Monday, July 6, 2009

Creature of Habit

I love crafting. Some might even say it's an unhealthy obsession. To that argument, I have the following response. Creation poses its own unique reward: something new that didn't exist before you made it. You, the creator, are responsible for its being, and that is a powerful accomplishment that no one can take away from you. It holds a special place in my life, because of my difficult family and their lack of acknowledgement. I'm about to finish a bachelor's degree in psychology and I still don't understand them.

Being able to make something soothes me in ways I can only begin to explain. I love creating something light, lacy, and beautiful as proof that I've accomplished something in a life too scarred by harsh criticism. It reassures me that I am skilled, that I am able to master unique abilities on my own. I still underestimate my abilities, but I'm learning to appreciate what I am able to accomplish.

It's soothing, in ways addicts can understand. The yarn harlot had a hilarious bit that I will poorly paraphrase about replacing knitting with smoking. In the first two weeks after you quit smoking, you'll find that keeping your hands busy helps control the cravings. You'll also find yourself the proud owner of 3 afghans, 2 sweaters, and dozens of socks. Funny, but true. It falls into a neat behavioral trick I learned. If you want to break a habit, replace it with another habit (preferably a better one). That way, you'll have a new habit that makes you a better person or enriches your life or simply stops an addiction. I've quit smoking, and I'm learning to replace bad habits with knitting/crocheting/crafting. When I used to smoke a cigarette after a fight with my mom, I'll knit instead. I say this in an ironically timed moment, since I just finished a row of the hourglass jacket which I picked up to soothe myself after a midterm. It's better than biting my nails, no? Plus, I'll have a wonderful summer jacket/indoors cardigan to wear when I'm done.

I can't wait to finish it, because the boyfriend's mother made a wonderful suggestion. I showed her the shawl pins that I made for the etsy shop, and she thought the designs were lovely. She suggested that I show a picture of someone or something wearing the pin so people got a better idea of how the shawl pin worked. Which is a great idea, I thought. The tutorials show you how to stick the pin in the fabric, but it doesn't really show you how it could be worn, does it? Of course, that makes me want to start a new shawl immediately, let's ignore the half-dozen projects I have on my needles currently. But if you've seen the panache shawl can you really blame me?

I leave you, dear reader, with two honest questions - what inspires you to knit or how did you get started crafting? And, would it help if I had pictures of the shawl pins being worn?

1 comment:

Joy said...

So true about habits... Though I don't think my taking up knitting replaced anything. It's more filling up the time I normally wouldn't be doing anything - bus rides, TV watching, etc.

And yes, that shawl is gorgeous. Who knew F&F could look so classy? :P

Pictures of the shawl pins being modeled would be great. I am a big fan of modeled photos. Well, except for earrings and underwear... ack!

Welcome to Crazytown, where my friends have proclaimed me queen. Why did they do that you ask? For some reason, there's very little that I fear about knitting. Hmm, a dress in laceweight done in lace knitting written by vogue? Sounds great! I have very few inhibitions when it comes to knitting, and that sometimes ends disasteriously. Apparently, other people think this signifies a level of crazy that only the royalty can attain. Follow along with my escapades as I dive head first into all sorts of insane techniques and projects without much more than an "Oh! That looks pretty, I can make it!"

Those will probably be my famous last words.