We are living in uncertain times. The economy is troubling. Wall Street is being occupied (along with streets in 1423 cities.) The world that we have known suddenly feels unfamiliar and unstable.

But you know what? You and I are going to be just fine. How do I know that? Because we can make things. Things like food. And clothing. And maybe even shelter. We can cook and garden and knit and sew. We can read recipes and patterns and plans.

We can turn nothing into something and that is always going to be madly valuable. You and I will be heavily scouted and vied for when people are putting together their post-apocolyptic teams. We will be picked first. But more importantly, whatever happens, we will be warm and well fed.

There is also a subtle, some times even inadvertent, form of protest involved in making things. Filmmaker and artist Faith Gillespie said:

There is clearly another imperative at work now in our exercise of the old crafts. It has to do with reclamation, with reparation. The world seems not to need us any more to make ‘the things of life.’ Machines make more and cheap. The system needs us to do the maintenance jobs and to run the machines that produce the so-called ‘goods,’ to be machines in the consumer societies which consume and consume and are empty. Our turning to craftwork is a refusal. We may not all see ourselves this way, but we are working from a position of dissent. And that is a political position.

Isn’t that amazing? The first time I read it, it gave me goose bumps!

So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard about Craft Activism, the new book by Joan Tapper and Gail Zucker. [Full disclosure: Gail Zucker is a personal friend and has taught a photography class here at the farm. She’s also a kick-ass photographer.]

Here’s the blurb from the back:

Craft Activism is an inspiring celebration of this growing movement. Inside, dozens of superstars of this grassroots phenomenon share their experiences, tips, and advice on living, teaching, and promoting a more meaningful DIY lifestyle. Learn to craft for your cause, connect with other crafters, think green, organize a fair, host an online exchange, create yarn graffiti, and more. The book also includes 17 creative projects from designers who challenge you to reimagine how your craft skills can be used to make a difference. Whether you knit, sew, crochet, or collage—and even if you’re not sure where to begin—this book is your guide to the incredible power of handmade.
This book is wonderful, packed with beautiful photographs and amazing projects. Contributors include the Mason Dixon gals, Kirsten Kapur, Kat Coyle and Ann Weaver, just to name a few. There’s even a whole chapter on Ravelry!   There’s also a section on the Red Scarf Project, an effort near and dear to our hearts.
I particularly like the Slight of Hand Mittens by Mary Lou Egan, pictured on the cover. The pattern is written to be mix and match, which I love.
As you may have gathered, I highly recommend Craft Activism. And if you’re headed to Rhinebeck this weekend, you can pick up a copy and have it signed by the authors at the same time. (I am insanely jealous, BTW.) Gale and Joan will be signing books and showing off garments from the book on Saturday from  2:30-4 and Sunday from  11-12:30. Tell them “hey” for me!