Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lessons learned from Craft

We've been watching the dvd of Craft in America at our house and I find it so refreshing to hear from others who are passionate about their chosen craft. It reminds me that one of the reasons I love to knit (or hand sew or cross-stitch) is that I feel an inexplicable link to the women who have gone before me, making things for their families. I imagine some sturdy pioneer wife making clothes by hand while planting a garden, raising a passel of young'uns, slaughtering chickens for dinner, and settling the frontier. Too much Laura Ingalls Wilder in my youth, do you think??

I also read a recent post on Ravelry about one knitter belittling another knitter because her preferred methods were different--in this case, simple vs. ornate. I think the point the judgmental knitter missed was that we all have something to contribute. It makes little sense to me anyway----what could it possibly matter to someone who likes to knit lace whether someone else only does garter or stockinette stitch?? That was something I appreciated about Mason-Dixon Knitting; there are a lot of just plain knitting patterns. I like doing lace, but I LOVE having something simple to work on, especially for times when I need to concentrate on something other than knitting. Like life, for example!

The artists on Craft in America weren't judging what others were doing, they were just thankful to be able to create things and express themselves through craft. And that attitude empowers me to appreciate what I do as well as what others do, without feeling intimidated by others' quality or quantity. Yes, I want to improve my knitting, but not because I'm trying to keep up with the speed knitters or master knitters of the world.

It all comes down to this: nine-tenths of the people for whom I knit will not be likely to receive an item from me, look at it and say, "Wow, you could have done better!" Frankly, I'm thankful for that. And for the fact that I don't have to slaughter chickens for dinner...

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