of them – and I’m pleased to say it’s shown me a new way to find community and it really is so wonderful for the soul. If you’re thinking of giving something a try, don’t think – just try it, you won’t regret it and you might just find that it gives you far more than a finished piece.