A new way to procrastinate!
I think I made up a new word this week…ProCRAFTinate.
I have decided that one of my goals for next year is to learn how to knit better. So in the midst of the holiday frenzy, I put all practical things aside and spent last Sunday doing a deep dive into planning fiber crafts that will satisfy my idle hands for all of next year. I had many more important things to attend to but instead, I proCRAFTinated and wandered the yarn aisles of the local craft store. Once I got home, the remainder of the afternoon was spent organizing all of the projects into their respective bags complete with instructions and knitting/crochet notions. That evening, I got several projects started with a few rows just to make sure the needles were the right size and all was right with the world.
It made me so happy!
I spend most of my evenings working on my art while watching TV but I have found that working on some of my projects in public invites weird conversations.
A stranger asks me, “What are you knitting?”
I respond, “A tentacle for my latest sculpture. I’m a fiber artist, I create sculptures inspired by nature. I use knitting, free-form crochet, felting and beading to create my work.”
They reply, “Oh…that’s…interesting. (Insert awkward pause) It’s cool you are an artist, I’m not creative at all.”
An uncomfortable silence settles in while I try and figure out how to soothe their fragile ego and assure them that they surely must be creative in some way.
When I’m on a plane, at a committee meeting, visiting with a friend or just hanging out in public, I like to have a small project at hand. If it can’t be my art, then I want something fun to make. That is how I fell into the rabbit hole of planning crafts that will keep me busy for the entire year. I am planning to learn how to knit better by making a blanket using the book Learn How to Knit with 50 Squares by Che Lam. The book starts with simple stitch patterns and gets increasingly more complicated, each square teaching a new technique. I bought some inexpensive ivory chunky yarn and I will work my way through the book one square at a time. Hopefully next winter I will have a lovely hand-knit blanket! Making a square is portable and I won’t have to haul around a big project.
Then, I found another book with small practical projects like making washcloths, hand towels, little baskets, scrubbies, etc. It’s called Take a Ball of String: 16 Beautiful Projects for Your Home by Jemima Schlee. I bought a selection of Sugar and Cream 100% cotton yarns which are yarns without any stretchiness that are really more like string. Crafters often use them to make dishcloths. These projects are fairly mindless and I can take them to places where I want my hands to be busy but I need to pay attention to what is happening such as listening to a lecture or participating in a conversation with some friends.
Finally, I put together a couple of very tiny crochet projects that I can keep in my purse and pull out in a pinch. You can’t get more compact then a crochet needle and a small ball of crochet cotton. I will just need to make sure I have my reading glasses packed as well!
I think proCRAFTinating is a great way to relax. It’s so much more fun than cleaning something which is another way I tend to procrastinate. Plus, the holidays are geared to making things. What better way to celebrate then to fall into a trance during the holidays and wander around your local craft store!
You can learn more about Laura Morrison and her art at www.lauramorrisonart.com