Friday, 12 March 2010

Pulled in every direction...

You know, sometimes I find crafting to be quite stressful.

It can be difficult to know where you ought to focus your attention. I sew, knit and crochet so, in itself, choosing the medium in which I want to work can be hard. Yet, even then there are so many other considerations. I had recently decided that I was only going to make things for myself which, as a stand alone statement, posed no problems. I have multitudinous projects backed up in various online and real-world 'to-do' lists and who doesn't like to expand their own wardrobe?! Yet, having knitted to the mid-way point on a chocolate brown sleeveless waistcoat I started to feel restless and dissatisfied. Perhaps I should start a second project?

Then, of course, I was faced with the stash problem. If I was only knitting things for myself, then what on earth was I going to with all the odd skeins of yarn that are stuffed on shelves in the workshop, each one representing yet another failure to control the fibre guzzling, impulsive yarn hoarder buried not so deep inside. They gaze at me in silence - voiceless, reproachful.....neglected. Row upon row of beautiful, wasted opportunities. Like performers who have failed a final audition. Good....great even....but not quite good enough. I am not ashamed to admit that my resolve weakened. I cannot possibly knit all of that yarn up into useful projects for myself (I draw the line, for example, at wearing peach!). How many scarfs/hats/tea cosies/ipod covers etc etc could one household possibly need? These were the early fruits of my labour, the projects that I made to learn and hone my skills. I had already gifted a million and one similar items to friends, family and work colleagues, would they be able to cope when the second wave hit in? Perhaps not.

But of course - the Folksy shop. A conscious and sustained effort would reward me with a profusion of little trifles, just perfect in their one-skein cuteness to sell on to happy browsers. But..... spring is just around the corner, who wants to wrap themselves in swathes of wool, alpaca and mohair when the buds begin to bloom and the opportunity to allow sunlight to gently caress pale skin finally presents itself? Spring and summer are the seasons for cotton, silk and lace knitting and, having barely considered these before, where would I start?

Moreover, if I was to spend my free time resourcing and making suitable patterns for the Folksy shop, how would I have any left to develop my own design skills? Throughout the last couple of years I have developed an acute awareness of the lack of decent mens knitting (and sewing for that matter) patterns. Apparently, the world assumes that gender dictates taste and therefore men cannot appreciate anything that is not heavily cabled in brown/black/blue or grey wool. I had anticipated that with some hard work and continued practice, I would be the guy that could redress the balance.

I realise now that I have, perhaps unfairly, presented this as a story with a punchline. But as you sit here reading, I am afraid to advise you that no 'Eureka' moment is to follow. I cannot show you how best to split your time to achieve optimum results in every area of your crafting life as I am none the wiser myself! I have just completed one small project (details to follow tomorrow) and cast on another, my waistcoat has grown a few more inches and my stash is now heaped on the floor looking, if it's possible, more hostile than ever and STILL I find myself pulled in every direction.

Procrastination, they tell me, is the thief of time.

I, dear readers, am losing entire days!

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