Every so often I find myself wondering about why I place such a high value on making things by hand. It could be because of an article I read, or a snippet of conversation I overhear. Occasionally someone comes right out and asks me, "What's the big deal about crafts? Why do you bother?" Sometimes I ask myself the same question – especially on days when I make a mistake and have to rip out half a sweater, or spend hours sewing a dress only to put a hole in it as I snip the last buttonhole. Whatever the reason (I haven't frogged any sweaters or ruined any dresses lately), this has been on my mind this week. I've been mulling it over as I ride the subway, as I shop for groceries and – of course – as I sit with my knitting at the end of the day. There are probably as many different reasons to love crafting as there are crafters, multiplied by minutes in the day – that is, each of us has our own reasons and they probably change over time. Sometimes I love crafting because it's better than cleaning the bathroom. Sometimes I love it because it's just plain fun (that would be anything that involves googly eyes, of course!). And sometimes I love it because it allows me to tell someone how much I love them...in ways that words just can't. But the real reason I love crafting – the thing that never ceases to thrill me about my hobby of choice – is the feeling that when I'm making something, I'm tapping into some sort of magic. It's the idea that I can take raw materials – cloth, thread, yarn – and, with the perfect mix of time, effort and imagination, turn it into something special. The idea that a tiny, ordinary action, repeated ten-thousandfold, can produce a scarf, a sweater, a quilt; something that wraps you up, keeps you warm, makes you feel loved. It's the most ordinary thing – but it's also the most magical. You might find it in crafting. You might find it in cooking. You might find it in writing, in taking care of your kids or your pet, or in your daily walk, a routine that involves a thousand steps, each one a tiny bit different than the one before. Wherever it is for you – I hope there's a bit of magic waiting for you this weekend.