And when you come down to it, we know we’re not the best crocheters, not the best knitters. But, we’re not really interested in that. We are more interested in connecting with people. We’re interested in finding people that feel they’re not good enough in any fiber craft. We want to help you strip away your doubts, help you find confidence in your life by picking up something as simple as yarn. Because, we’re not at all interested in how well you can do it. We don’t categorize your worth by how complicated your patterns are. We’re more interested in the idea that you came to this craft of fiber arts because you wanted to simply do something that helped your spirit, your soul; something that gave you inspiration and enjoyment; something that caused a sudden addiction to hands bringing something to purpose. Or you needed to make some money. I’m all in favor of that….
So, we’re not at all interested in being the best in this field, and Lord knows, we’ve had quite a few of the big wigs of yarn remind us that what we do is second hand, a little “interesting” and “fun,” but not of any real value in the fiber arts community. We weren’t aware this was a competition, and I certainly wasn’t aware there was a prize if you won. It’s the process that counts, it’s the actual attempt at it that matters, it’s the hands on sticks and hooks and challenging yarn that brings us all here. It’s the desire to walk away from a mad life, and use our needles and hooks as the Buddhists may use their mandalas: to breathe, to find calm, to find peace, or to some, to find prosperity in our talents.
So, to the big wigs we are something of a threat, because we don’t promote the competitive desire to be the best possible knitter or crocheter out there. We do something a touch differently. We applaud you for working up your projects, for the fact that you actually held the notions in your hands, for trying to do a scarf for the first time. For trying socks from the toe up. For loving your weekend working up an afghan. For taking the time to feel good about your work when it’s done. Yes, that’s it. We want you to feel GOOD about the work you’ve done.
All of our work (I mean yours and mine) shows an insight into the lives that we’re dealing with. My knitting started with panic and homelessness. Yours may be different…..it may be the same. But, each of us has work that we do that catalogs the moments in our lives where we want to find someone to acknowledge our work, to find some praise. We yearn for that while we’re busy casting on. We want someone else to appreciate what we’ve done. And this weird world of people who claim themselves artists and experts have lost all concept of why YOU are HERE KNITTING and CROCHETING. You just want someone to be proud of your work, to acknowledge that you spent the time DOING it. Not to dismiss you because your work isn’t good enough.
(Ahem….Yes, someone said I only had a career in knitting because people felt sorry for me. I could only respond in the sardonic way in which I often do, “And you’re here interviewing me about my knit pity bear. It isn’t about the bear I knit…it’s about what that bear represents….You call it marketing? I call it fighting for my life….”)
Sorry I’m not as eloquent as I tend to be. Feeling a little weird that his world of knitting and crocheting has become as nasty as Tonya Harding’s boyfriend taking a crowbar to Nancy Kerrigan. Break a leg!
If anyone should dismiss your work, then you come here. Your work is welcome here. Because we promote the idea that it isn’t what you knit or crocheted, but the nod that you did it in the first place. Because we’re just not interested in who does it best. We’re more interested in WHY you do it. We’re more interested in the communication of what these knit and crocheted things mean. We speak to the ones we love when we gift our work. We make a declaration of independence when we begin to sell our things. We offer the world our hopes, our enthusiasm when we hand from these to another something we have crafted…..and we’re just not interested in having people tell you it’s not good enough because it’s not complex.
Now, go cast on! (or) chain!