They say once you pick up a skill, you never unlearn it, no matter how long you are out of practise. Well, I was definitely not keen to find out whether that was true or not, yet a couple of months into 2019 and I found out I had knitted very few stitches indeed.
I’m usually a slow maker and fine with that. I don’t think I’ll ever be the kind of knitter that ends the year with a completely new wardrobe to show for it. But, during a part of this year I almost didn’t make anything at all! I mentioned in my previous post about my year in sewing how my move at the start of this year played a role in it, but it would be dishonest to not talk about how racism, and the lack of inclusion and representation influenced my non-make months. The things I mentioned in my sewing post were as valid and more in the knitting community. The unwillingness to listen to marginalised voices, and how far people I regarded as online friends would go for that denial has changed how I relate to this community and in extension to my crafts. It took months for that change in relationship to settle on some new kind of form, and that was reflected in my making practise.
I took time to figure out how to connect to certain pieces in my wardrobe, stash and bookshelves now that I couldn’t relate to the people and brands associated with them any more. My opinion on how to deal with that has evolved over the year. I still think whenever there is a call-out people, organisations and brands should be given space and time to reflect on the criticism, apologize and work on being better. That is the entire point of the call-out. I believe in giving space for improvement, but I think that should work in tandem with actual behavioural change and recognition. Say, changing behaviour without apology or reflection is better than no changed behaviour at all, but is also super cynical and makes it look at least like your only doing it because it’s strategically more viable at the moment.
I hope you’ll understand why, for the moment, I’m opting to not share any makes or photos from companies that have not done better this so far. Sharing as such would in essence be free marketing for them, even with my smaller platform. My most recent finished knitting project is a reworking of a project that I’m not feeling ok with sharing at the moment but had already yarn etc for. I have to see where I’ll take this in the future, but I actually like how this is going so maybe it’s a route I’ll take more often in the future for things already in my yarn, fabric or pattern stash.
Once I established how to relate to my crafts after all that, my making flame did return. Particularity in the last bit of the year I felt the old spark again when handling needles and wool or when thinking about things I wanted to make. Whereas before, at the start of the year my thoughts about projects where dulled and washed out, at the end of the year I felt a genuine enthusiasm again when engaging in whatever way about crafts. A feeling I do not take for granted, especially after this year.
With all that being said I think it is time to look at the things that did make it off of the needles and unto the blog this year and, and talk to you about something new I started doing this year that greatly helped my making!
Apart from that, I also think this is just a really fun jumper. Green is one of my favourite colours to wear, and the speckles offer ample opportunity for subtle matching.
For it is Summer
I Like Warm Hugs
What I did not expect was how much good it would do for me! I think it was the thing that helped me get back into making things more than anything else. Not only did it help me document makes, track modifications and gauge, collect ideas for future makes and reflect on and appreciate the things I was doing better, but unexpectedly it became a creative outlet in itself. I did not start it with the intention of if becoming a scrapbook that would make it to bullet journal pinterest boards, and it isn’t by a long shot. My doodling is charmingly mediocre, my handwriting never won any prizes (my primary school teachers made sure I was aware of that!) and my way of planning, tracking and note taking isn’t ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination. But it ignited a joy for doodling that I wasn’t expecting and I have felt more inspired to go rogue with designs, changing and adding things, and trying my hand at working out stuff from my own imagination. Additionally, I found ways of enjoying and busying myself with making with the make journal that does not just involve the physical activity. None of these were things I was expecting at all when I set out to do it, and it has surprised me how often I sat down to write and doodle in it for the cheer joy of it.
I think another less tangible thing that I like about the my make journal is that it’s nice to have something that I’m doing for me and that isn’t meant for a greater public or anything, unbothered by expectations, amounts of likes or algorithms. I mean, I try to care or think about these things as little as possible anyway, (which is fairly easy to do and say for me since all my online outlets are personal making logs) but it’s been nice to have something that’s just for me and doesn’t have any filtering or curating and whose most dedicated public consists of my cats and a cup of tea.
Well then, as January nears it’s end, I suppose it’s time to be done with looking back at the previous decade, and look forward to the next. Wishing you all a ton of inspiration and plenty of good days to get your needles out in 2020. Let’s get on with it!