It is during times like these when I remember the real reason why I craft. I can say crafting brings me a feeling of accomplishment, an outlet for creativity, and a great way to earn some money or save some money (gift making). But all of these are secondary. What it really boils down to is this: crafting keeps me from going insane. And, guess what, it does this two ways! It stands in the way of oncoming boredom and anxiety; it just depends upon the day.
Examples of such: last Fall when I was working as sales clerk at the family's farm stand, there were some rather slow times. It was November and things were starting to really slow up. And to avoid twiddling my thumbs, I decided to bring along some crochet and make a few hand warmers (using this pattern). Crafting saved those dismal November days from being total wrecks!
Now comes anxiety. You know those times when your mind is going 100 mph and you just can't seem to sit and be focused? Or when you start thinking not only about what you're going to do today, but for the next week and year? Yeah, that's the cue for me to pull out some "intermediate" knitting and just knit. I skip the easy knitting (aka stockinette), because I've noticed it soon becomes mindless knitting and I begin to think of my to-do list over and over. For me, the best thing to do is have a knitting project that has a stitch pattern, colorwork, or lots of shaping. It keeps my mind engaged in what my hands are doing. Crafting has often saved me from having a melt down!
These great attributes of crafting resurfaced in my mind as of late, due to some serious sewing/knitting withdrawal. It has been one jam-packed month with my family's farm and relatives visiting. It's been all good, though, for it has given me a chance to prune back my usual crafting time and develop a craving for it. I'm itching to get knitting and sewing once again! Or just make something, you know?
So right now I'm looking around my little sewing room and trying to remember where I left off. Actually, I left off at a rather good part! I last altered my pants pattern to suit a jean design of mine, and had everything cut out and ready to sew up. Oh my goodness, sewing up my first ever jeans: now that sounds enticing! But hold on! Must remember to slow down when tackling this project. I'm not really following directions for the construction process (yeah, kind of winging it), so I better make a game plan!
I also have a crocheted throw in the works. Summer officially started a few days ago and here I am starting up a big crochet project. Call me weird because I absolutely agree.
This crocheted throw started on Memorial Day weekend. I was helping out my sisters that weekend by keeping an eye on their booth that they were holding at a local craft fair. I managed to slip away and visit the New Ewe Yarn Shop in Newaygo, Michigan. (Favorite place on earth!) Hadn't stopped by the shop since my birthday back in January so I was really looking forward to it.
As I've learned from past yarn shop visits and grocery shopping, it is never a good idea (for me anyway), to go in without a list. So in preparation, I printed out an image of a crocheted pillow I saw on Ravelry that utilized the now famous African Flower Hexagon Motif. The pillow has these really vibrant pinks and oranges with sprinkles of black and navy blue, and all of the motifs have a gray color for the perimeter.
Here is said pillow:
And here is my throw so far:
As I look more closely at the images above, I notice that the throw's actual colors are much more vibrant than what the photos are showing. I mean, those pink motifs to the right are not purple, they're a strong fuchsia! Just take my word for it.
Have lots of other projects in the process of coming together (i.e. quilt, knitted mitts, etc.), but the jeans and throw are what I'm really excited about at the moment. And as I go and try to squeeze as much crafting time in during these busy days, I will savor it in more ways than one.
What about you? What is the real reason why you love to craft and create things with your hands? Have your reasons evolved over the years? What were your motives in picking up your craft in the first place?