I think it’s time. It’s been coming on for a while now, but I think the time might actually be just about here. With each new craft project I complete, I feel a sense of extreme happiness, pride, and relief, followed almost immediately by a feeling of shame and guilt. The words, “I didn’t really create this” scroll across my brain and I dump the shawl/scarf/hat/sweater into the closet. Whenever people compliment my knitting and say that it’s amazing that I can do stuff like that, all I can think to myself is that I’m a liar.
Ok, yes, technically I did create the thing that people are looking at. Technically, I picked out the yarn, needles, and pattern and then used my two hands to carefully stitch hundreds of little loops together and create the object that now can be used as a warmth-provider/beautiful accessory. Sometimes I have even spun or dyed the wool myself (I feel a bit better about those). But the truth is that, when it comes down to it, all I really did was follow a set of very well-written instructions. Someone else put tens or even hundreds of hours into writing that pattern – trying different techniques, working out the math, sketching and swatching and probably cursing in frustration at the stupid pattern that simply WON’T come out the way it is in the imagination.
Am I proud when I finish a difficult or particularly satisfying project? Yes, of course. The look on my mother’s face when she opened her cross stitch sampler Christmas present was priceless and I wouldn’t change it.
But in the end, it’s not really my own work. I often can’t sell it, and my sense of accomplishment only reaches skin deep. So, what’s to be done? Wallow in my feeling of un-accomplishment for the rest of forever? Don’t think so.
In less than four months, I will no longer be a college student, but a graduate, an alum, an adult (well, kind of an adult). I will be moving to a new city, with a new apartment and (hopefully) a new job. Let’s focus on the new apartment aspect. In my mind, I don’t really picture most of the apartment, I only have vague images of what it might look like that are a bit fuzzy around the edges. But one room/space stands out clearly in my mind. Lining the walls are bookcases with knitting books and novels, as well as sketch books, how-tos and magazines. Above and around a counter space with a sewing machine are storage spaces, cabinets, and drawers with craft supplies neatly categorized and cataloged. Natural light from a large window splashes onto a large wooden table with graph paper, pencils, and yarn scraps strewn about it, and one entire wall is made up of corkboard with various sketches, swatches, and half-finished pieces pinned to it. Next to the window, a computer screen shows design software with the beginning of a sweater, and a comfortable chair in front of it affords a view of the bustling city street below. The word “studio…” softly whispers its way across my mind whenever this happy daydream takes me, and a sigh of longing inevitably escapes me. This is my next goal, my next step in the knitter’s journey: design.
|The first knitted item I created without a pattern –
a felted bag for my Nana to hang from her walker and carry
items with her. Closes with velcro, handles button on.