Saturday, August 29, 2009

Needlework Knowhow

Lately the only thing that has helped me pass the part time job blues is needlework. My amazing grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was very young and I've been going in and out of crochet phases since then. It wasn't ever something I would consider myself an expert in, but it is great for someone like me who has a phobia of being idle.

About four years ago, my dear dear friend Ellie O taught me how to knit. I loved it at first, but after realizing that knitting is a much slower process than crocheting (and therefore far less gratifying for me), I rediscovered my love for crochet. I'm not sure if it's the process itself, or the fact that crocheting reminds of and makes me feel closer to my grandmother. Perhaps it's both. But lately during my long periods of time off I've been crocheting anything and everything I can.

I used to be against using patterns because I believed (and still do in a way) that 'art' does not come with instructions. Many people might not consider needle work a true art, but I'm a proud supporter of the applied arts. I believe that everything in you use in life can be beautiful. Why just hang paintings on blank walls, when the building itself can be a work of art?

But now I'm older and supposedly wiser and can recognize that patterns (and instructions for that matter) teach the tools you need to go off on your own and make more unique works of art. By crocheting with patterns (and often deviating from them) I have learned many new techniques and I've come to appreciate the importance of using a quality yarn product as well. Though, you can't beat the color selection of good 'ol $2.50 a scene Red Heart yarn (

Another thing I've come to realize is that it is ok to sell your art. I used to be very against selling any of my art or craft projects because I thought that one you added money into the mix, it would stiffled creativity or cause you to resent your art as an obligation rather than a hobby to enjoy, but I'm finding that I'm crocheting more than I could possibly keep for myself or give away to friends and in order to afford to continue at this rate, I will have to resort to selling and taking orders. A realization that I'm not so sad about anymore. I'm excited that even though I may never get a job that uses the degree I've gone into all this debt for, at least people might enjoy my crocheting enough to support my ability to continue. So feel free to commission a project from me. Right now I'm really into making purses, but I'm begining to make shawls and skirts as well. My rates are low and my quality is high. Thanks and good night.

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