Hobbies & Happiness, Uncharted


I haven’t posted here in a while. I hate the fact that months go by between posts. Why? I’ve felt like there has not been anything worth sharing. Except I never wanted this blog to ever be only a place to brag and share the best of my work, rather, a place to chat and share how I fit my favorite arts into everyday life. The truth is, I haven’t been fitting those arts in my life the way I wanted. Between work and school, time is short, but more truthfully, my motivation ran out.

I didn’t want to knit or sew just anything—I wanted to create. To design, to express my own taste and exercise my skills and learn new things. While giving 100% at school (in a major that relies on design and creation) and 100% at work (the retail environment and all that implies) while struggling with constant pain and inflammation in my joints, I feel mentally and physically drained. My friendships suffer for lack of nurturing, my spiritual life slogs for lack of time to reflect. On my few days free of work or class all I want to do is stay home and sleep, and when I do, I wind up teary and bitter at nighttime because I wasted the day. Failing an assignment because I completely forgot about it, getting to work late in the morning because I overslept from closing the store the night before, and shaking loose change bottom of my purse to buy coffee the day before payday (only to come up 10 cents short) are enough to send me over the angry edge. Why do I feel like I do nothing but work of both school and job variety and still often fail at both? Why do I feel so unproductive when all I do is work?

That said, I feel like I’m overreacting a lot of the time. My overall grades ramain above 90% in every class, despite an occassional mis, with teachers who encourage and enable me to succeed (even when I waste huge amounts of expensive paper printing patterns that I didn’t size properly.) I have enough money to buy schoolbooks, art supplies, and a cute Modcloth winter coat. I work with kind, supportive people. Getting everything done on time requires huge amounts of planning, list making, and reminders, and if those are not in place, I feel my anxiety go through the roof.

I think a large amount of why I feel so down and overwhelmed is because my brain and my hands crave time to make things. Not objects to be judged or graded, but to be made for the sake of doing something on my own terms. I miss knitting so much because it allows me to be both productive and resting at the same time. Designing the projects, taking something from thought to reality is both fulfilling and nuturing for my mind. I’ve learned when time and energy are short, I need to step back and just make without the mental exercise of complex design. While I love cables, lace, and fair isle, their intricacies are not what I need right now. So I crocheted (a skill in which I’m not totally fluent) a chunky cement-colored blanket, almost completely while watching TV or movies (Person of Interest—watch it, please and thank you.) It’s not really pretty, but it’s warm and made me happy to work on in the past few months, just to have something to work on that doesn’t have to be perfect.

I recently began an infinity scarf with some Berroco Vintage that’s been sitting in my stash for 2 years…and I have almost no plan for the design. Sailing uncharted (knitting pun intended.) I know how big it will be, and that it’s going to have 2 x 2 ribbed boarders on the edges, but the main part hasn’t been planned. Simple knitting is what keeps us warm and cozy when it’s cold outside, and it’s what keeps me from quitting school and moving to Norway to study fair isle and cheese making sane right now.

What’s the point of all this? Not entirely sure because I’m pretty tired. But I’d say it’s to not let everything else get in the way of doing little things that brings you joy. The world won’t end if you take an hour to work on a project that has no deadline. That you should take up a hobby because work and school and outside responsibilities shouldn’t take total control of your life. That you might get more peace out of your day by baking a loaf of bread or knitting a mitten than reading comments about the Starbucks red cup non-existent debate (raise your hand if you got unfriended for saying this is the least offensive thing the company has ever done *raises hand*) At the very least, you’ve got homemade bread to eat while scrolling.