Welcome to Handmade General!

A baby boy with blue eyes and messy blond hair sits in a blue chair. He is wearing a red cardigan his mom knit him, and is smiling a huge toothless grin.
DIY

Welcome to Handmade General!

Hi there! New blogs are weird. First posts are hard. But I’m glad you’re here so I’ll rip the Band-aid off quickly.

I’m Susan. I live in southeastern Massachusetts with my husband, toddler son, and our cattle dog/corgi mix. I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and I do some freelance editing and writing during naps and bedtime. But mostly I make things. A lot of things.

I have always loved making things. Knitting is my first and truest craft love. I learned to knit when I was 13 and my grandparents gave me a Teach-Yourself-to-Knit-Kit for my birthday. For a long time, knitting was all I did. I dabbled briefly in other things, like when I learned to sew in middle school home ec. I wanted to like sewing, but I didn’t want to sacrifice any of my knitting time to pursue it. 

Over the past few years, though, I’ve found myself gravitating toward other crafts. I still love knitting, but the pull of learning new things is strong. Nowadays, I sew, quilt, spin yarn, and crochet in almost equal measure. 

I love making things just for the joy of it, but since buying a house and having a baby, I find myself leaning more toward the practical aspects of crafting. Knitting a sweater for my husband has a far greater appeal than knitting another lacy shawl that I’ll never wear. Sewing was never my favorite, but now that I’m making blankets and quilts for my son and dog to cuddle up or build forts with, I’m falling in love with it. I’m also finding joy in things I never considered to be “crafts” before – I cook and bake most of what we eat from scratch because it saves money and makes me happy; I have an ever-expanding garden, and am learning to preserve what I grow. 

A baby boy with blue eyes and messy blond hair sits in a blue chair. He is wearing a red cardigan his mom knit him, and is smiling a huge toothless grin.
Baby Henry in a handknit sweater

This blog came about because my husband mentioned he wants to open a general store someday. Upon doing some research (the kind of research you do when you’re having a bad day and need to plan something for the far-away future), we were looking into what products general stores carry. The answer is, traditionally, everything. Everything you could possibly need. And as we were reading, my brain was screaming, “I think I could make all this.” 

I’d like to try out that theory. If we use it, I want to know how to make it. Which isn’t to say I will make 100% of everything we use; I have a habit of overcommitting myself then quitting because I’m overwhelmed. But I want to have the knowledge and skills to be able to make it all. 

The things we use fall into a few main categories:

 – Toiletries/body care 
– Reusable alternatives for single use or disposable items
– Food (growing, preserving, cooking)
– Home goods/decor
– Clothes and accessories
– Pet supplies
– Cleaning supplies
– Just for fun (toys, art, notebooks, anything else really)

Whether you make these things too, want to make them, or just want to read along as I learn a million new things, I’m glad you’re here and I hope you’ll stick around. 

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