Making Things

Sometimes I struggle with being a crafter. The things I do for fun seem so small and insignificant. I knit and sew and bake bread. My husband studies chess and economics in his free time (And for the record, he has never said anything about how I choose to spend my free time. He is so supportive of all the crafting that goes on). I struggle to see how knitting fits in to the world we live in today.

Part of the problem is that textiles have become so, so cheap. In the past people made things to save money or because that was the only way to have a sweater or socks or a new dress. These days crafting is a privilege and is often more expensive than buying something ready-made. Now that doesn’t take into account individual taste or fit – many of the things that I make could not be found in a store, and I can craft to my own measurements and colour preferences; but I can find many things I truly like at the store.

Making things is not mainstream. Not that that has ever bothered me, but it makes me wonder why. Why don’t people make things anymore? I make things because I have to: I have to have some sort of artistic expression. When I was in college I studied music. Now I knit and sew and dabble in all sorts of other art forms.

Why do you make things? Do you ever feel like making is insignificant?

Felicia of The Craft Sessions says all this and more way better than I can here.

“Selfish Knitting”

Christmas is over, and with it the joy (and stress) of knitting gifts for others. We as crafters now have time to knit for ourselves – “selfish knitting,” we call it. But why is knitting for yourself selfish? You are taking your time and your money and your skill and turning it all into a thing. Why shouldn’t that thing be for you? Why does the world assume that just because you make something – whether something functional or artistic (or both) – that it must be for someone else?

I think it comes from us not taking care of ourselves, not placing adequate emphasis on our own personal needs. We knit because we love it. But when you are knitting on a deadline or knitting something you don’t like or with a yarn you hate, where is the enjoyment in that? If knitting is about finding joy or peace or contentment or whatever knitting brings you personally, we should each strive to knit primarily those things that make us happy.

So go knit something you love. I hope it’s wonderful.

shawl

Change

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The last few years have been a period of change for me. Change is seldom comfortable. So while some great things have happened in the last few years (like moving out on my own and then getting married), it has also been a challenging time. I’ve cried a lot. What do you do when you’re between versions of yourself? How do you act when the rules you had written to guide your behaviour don’t apply anymore?

At the time I met my husband I was starting to feel uncomfortable with who I was. Some people will think I changed who I was for him, but nothing could be further from the truth. One of the things I love most about him is that he always accepts me for who I am at any given time, but without limiting me to be only that person. He has given me the room and the strength to grow. And for that I will be forever grateful.

Change is hard, but it is a sign of life. So I’m glad for the opportunity to change. I look forward to who I am becoming.