The Craft Revolution!
Join the online creative movement
There’s a revolution under way. On subway trains, in waiting rooms, at coffee
shops, you’ve seen them: young, urban hipsters huddled over clicking knitting
needles. Balls of yarn tucked into laptop bags. Hand-embroidered birds on
homemade totes. This emerging creative phenomenon is part of what some are
calling the "new domesticity". And it’s being embraced by young women
and men alike! There’s a rekindled appreciation for the handmade, rather than
cookie-cutter mass productions. With a Zen-like valuing of "perfection in
imperfection", it’s a new way of thinking and expression.

And what better platform for this cultural shift than the Internet!


Masses of DIY-ers are turning to the Web to form crafting communities, share
project ideas, offer how-tos, sell their one-of-a-kind creations—and even find
like-minded crafters to connect with offline

Don’t know where to start? Not to worry. You’ll find it all on the Net!

Grandma
vs. The Internet

Want to learn how to knit, sew, quilt, or master other needlecrafts? Nothing
beats being taught by Grandma. That’s right, Grandma still wins.

But if you don’t have the luxury of grandma lessons, the Internet has
incredibly helpful (and free) sites like www.StitchGuide.com and the Craft Yarn Council of America’s
Learn to Knit and Crochet which can teach you the finer
points of crochet, quilting, embroidery, and more! After playing and replaying
(and replaying) a short instructional video clip online, I finally learned
how to purl! Don’t know what "purl" means? Don’t worry, I didn’t
either. But as I discovered, you can also find online glossaries to learn the lingo.

With how-tos, illustrations, articles, and more, the Internet can help you
learn at your own pace.

Get Your Ingredients Together
Before you can start creating, you need to find the right materials! You can
find and compare crafting products at The EarthLink Shopping Channel, or you can search for an
inspiring selection of craft supplies at eBay’s crafting channel or the Joann.com online store.

For embroidery, www.Needlecrafter.com offers a full library of free,
downloadable patterns, including vintage-looking designs. And of course, you
can also buy trendy new patterns at Sublime Stitching. (While there, be sure to see artist
Jenny Hart’s embroidered portrait of Dolly Parton!)

You Craft Here Often?
For creative junkies, crafting Web sites offer like-minded crafters a space to
share project ideas and build communities. Craftster.org is one of the original crafting forums, and
stands out as a comprehensive online resource for DIY devotees. You should
note, however, that this is a self-proclaimed spot for crafty hipsters who’ve
been "known to run with scissors."

GetCrafty and SuperNaturale also provide forums, ideas, and opportunities
to meet other crafters. (GetCrafty’s instructions on how to knit your own bikini can’t be missed.) For some very
stylish projects, don’t miss Thrift Deluxe!

If you want some company while you perfect your craft, join an online "knitalong"—knitting projects alongside hundreds of
other people online.

Real Men Knit Scarves
This revolution is gender neutral! Guys of all ages have taken on knitting and other crafts as
productive creative outlets! In fact, the online community of male knitters at MenKnit.net claims there are thousands of you out there.
Are you "Man Enough to Knit"?

Buy DIY—and Find More Things to Try!
Like to shop off the beaten path? Ever look at crafty items and think "I
can make that"? The Internet makes it possible for you to find the most
interesting, one-of-a-kind creations. You’ll love unique consignment shops like
Cutxpaste.com or Plain Mabel. Or explore I Buy D.I.Y., a Web site directory dedicated to supporting
independent crafters!

Selling Your Crafts
It would be dreamy to be able to make a living crafting what you love! And many
crafters (including me) really like the idea of making some extra cash. One way
to test the waters and get your creations out there is to consign your crafts to better-established online shops. But
whether or not you’re thinking about quitting your office job, be sure to
explore this great resource about starting your crafting business.

Craft Unto Others
Finally, if you’ve nailed the knit and perfected the purl—what now? How about
using your skills to spread some smiles! You can put your handiwork to good use
for the needy in Afghanistan. Or show you care for a brave child battling cancer. Find your calling. Choose from
an extensive listing of charitable sewing, quilting, knitting, and crocheting
opportunities
online.

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