At work (City Library) we’ve been running ‘Crafternoon Tea’ on Friday afternoon where local craft enthusiasts can bring some handiwork, we provide a bit of afternoon tea and they can meet each other, sit and knit or sew and gossip. It’s not a new idea – I stole it from similar things in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. I don’t know who turns up in the bigger cities, but one thing I’ve been surprised about here, is the mix of ages we’ve had – which I think is fantastic. The ages mix so well! At one point I was a little nervous that the older ladies might be offended by the hand-work of my punky friend Alice. She knits ‘c**t-cloths’, cloths for washing ‘downstairs’ – pink cotton cloths with the word ‘c**t’ knitted into them. However, the older ladies just laughed and laughed and one said: ‘Oh good idea, dear, after all you wouldn’t want your c**t-cloth ending up in the kitchen by mistake.’
We’ve had all ages from teenaged girls doing super-hip craft, embroidering ironic things on to tote bags and knitting giant scale cowls…to women in (I’m guessing) their late seventies, like the lady in the photo above. I’ll call her Celia, which isn’t her name – but I don’t know how she’d feel about me writing about her here so I’ll give her a psuedonym.
Celia is hilarious.
That tablecloth she is working on in the photograph above – she said: ‘Well, I’ve been working on this for nearly 20 years, but I lost it for about 10 years. I found it again just before Christmas when I was looking for some buttons in my craft room. When I started doing it, I was doing it for my mother, but of course she carked it in those ten years it was lost, so now I’m doing it for my daughter.’
When I offered the biscuits around (Chocolate digestives and wine biscuits) Celia said: ‘Oh it’s so nice to see some plain biscuits on offer. I don’t eat chocolate any more, you see. About ten years ago, I was just getting fatter and fatter because of my terrible sweet tooth so I said to chocolate – ‘I’m finishing with you, chocolate!’ and I’ve stuck to that. After all, when you finish with a boy, that’s it, you don’t look back. So why should finishing with chocolate be any different?’
Today is Crafternoon Tea day. I hope Celia comes!