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In the autumn of 2018, we bought our house. The moving load would leave in February the following year but I started dreaming, planning and "decorating" our new home pretty quickly. This is when I got the idea to create a wall storage for the children, which prompted my first visit to a yarn store. Yes you read that right, my first visit.
I'm not the one who has been doing handcrafting since I was a child and developed my techniques over the years. I learned crochet in high school and have probably had one or two crochet projects since then. My my mother had a textile shop when I was younger and it is only now that I realize that her interest in needlework has had an impact on me. Now, 40 years old, I do not understand why I did not do this before. It's like a big, creative part of me lying dormant and just waiting to be woken up. And now there is no turning back. Creativity and creation are a part of me and thanks to "Aggis hantverk" is also an important part of my life.
I knew in principle nothing when I stepped into the cozy yarn shop in central Västerås that autumn day, but I was lucky. The woman in the shop helped me choose the right yarn for my project and I think it was there and then, in the calm that permeated the shop, that I felt taken by all that the needlework has to offer. I left the store with a bag full of yarn and once home I started crocheting. Getting to work with my hands was so indescribably peaceful and satisfying, I could not stop. More projects grew in my head and for each new project I developed.
Just before we moved into the house, I learned to knit. Then I learned to weave, felt and embroider. The ideas were many, maybe too many. That spring I got a fatigue depression. It was probably a combo of everything new that came with the move out to the country, return to work after long parental leave and the stress of not having time to do what I most wanted to do: Create. This was not my first depression. During the years I have suffered from various forms of depression and after each episode I have become more and more sensitive and vulnerable. I have struggled with guilt and shame over my suffering of mental illness, but I have been fortunate to have a good safety net that helps me up every time I fall. Now I have come to the point in life where my family and I have chosen to rethink. Change. I have researched myself, inspired by others and came to the conclusion that I do not want to full-time paid work. I want to be at home more and take care of myself and get more time with my family and our wonderful home out in the Västmanland countryside. I want to work with my own craft, be my own boss and go where my creativity takes me. To be able to create is it best medicine for my stress and anxiety.
"Aggis hantverk" is the result of my recent life crises and hopefully the vaccine against new ones. I am now looking forward to a more harmonious one life where I get stroll around at home in my apron, tinker with orders while I listen to a good audiobook, try new plants to dye wool with, take care of our vegetable land, have time to cook and then spend the end of the day with my family. Modern peasant romance? Yes absolutely! But why not ?! We live in an in many ways unnatural society that contributes to people's mental and physical ill-health. I am privileged to have the opportunity to choose a different lifestyle that is a little more "back to basic". I choose it. I embrace it. I hope it makes a difference.
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