PlanetJune Craft Blog

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is it hip to be square?

I have been challenging myself to enter the whiplash contest on whipup every month:

  • I crocheted a bag in July (bags)
  • I refashioned a skirt into a dress in August (wardrobe surgery)
  • I crocheted a hat in September (hats)
  • I made a bracelet in October (accessories)

Every month I take the theme and then figure out something I can do with it to challenge myself and to create something I like. I’m sure if I made different things I would have a better chance of winning, but that’s not the reason why I enter.

But here is November’s brief:

“NOVEMBER is officially ALT CRAFT month – Non-traditional crafts with an edge
Use of alternative materials with traditional techniques or traditional materials with original patterns”

I have been thinking it over for 2 weeks and I cannot think of anything I could make that would fit into this category. And then it came to me: I am not alternative. And maybe that’s okay – I make up my own designs and patterns, so my work is not entirely traditional or derivative. I’ve seen some amazing alt-craft projects on craftster etc, but I admire them without wanting to do something similar. I like the things I make, and I don’t want to put time and effort into making something that doesn’t “fit” with me.   

Maybe I’m not alone in this… There are suspiciously few entries this month (only 5 at the time of writing) – a lot less than usual. Maybe everyone is too busy, or leaving it to the last minute, but maybe there are others who feel the same as me.

Kudos to the folks at whipup for creating whiplash and the amount of crafty brilliance it generates each month. I’m not criticizing their choice of theme. I just wonder: is ‘alternative’ now the only way to be cool? Have I just pigeonholed myself into the ‘unhip’ corner? I am proud of my work the way it is and I don’t want to feel pressurized to change my style (even though the pressure is probably all in my head).

And that’s why I’m not going to enter whiplash this month.


  1. Jen said

    Yeah, I don’t get the “alternative” thing for making stuff. I make things that match my style, and I’m not going to make something look different than that. I guess I’m unhip too. Oh well 🙂

  2. Cindi said

    I stopped reading at whipup because I am just traditional. I went back by today to see if there was anything there for me. I saw the question about what you wrote. I would have to say sometimes things they review are just pushing the envelope for me. I did think of something for this whiplash if you are interested. The first thing that came to my mind was crocheting rugs with plastic bags. The kind you get from the grocery store. Several older ladies showed me their rugs a few years back. They lived through the depression and were used to finding uses for everything instead of wasting it.

  3. Eva said

    To Em, hey my mom knits SW sweaters too. I’d love to see a pic if you have a blog!

  4. EM said

    Your question:
    > Have I just pigeonholed myself into the ‘unhip’ corner?

    I often feel the same way. Whenever I see a book or magazine article that’s titled, “Not Your Grandma’s —“, I think, “What’s wrong with grandma’s stuff?” My mom (the grandma in question) is a fast and technically superb knitter. She makes Star Wars sweaters for my kids – now *that’s* cool. I guess I’m just annoyed that “alternative” has become synonymous with only punk style (I mean, punk is okay, but it just never looked good on me).

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