Crafty at the Polls

Most of us heading out to vote tomorrow are expecting long lines, and what better way to pass the time than with an ultra-portable craft project? Knitting and crochet are the old standby, of course. I plan on bringing a sock and hat on circulars. Heck, I might even throw a spare ball of worsted weight and needles in the bag in case anyone around me wants to learn how to knit! It’s also a great opportunity to break out the drop spindle. Though, I would caution against spinning wool as this is a common allergy, and you never know who you’ll be standing next to in line. Alpaca, silk, or plant fibers are safer alternatives anytime you spin in close public quarters.
What else can you craft whilst standing? Embroidery? Origami? Macrame? Maybe someone has come up with a “one-man-band” type contraption for beading or scrapbooking on the go? Whatever the case, we hope you’ll be crafting green on the way to cast your vote and want to hear what you’re bringing (or brought if you voted early) in comments!

Image courtesy of boxercab on Flickr

Written by Autumn Wiggins

This 2008 interview pretty much sums it up:

1. How would you describe yourself?
An oddly situated performer of thought experiments

2. Do you have any anecdotes about your work (how you got started, frustrating moments, or funny stories)?
At this year's Maker Faire in San Mateo, I gave a presentation on how the trend of green crafting can ultimately address the problem of consumption and waste. Dale Dougherty,the publisher of Make and Craft, later had a gift delivered to me, a staple bound book of poetry: Music Like Dirt by Frank Bidart. This is the last thing one would expect to take home from an event so focused on renegade technology. To my surprise, it was an existential reflection on the human need to make things that I now find myself going back to whenever I need some inspiration to look beyond the materials and processes of crafting.

3. What kinds of things do you do for fun?
In my spare time I enjoy amateur astronomy, outdoor adventures, collecting domain names, and hanging out at coffee shops.

4. What interesting projects are you working on right now?
I'm working to organize community involvement in upcycling, and have a few top-secret website projects up my sleeves!

5. Where do you live? Kids, pets, spouse, occupation?
O'Fallon, IL, a suburb (and I mean a totally typical suburb) of St. Louis, MO. Rather than moving to the more culture friendly urban environment, I am staying put and annoying the heck out of Wal-Mart by throwing a massive indie craft show(Strange Folk) in their backyard. I have a husband, Doug, and two sons: a 7 year old mad scientist named Jack, and 6 year old Max, who we think is an aspiring tattoo artist since he's so fond of drawing all over himself with markers. To pay the bills, I do freelance writing, mural painting, and website design, sell my handmade crafts, teach art classes for kids, and work part -time at a local coffee shop.

6. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently?
The concept known as "Cradle-to-Cradle" is a blueprint for sustainability that states everything we manufacture should be either biodegrable, infinitely recyclable, or intended to be upcycled. This is the basis for many of my ideas of how the crafting community can be more widely involved in solving the environmental crisis.

7. What is your favorite food/color/tool?
granola/green/sewing machine!


Leave a Reply
  1. I’m in the UK and am Canadian, so I don’t get to vote in tomorrow’s election – but if I were standing in a long line I’d want a small notebook and pencil so I could jot down ideas and drawings for future craft projects.

  2. Or you could simply move to Oregon where we don’t have in person voting. I filled out my ballot in the comfort of my own home and dropped it off at my local library last week.

  3. My grandmother always volunteered at the polls for election day. She always had her crocheting and wrapped candies that she would sneak to me when I came in to vote with my mother as a little girl.

  4. I did this! I crocheted the top of a market bag standing in line. Let me tell you, I was the only one with “something to do” and all eyes were on me. It was a bit weird. I just tried not to notice that I was entertaining the room. Someone said it was like watching someone mow grass. Soothing and oddly entertaining.

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