Thursday, February 09, 2012

Starting in again

Hello! I’ve missed you!

I’ve been knitting a crocheting a lot lately and I’ve been thinking about knitting and crocheting a lot lately. Like, why I select the projects I do, what I get out of the process as a whole, and how any of this is fulfilling to me. I’ve decided that, for me, there are basically four kinds of knitting/crochet and any given project falls into one or more of these categories.

  • Pure Process. For me, this means mindless knitting but YMMV. I want to move my hands in the comforting way of pulling one loop through another with the help of an implement. Almost, but now always, this happens for me in the form of dishcloths. K1 forever. Okay, a YO once a row and some K2togs on the way back down. Watch a movie (or Misfits or Downton Abbey, lately), pull some loops without really thinking about it, and I end up with some dishcloths. Don’t really need the dishcloths, but then I’ve got them and I can send some to a friend at a moment’s notice.

  • Utilitarian. I want thing. I can make thing. I do make thing. Maybe is an awesome experience and I have a blast *and* I get thing. Or, maybe does not get my creative juices flowing. Maybe is boring and tedious but not in a nice, mindless (see #1) way that comforts. Maybe is fiddly and difficult and not fun at all. But I want thing! Enough to put up with the crap. Oh thing, I hope I still love you when I am done.

  • Knitting Class. Other than my Grandma Black teaching me to chain and perform a single and double crochet when I was about 6, I am a completely self-taught handcrafter. Most everything I’ve learned about crochet and knitting is from working other people’s patterns and seeing how things were done. Usually this is a great deal of fun. Sometimes it becomes Utilitarian crafting. But, sometimes Utilitarian crafting becomes a Knitting class. It almost always works out in the end. The most important thing about Knitting Class crafting is that it often ends up leading to the next category…

  • Dripping With Creativity. Well, *dripping* may be a bit much. What I really wish for is that this was some sort of process that I just couldn’t help. As if I would just explode if I weren’t creating things from scratch and my own head and soul and my whole life was just about vomiting up some awesome. But it’s not like that. I’m sure it’s not like that, really, for *anyone* but there are some artsy types out there that make you believe that they’re actually that way. I’m really, really not. In fact, even when I do get creative and make things from scratch, I’m *very* systematic about it. And, usually I’m not doing it nearly so much because I will explode if I don’t, but because I had an idea and I want to be the one who does it and puts it out there. I don’t want to get scooped. I want it to be *me*. Me, me, ego, ego, blah blah blah. Sheesh, aren’t you bored of me yet, because I am.

I’m hoping to start talking about some of the projects I’ve been working on in terms of these categories. It will almost certainly be more interesting than straight-up show-and-tell and it just might start some conversations about why we do what we do as crafters. And maybe I’ll learn something about myself.

Oh self, I hope I still love you when I’m done.


jmk said...

I feel a real sympathy for your 4th category. People sometimes "accuse" me of being creative but that's very rarely the case. Occasionally I have a little idea and then the challenge is on to see if I can actually do it.

Sus said...

Oh, I know *exactly* what you mean! It is like an accusation, isn't it? Something I feel I can never live up to!