"Buying handmade is better for people, better for the environment, and better for giving truly special and well-crafted gifts. The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us all dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. The connection between producer and consumer has been lost. Buying handmade helps them reconnect. We encourage all consumers to be aware of the social and environmental implications of their purchases."
So says the website Buy Handmade, originators of this excellent challenge.
Last year I gave only my own handknitting to my closest friends and family--with the exception of my son and partner (who got a few surprises that were not really corporate but also not handmade).
This year I have plenty of hand-knitted projects in my queue of gifts, some of which are finished and some of which are not. But I also have a few books and CDs picked out for particular people.
Corporate and anonymous? Yes--books and music have all gone corporate, at least to some degree when they are put into circulation.
But having actually seen my own book go from little dream to bound copy, I've really become aware of how much the books are handmade as well. Everyone who reads an author's work finds that "connection between producer and consumer"--perhaps even more than that found in a knitted object made with someone else's pattern.
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I'm just justifying...
On Saturday I am planning to go to a local handcrafts festival--and perhaps I will pick up a few extras to make up for my amazingly-off-schedule knitting plan....
Anybody on my holiday list have any requests?