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Knitting with Intention – Prose

8 Apr

I recently combed through a large pile of yarn that was graciously donated to my knitting group. The yarn came from a woman who had recently passed and her daughter wanted the yarn to find a good home. I was excited when I saw the yarn on the knitting table spread out for the taking. I thought it was such a lovely and generous act to share the yarn with those who would truly appreciate it.

Upon closer inspection of the massive amount of yarn, I was overcome with sadness. The yarn was made up of small bits of remnants from finished projects, small bobbins, and many, many skeins that were ten years old.*

Just as I was amazed by the generosity of this gift, I was also troubled with the thought that all of the yarn on the table had not reached its greatest potential.

My yarn cabinet was sad

This encouraged me to pay attention and keep an inventory of my own stash. My yarn was not being treated with respect. I had bags on top of the over-filled bins, fresh from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. These bags were jammed into the closet full of yarn and knitting supplies packed in there like a hoarder’s – or addict’s – dirty secret. My overloaded yarn cabinet looked like forgotten children not picked up from school.

I realized I had been hindering myself and my creativity! I was buying yarn because it was pretty, looked cool or that I might use eventually, the excuses were endless, and I wasn’t keeping up with the supply.

My desire to have lots of yarn was preventing me from finishing my current projects. My knitting bags were exploding at the seams! Not an atmosphere for creating, more like feeling overwhelmed with a knitting to-do list to get the pile smaller.

By no means am I advocating a moratorium on buying yarn, please don’t misunderstand! Every skein of yarn has a purpose. I’m encouraging us as knitters or crocheters to make it our responsibility to ensure its purpose is fulfilled after purchase.

I need a purpose!

If a skein sits neglected or forgotten for too long, do we somehow take away its integrity? We can forget the feelings that come from finishing a project, liberation, elation, fulfillment of giving and gratification, to name a few. Think of the person who receives the finished piece and gets the opportunity to share in some of those emotions. Even the yarn has the opportunity to be content because it has reached its potential. It is no longer waiting to be selected from the yarn stash or competing with our newest yarn that has our attention, it is complete.

Knit with Purpose!
- susannmarie

 

*For the record, the yarn that was so generously given has been given a good home. Our knitting group is sending many skeins to the Handmade Afghan Project. Almost all of the remnants were bagged and sent to my Mother’s Day Out program for crafting projects. The rest of the skeins were divided up amongst our group and will be put to good use…eventually.

Friends with Benefits

16 Mar Fair Trade

Making friends for all the right reasons

The best things in life are free, or maybe they’re trade?

I’m talking about trading your craft for other services or items (and only services on the up-and-up people – come on!). We all know times are tough for everyone. Any chance to save money or barter should be welcomed!

Here’s the, accidental, scoop: My sister’s sister-in-law by marriage (yes, complicated) was starting her own photography business. She was mainly interested in shooting families, kids and newborns. We had been friends on Facebook and she had noticed my new knitting hobby from posts and pictures. She was particularly interested in the hats I was making and asked me if I could knit newborn hats. Then she proposed we make a trade of hats for a photo shoot. I loved this barter idea!

I was flattered someone thought my work was good enough to use to promote their business. Also, as the mother of four children, I was really ecstatic about the photo shoot. Do you know how expensive a photo shoot is?

My enthusiasm quickly turned into reluctance…I realized that I had never knitted anything small, let alone newborn-sized.

What had I agreed to do? Nonetheless, I was committed. I quickly suffocated any insecurity I had about tiny things and prepared to knit. Okay, that’s a lie. I was scared out of my mind and my dear friend Stacy got to hear all about it. She had encouraged me to use smaller needles for quite some time.

She coached me to look my fear of tininess (less than 6mm needles) right in the eye and say “I can do this!” And that’s just what I did! Stacy might have a different story, but that’s why you have friends who are there to support you in times of crisis.

I began to seek out patterns for baby hats. There were plenty of available patterns on www.Ravelry.com which included helpful advice and tips. I finally settled on a hat that was supposed to end up looking like an eggplant.

Fair Trade

 

Baby Hats

The pattern was easy to follow and I was surprised that I was having fun while knitting it. Never have I ripped out so many stitches from one hat but I had to make my first tiny product perfect! The finished product was adorable and, it was worthy of being traded.

I subsequently made several more hats for Pink Owl Studios to use and will continue making more. We’ve worked out a special for moms that might be interested in actually purchasing the hats used for children’s shoots.

Happy Family

By the way, the photos session was amazing. I was so pleased at how the pictures turned out. My grin was for sure the biggest, knowing the main reason we were able to have that fabulous session was because of my hard work!

I will continue to look for opportunities to trade or barter with knitting. This outlet allowed me to be creative, trying things I might not, and left me feeling rewarded. Now, blessing the world with more handmade goodness is my new mission.

The trade guru,
susannmarie

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