You may have heard of hygge, but have you heard of craftyr? Chances are, probably not as I've just made it up!
For the last little while I've been fascinated with the idea of 'hygge'. It comes from Denmark - a country of great design, New Nordic Cuisine and long, cold winters. Hygge is the experience of sharing a warm, cosy, intimate experience with others. Think sipping cups of tea with your friends in front of a roaring fire. Think of a long dinner with your family by flickering candlelight. It's even better if these events happen after you've been outdoors for a brisk walk or ski around your neighbourhood.
How to pronounce it is a bit of a mystery (hoo-gah or hue-gir or some combination of the two) yet saying aloud that an event is hygge is all part of the magic. Just thinking of a moment as hygge is fleeting and soon replaced by the long list of things to do and the little worries of the day. On the other hand, saying aloud that something is hygge seems to elevate the experience. Having someone else to affirm the observation helps to cement that moment in time and space as being special. I've experienced this phenomenon myself. When I observe a moment as hygge it's nice but when I share that observation with the people around me, the moment seems to take on a lasting glow. Especially when those people agree that the moment is hygge.
Imagine what it would be like to have a whole culture observing hygge moments. How special would that be? That's exactly what the Danes do. Maybe that's why they're consistently voted one of the happiest nations on earth in spite of brutally cold, dark and long winters.
As I added hygge to my vocabulary, I noticed that there were other moments that felt special and worthy of attention. Like hygge, these moments celebrated togetherness but they weren't quite hygge. There was no outdoor activity followed by the welcome of shelter, warmth and safety. What we had instead was creativity, togetherness, intent and quiet. The first time I noticed this feeling was when I was knitting with my daughters. We'd just spent time going through my wool stash and after finding everyone a ball of wool and a set of knitting needles we sat together on the couch. My eleven year old happily cast on for herself while I taught my seven year old the knit stitch. "The rabbit goes in the hole, round the back, pull her through and off." It was such a lovely feeling to be crafting together and such a perfect time of year with all the cold and rain of late.
The next time I experienced not-quite-hygge was when my girls and I were painting together. I'd set up their paints and was planning on catching up on some work or getting in a sneaky afternoon nap. Instead I pulled up a chair and began to paint. Instantly, I was absorbed in my art and felt my tension and stress melting. Being with my girls, painting side by side was so much fun. We were definitely together and cosy but we were each working on our own projects.
At first I called these moments hygge but it didn't seem quite right. So I decided to come up with a word to describe the joy of crafting together. I wanted something that sounded a little bit like hygge and that gave a nod to the all important element of craft and creation. And that's how craftyr was born.
Craftyr (pronounced craf- tir) - craft, creativity, togetherness, intent and quiet.
To craftyr, gather a group of friends or family. Everyone needs to have a something to make with their hands and be engaged in the creative process. So far my experience of craftyr has been with everyone working on the same craft but perhaps craftyr can also happen when people are making different things. Although my feeling is this may lessen that feeling of togetherness.
The atmosphere needs to be relaxed and the conversation lazy. It's the kind of conversation you can have with old friends and lovers. You know, where you can let the silence speak for itself with no need to hurry the conversation along or brag or complain. Just easy.
I'm not sure about snacks or cups of tea. I think they come after craftyr. But maybe not. Craftyr is still evolving.
So tell me, when do you craftyr? And do you have snacks while you craftyr? Is everyone working on the same project or something different? I think we could get craftyr in the dictionary if we tried hard enough!