Tools & Talismans #79 Cal Patch

I get very attached to objects; most of my tools are to some degree talismans as well, often handmade by someone I know. In the photo are my Gingher shears — I use these almost every day, to cut (only!) fabric. I've had them nearly 30 years, since college. A few years ago I crocheted around the handle to make them more comfortable when cutting a lot.

There's a plaid tomato pincushion I made — one of several pincushions I use. It was meant to be sold at a fair, until my pup Pippi chewed on it and it had to be adopted. Secretly I'm glad, because otherwise I wouldn't have kept one. The candy tin is a portable sewing kit; I try to never be without a needle and thread.

I treasure my wooden crochet hooks, handmade by friends, woodworkers Linda + Stephen Willette. They are always my first choice to use for my projects. I feel that using handmade tools imbues an extra bit of love and magic into the pieces I make. I have a lot of plants in my studio; watering and fussing over them is a ritual that helps me transition into making mode. A few months ago I started a bunch of baby succulents from some of my bigger plants, and I'm obsessed with watching them grow!

The crochet-covered stone was made by Margie Oomen and is one of my most prized and special possessions. I used to keep it tucked away in a cabinet, but lately I use it as a pattern weight so that I see it and interact with it more often. You could say it's a talisman that's become a tool.

And finally, the needle book was made by my friend Rebecca RIngquist. I keep it filled with embroidery floss and needles, so that I'm always prepared to put a touch of stitchery on anything, anywhere, at any time!

Cal Patch • Maker of Clothing. Crochet Crusader. Textile Arts Teacher.