Etsymetal Blog Carnival - If you couldn't make jewelry, what would you do instead?

Every month, members of the Etsymetal Team blog on a different topic and this month the topic is "If you couldn't make jewelry, what would you do instead?" At the end of this post you will find a list of links to other bloggers writing on the same topic.

At first, I thought this would be a snap to write. Afterall, I already did this. I had a two year stint with no studio and no tools.
Write a blog post, easy. Then, I got to really thinking about what I would do if I couldn't make jewelry. I love the "what if" questions, they plague me. "What if we never moved here?" "What if we never had kids?" "What if I had taken that spot at RISD?" What if, what if, I could go mad on what if's.

I got to thinking about what I would do if I could do ANYTHING but not jewelry. Let's let the obvious careers of bikini model and Italian film star go by the wayside, it's too easy a wish and I might not like those jobs once I had them?? No really, they might suck. So, what would I do if I could do anything? Dinking with my new iPhone this week makes me wish I had majored in computers in college. I'd write apps that actually work and I'd know what an MMS and SMS were without having to ask my 21 year old sister in law. I would be a textile designer and maybe work for Marimekko. I would design incredible new textiles on my iPhone. Then I would sew, I would make incredible clothes out of the fabric I designed myself, kind of like Lotta Jansdotter. Yes, that's what I'd be. I'd be Lotta Jansdotter and have a fabulous studio and make great clothes out of fabulous fabric I designed myself. Oooohhh, it's making me all swoony just thinking about it.

But, back to reality. I don't know how to design textiles and I probably won't ever learn. I have a modest little life with two young kids to raise and a husband to be married to so I probably won't ever have a fancy NYC studio where I sew and design all day. This is just about as probable as my becoming a bikini model. I could probably do it but it would hurt,...a lot. So, when I can't make jewelry, and there are lots of times I can't work in the studio, I knit.

I started knitting at the end of two really unproductive and dark years. I was pregnant and sick and unhappy and unfulfilled, didn't have a studio and was very lonely. I stumbled across a book in the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble and I taught myself to knit. My mother was a knitting teacher way back when and she helped me over the phone as much as she could. I hung out on forums and joined Ravelry. This was 4 years ago and I can't imagine my life, now, without knitting. To knit is to create something beautiful but someone else is telling you what to do. It's a relaxing refuge from the studio where it's all pressure to create something unique. It's the clicking of the needles, the triumph of mastering a new stitch or finding that a particular pattern isn't as hard as you thought. It's color and texture and pleasure and warmth all bundled into a ziploc bag in my purse. If you make a mistake, no biggie, just rip it back and start over. How often can you do that in metal??

So, the easy answer this month is, I knit. If you decide to join Ravelry, look me up. I'm Hartleystudio over there too. :) What do other metalsmiths do when they are away from the bench? You know we all have busy hands and minds, we gotta do something!! Find out here:

Victoria - experimetal
Tomi - metal riot
Brooke Medlin
Maria - fluxplay
stacey - wildflowerdesigns
Inbar Bareket
Beth Cyr

Thanks for reading all the way through!! Hey, if you want to learn to knit, head on over to Etsy and send me a convo, I'll get ya started!!!


  1. what a lovely post!
    I knit a tiny bit and i really suck at it and i dont think ive ever completed anything, heh heh... but i like it for the sound of my addi circulars and the feeeeling of the hands on, yup you are right, and I confess I only do it bc my sisiies are junkies. busy hands keep the mind at bay :)
    thanks for your post!

  2. You knit, how great. I crochet a little, love the rhythm and meditative repetition. Nice to learn more about you Ann, I enjoyed reading your post.

  3. Perhaps you should write too. You write well.

  4. I really like your 3D knitting and the colours and yarns you choose. I can't get my head around knitting, tried soooo many times. It must be great to be able to pick up needles and yarn and crack on no-matter where you are. Funny how it helps to be busy in order to stay calm ;-)

  5. i love to knit too, but only really, really simple things.

  6. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you with this comment. We'd like to offer you to be included on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  7. Ohh I'm another one who knits when they aren't bashing metal or melting stuff! I just find it is nice to work with something that is soft and really forgiving. In fact as soon as I finish this I am back to my Kaffe Fassett project with the wonderful Colourscape yarn.
    ps I also learned to knit (again, because I did learn in school) when I pregnant with child number 1.

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