Do we have skills from other areas of life that help us in our art? That’s what Gina and I are pondering this week, after spending a day learning an ancient skill that we may never use again.

Gina’s crochet skills were a definite advantage, but I did (eventually) manage to finish my bag!

And while I don’t think I’ll ever use my bag, was that why we spent a day in the woods together? To make something useful? Perhaps there is more value to learning new skills than just what you create on the day.

So if it wasn’t about making a loopy bag, that I don’t know what to do with now I’ve made it, maybe it was about the art of friendship: spending a day together without the need for chat. Or perhaps the practice of switching off our little screens and the internet, a day unplugged. A day to remember how to slow down, in the cool and quiet of the woods. Finding out that actually, I do love being outside: getting a little bit grubby, tootling off for wild wees behind a tree, warming myself by the fire and drinking nettle tea.

Maybe it was about learning that it takes a while for the chatter in my head to quiet down too, but that it does – all it takes is some time.

And I need to remember to take that time, to value it as much as I value being busy and being creative.

And on that note, remember I mentioned my little stitch book course? It’s now open and free to join. The link for all the details and to sign up is on my course page here.

Mentioned in this episode:

Native Hands – Courses in traditional skills of pottery, basketry and bushcraft held outside in the woods near Lewes, East Sussex

Why craft skills are good for us

The benefits of Knitting

Pig – The film about a truffle forager. There’s a fair bit of violence so it’s not always easy watching, but the food is magnificent!

Nigel Slater‘s Chard and Feta tart. There doesn’t seem to be online link for this exact recipe but it can be found in Kitchen Diaries II… it’s worth getting hold of a copy!

Baking on a Barge

One Million Step Challenge Gina’s summer challenge to walk 1.7 million steps (the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats) for Diabetes UK. You can read about it and sponsor her here:

One More Croissant for the Road by Felicity Cloake

The music is Dear Autumn by Ikson and you can find it at

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2 Thoughts to “Transferable skills (23)”

  1. Jane says:

    To quote my husband’s over-used question, ‘what’s it for’… if you hang it up in the garden with some wool in it, I wonder if a bird might use it?

    1. Isobel says:

      Probably, they’d like it! It’s hanging up in my studio at the moment, it reminds me of the day with Gina so it can stay there as a decoration!

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