Has this year been rough or what?! We don't know about you, but we have to say that crafting, color and creativity have really been a life line for us over the last six months. (Along with being hermits a bit - not going to lie!) When the world gets heavy, it's important to make tangible connections to life, love and hope. One of the most valuable aspects of the work we do here at Created by Elsie B is the opportunity to build community, and we just wouldn't be half what we are without all of you. Today we're thrilled to showcase the lovely and talented Casey Hudson. She's a regular contributor to our Facebook group, lighting up the world with her friendly face and stunning work. She makes the world a better place, and we're so glad to share in that just a little bit.
You may have noticed that it's been quiet around here. We've spent the last few weeks following what's happening on the public stage, listening and learning about the experiences of the Black community. Created by Elsie B strives to be an inclusive company, and that has always been a part of our values. However, we haven't always been involved and aware of the issue of diversity in fiber. In fact, it really only came on to our radar within the last year. But, we want our customers and readers to know that we're focusing our energy in this area and are sorry that we haven't been more involved. The issue of the lack of diversity in our space has hit us hard, and our eyes are open. We have committed to doing better and being part of the solution. We will miss the mark. We will make mistakes. And, we will listen and learn and take accountability when that happens. If you follow Created by Elsie B on Instagram, that has been our main platform over the last few weeks to highlight the various resources that we have found invaluable to our education. If you are struggling with where to start, we have book lists, educational resources and blog posts there that we have found helpful. In addition, today's blog highlights a very personal and actionable step that any fiber artist can take to encourage, support and promote Black voices in fiber.
At Created by Elsie B, we spend a lot of time playing with fiber. There is nothing we love more than blending color and having our hands in the dye pots, and we hope that reflects in the products that we are proud to send to your doors. However, we also like to (occasionally) actually turn beautiful hand-dyed fibers into wearable works of art as well. LeAndra weaves, knits and crochets, meaning she keeps a library of patterns on tap for when the need to create hits. These are some of our top most used and loved patterns at Elsie B headquarters for both personal use and handmade gifts, and we hope they provide as much inspiration for you as they do for us! All of patterns are available on Ravelry which is where we find most of the patterns that we love best. (P.S. The little sneak peek to the left is our combo knit pattern. We do plan to get back to that- be patient, and we'll share all the deets!)
While it's hard to say when and how spinning, knitting and their associated fiber arts originated, history does reflect that people have been playing with wool, silk and yarn for a very long time, with physical evidence of knitted products that go back as far as the 11th century. There are even pieces of art such as Bertram's Knitting Madonna that depict the Virgin Mary clicking away with creativity. Traditionally, the fiber arts have been a very social craft as projects were both a labor of love and a necessity of life, meaning yarn and needles were carried everywhere so that artisans could sneak in a stitch whenever they found opportunity. Though modern manufacturing has changed the way we live significantly, the social life of the fiber arts is still an important and fulfilling part of the craft.