What Rare Skill Do You Want to Learn?

I’m learning bobbin lace. I went to Venice last year, and visited the island of Burano, where lace has been made since the Renaissance. I also love making period costumes for myself, and will use this lace on a 1906 shirtwaist.

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Cold reading is a skill i’ve practiced most of my life. Working with information streams not commonly thought about by others to formulate information about a person and use inductive reasoning to make more accurate guesses about someone without knowing them.

The skill is useful for work, life, and if you choose to eventually be a sociopath or professional liar.

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Two historical embroidery techniques: Huck (Swedish, 1600’s) and Blackwork (Spanish and English, 1500’s).

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This thread reminds me that for years I wanted to learn how to darn socks. I finally looked it up and learned.

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I have a skill that was once quite common but is now disappearing – Pitman shorthand. I had wanted to be a writer when I was a kid, but my mother, fearing that I would starve, insisted that I learn typing and shorthand so I could at least “have something to fall back on.” Those skills served me extremely well through college, law school (because I also came to fear starvation), and my 35-year legal career.

I retired last year and am now trying to learn various languages, including two “dead” ones that, like shorthand, employ non-Latin alphabets: Ancient Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphics. I’ll never be any good at them, but the learning process is fascinating.

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How to pick a lock. Maybe not yet rare but as we become more technical it will be a rarer skill. Maybe I could rent myself out instead of having people buying bolt cutters…just a thought.

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Pitman Shorthand is an awesome skill. I’ve love to learn that.

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I started doing a different kind of art…stained glass…about 16 years ago. I didn’t know anyone or anything about it but I got some supplies and gave it a try. It was ugly at first but I got better over time. I now do artwork for Disney Galleries…yeah, a dream come true.

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Oh my god, that’s a dream story!

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Nothing better than turning passion into profession

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I have always wanted to learn the skill of Bonsai.

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I love archeology and often think I would have made a fine archeologist. I’ve got to ask you , where abouts have you volunteered for excavations ? and what cultures/ civilizations were these from ?

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I’d love to learn to make stained glass windows and bobbin lace.

I’d love to get better at wool spinning and celestial navigation (I took a class years ago and learned how to use a sextant, but I can’t claim it as a skill any more).

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I saw someone at a Society for Creative Anachronisms gathering do this and have wanted to ever since. Maybe this’ll motivate me?

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Don’t sell your knitting skills short. I knit as well and I have friends who swear I’m actually practicing magic (lol). Good luck with the socks!

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A very useful skill for being a “psychic” too , unless you end up getting caught out… then it could quickly become awkward

The great Orson Welles talking about it , very funny :

James Randi , he was awesome, and this is hilarious :

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I have my father and grandfather’s old telegraph keys. My father worked 35 years as a telegrapher for the Frisco Railroad and my grandfather did the same for 45 years. My dad’s bug is in great shape and all I would have to do is set up a sounder to get it going (he used an old Prince Albert tobacco tin at the depot). I’ve often thought I should have asked him to teach me, but alas, he’s gone now. What an amazing skill that seems to be disappearing.

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I was always interested in archaeology - 7-year-olds whose bedtime reading was Tales Mummies Tell are… odd, I’m sure. But as a vocation it has certain challenges, definitely.

I’ve helped with a late Archaic/Early Woodlands dig near the Patuxent River; daren’t be more specific than that. Personally I find that stuff the most fascinating, but you don’t get to pick your digs…

Right now I volunteer to do lab work and some digging in Alexandria, VA. That’s exclusively 18th and 19th century American. Which means the artifacts are in good shape and we can almost always characterize them - just last week I managed to identify the shop where a porcelain doll head we had found was made! - but honestly I don’t find it as engaging as the older stuff.

Hence wanting to learn flintknapping; train for the job you want, yes?

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Play the harp. I’ve been enamored by this instrument since I was a little girl. I tried taking lessons when I was in my 20s, but life sort of got in the way. I think it’s too late for me now…

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I would love to play the spoons. I watch videos of"Abby the spoon lady" on u-tube all the time! The other skill I’d like to learn is to drive a team of horses.

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