Before I get onto the actual post, let me say, today is the last day of my 21 day “Getting Back Into It” (GBII) challenge.
21 days ago, I decided I either needed to get back to tending my blog, or retire it. After much consideration, I decided I wasn’t ready to give it up, so I set up a challenge for myself to blog every day for 21 days, whether I felt like it or not. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so I used that for the basis of deciding on a timeline.
Now that day 21 is here, I feel like I’m getting ready to leave rehab, and I’m a little scared. There is no halfway house to back me up and help me work back into daily life on my own. Please don’t feel like I’m making light of “actual” rehab. I know this isn’t NEARLY as difficult, but it’s the closest analogy I could come up with.
So, I’m going to keep going on “my program.”
I’m not going to continue to number the days, but I am going, to the best of my ability, to continue to blog every day. At least until I feel certain I can a break for a day and jump back in. I’m not there yet. Reminds me a little of the trauma I’ve had with my fitbit. The first day of not hitting 10K steps was painful, then day 2 was easier, and before long, I just quit caring.
I don’t want to do that again with my blog.
And on that note, Day #21 GBII.
What is a craft snob, you wonder?
It’s someone who thinks that not every “handmade thing” rises to the level of an “acceptable” craft.
I remember well, back in the days when I took my art/crafts to shows to sell, walking through the show and thinking to myself pejoratively, “jeez, there’s not much here other than knitted scarves and crocheted baby booties. How can this be considered a craft show?” That perception continued for decades. Knitting and crocheting were not, in my mind, crafts. It was something old ladies did in their spare time.
Fast forward to about 4 years ago.
Hannah, my eldest grandchild, was 8, and she decided she wanted to learn how to knit. Neither of us can remember why (there’s probably a post back then explaining why, but I’m going to go with “we’ve forgotten!”)
I “think” I learned when I was a child. It would have been my grandmother who taught me (assuming I’m not hallucinating the whole thing – I can’t recover a single memory of learning, or of seeing her knit, but the steps were familiar enough that somehow I had to have been exposed to it.)
If I was going to teach Hannah, I was going to have to re-learn (or learn!) myself. So, I pulled up a beginning knitting tutorial on youtube and began to practice. Well, for me, practice meant “doing it.” I rarely have the patience to practice ANYTHING before jumping into an actual project.
I was thrilled to pieces with my finished scarf, even though it had MANY booboos in it, and I was addicted.
Seeing a photo of it now, it wasn’t really as bad as I remember it being! Heeheehee!
Then, novice that I was, the lessons began – a little like the blind leading the blind. She completed a little “rug” for her dollhouse, and never picked up the needles again. She just didn’t have the patience to put in the time necessary to get good at it.
I went on to make another 6 or 7 scarves, then put away the needles and didn’t pick them up again until recently. Mr. Tattered found the scarf I had made for myself hanging in the closet and asked if he could wear it out for a walk one chilly morning. He wore it every day for weeks before I decided I should make him one of his own for Christmas. He is SOOOOO difficult to buy for, and normally buys himself whatever he wants, so it was a perfect plan.
But it had been quite awhile since I’d knitted at all, and it was almost like starting all over again. And I was VERY rusty. I made mistake after mistake. Intellectually I knew he would love it mistakes and all, but this wasn’t for a kid who couldn’t tell the difference. He would know. And although he wouldn’t point them out, or ask, “what happened here?” I would know. And it just wasn’t acceptable. So I started over and over again until the mistakes were small enough that I could live them, and eventually I completed it. In time for Christmas. Barely.
That was followed by one for Lexi who wasn’t around for the first series.
Doesn’t that look snuggly around her little neck?
And then I found a lavender/purple yarn that Bea would love and made another,
She loves it!
…and found the one I had started for Josh half finished (I wondered why he never wore his! Ha! It would be pretty hard since it was still on the needles and tucked into a bag – another example of “unfinished projects!) And now I find myself addicted once again.
I carry around a bag of 3-4 scarves in varying stages of completion, so if I have a few minutes of downtime, I can knit away. Josh’s had more mistakes in it than I could live with this time around, so 6” from completion, I ripped it apart and started over. At first I was slightly appalled at myself, but the new version is on larger needles, and I’m much happier with it. Sometimes being anal is a good thing.
I now consider myself to be an acceptable basic knitter. I know one stitch, and I can do it over and over with no easily discernible errors. I can’t tell you how many hours I have under my belt, but it is in the hundreds, I would think. And I can’t do ANYTHING fancy. I can do one basic stitch, well enough. I’m trying knitting with fabric strips, which is a little more difficult, and I’m also trying to work up the courage to try a new stitch. I cannot consider myself to be an accomplished knitter, even after all the hours I’ve logged.
And with admitting that came the realization that I had been a “craft snob” when I looked down at all those women practicing their craft hour after hour, day after day, year after year, and getting REALLY GOOD at it. It’s not as easy as it looks.
Now, Bea, who is 8, wants to learn. I had yarn left from her scarf, so we got her started on one for her American Girl doll. And as I watch her struggle, but persevere, I am reminded again that learning to knit is not easy.
There is a lesson there.
It may not have been anything I was interested in at the time, but I should not have allowed that to give me permission to look down on what they were doing. It was their “craft” and they were very good at what they did. I’m hoping that I now have a better appreciation for ALL arts/crafts. They may not all be “my style,” or anything I would want to own, but I will appreciate it for the skill/effort it took to do it, and the courage shown by putting it out there for people to see.