Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Moving on

So. At this point last year, I was kind of expecting, at this point this year, to be on a train bound for the far north of Scotland wearing dark sunglasses and avoiding standing next to the cover of the Daily Mail so I wasn't recognised, hoping no blocks had been put on my credit card before I could put a deposit down on some windswept hut looking out to sea and start a new life far away from human society and the voluntary sector in particular. I'm not saying this was an entirely justified fear, but it wasn't that paranoid given stuff that had happened, and, most importantly, it's definitely where I thought I'd be, on a subconscious and an emotional level, and that's what I'd been thinking for a good, ooh, four years? And now I'm not. I'm not on Orkney/ similar. I'm sitting here with a cup of Yorkshire tea with unsweetened soymilk, listening to Partner clattering about grilling poppadums, and thinking about things.
4-up on 13-03-2013 at 19.54 (compiled)
I was trying so hard to look corporate. How did my hair end up fuchsia?
You see, I'm going to do a post that says, gosh, I'm lacking inspiration and I'm not much wanting to knit at the moment, what shall I do. But actually, now, I'm wondering if perhaps it's just a bit of a reaction to having been under a bit of stress for a few years - perhaps I just need a break? I don't know about you, but when I'm not feeling so creative, I beat myself up a bit. I set myself targets. I try to force myself to finish things I wasn't that interested in knitting to start with, like the massive drop-stitch laceweight scarf in Noro Sekku. True Fact: no-one's temporary knitting slump is ever cured by knitting Noro Sekku, which I believe to be a yarn spun by the Devil in Hell and wound into skeins by All His Little Minions. I'm not saying it isn't attractive when it's knitted up, because, it is, but, knitting it, oh my goodness, it's not for someone who's slightly out of love with the process, it really isn't. So I'm thinking that perhaps Mad Finishing Things mode isn't going to work. I've started a crochet cushion, which I'll show you when it's finished, and I'm interested that Eskimimi from Eskimimi Makes also had a similar reaction to a bit of a slump. Crochet! Crochet all the circles! (Although, Eskimimi had spun her yarn as well: mine's Stylecraft Special DK).
I just made marbled banana bread! Recipe here. Dead easy. Not sure I'll get it out of the tin though
Anyway. If you have a similar Guilt/ Try To Finish Things/ Fail/ More Guilt reaction to a bit of a craft slump and beat yourself up, like I do, do you ever ask yourself, what would your friends say? Because, they wouldn't say, you have failed to put in the proper hours on Noro Sekku, what a failure you are, like we say to ourselves. Mine would probably say, for Christ's sake, Susie, stop being so manic, you can buy a cushion/ scarf in John Lewis, shall we open some wine/ have a biscuit. However, if I were my own best friend in the best self-help book tradition, I would say, Susie, time for a crafting break. Do not give up on crafting, for, we know of old that, when you do that, you turn your creativity to unhelpful ends and start organising people or decorating the entire house and then regretting it: instead, go for the easy win. Craft small, enjoyable things. Try new ideas! Do not worry if you are not expanding your skill set, as I am not aware that anyone at any point was planning to make you submit a thesis on Radical Uses Of The Yarnover. Try to have fun. All is well, or, it is at least better than it would have been if you were sitting on your own on Orkney looking at a seagull and wondering where to buy tofu.
Like a rhinestone cowboy, riding out on a horse in a star-spangled ro-de-o
So I am thinking. I am crocheting away on my cushion. I am having a look round the classes on Craftsy, and I was particularly fascinated by one where you learn about buttercream (it's free! go and learn!). I have bought some epoxy clay and crystals, and I am going to see what I can unearth that I may wish to make pendants with. I am going to dig out my book on embroidery and see if I want to have a crack at a pillowcase. I am trying new things. And soon my knitting muse will come back and I will welcome her with open arms, like an old friend. But, in the meantime, I will meet new friends.

What do you do when your muse temporarily disappears?


Stitched Together said...

I've always been a bit of a crafting slut, so when I don't feel like knitting, I crochet. If I don't feel like stitched based wool, I needle felt (now that is fun when you are stress, though slightly dangerous). When I don't feel the fibre, I bust open the sewing machine and when I can't be arsed with sitting at the table I pick up some english paper pieced patchwork which I can do by hand. Then when all else fails I get out my pretty beads and make a batch of earrings or stitch markers. Of course once I make the blingiest stitch markers in existence, that generally makes me want to knit so I can use them.

No one but you cares if you don't craft every day. Pick a craft, buy a general craft magazine (preferably with a small kit attached to the front) and do something quick, easy and new. You have no idea where a little change of crafting direction will take you.

The Foggy Knitter said...

I seem to have knitted daily ever since I started, about six years ago. I can't seem to stop, it seems to be an addiction.

Though I have slowed down with the current evil cold and have been reading a lot. I'm trying to get knitting again because it beats sitting staring into space.

But no, don't beat yourself up, just do something fun or silly. Maybe some Easter/spring decorations? Colouring in can be good too.

It is a tricky time of year because the weather's not really good yet and winter feels (to me at least) like it's gone on forever and ever.

A class on buttercream?! Yumsk!

Rachel said...

When I don't feel like knitting, I go outside and dig, or hack back brambles (much harder) or buddleia. Sometimes baking seems more attractive - that banana bread looks good!

Sarah said...

I really try to remember it's supposed to be fun and just do what I fancy doing, but why oh why do we ever let it make us feel guilty??

Vivianne said...

I doubt they even know what tofu is on Orkney ...

AC said...

OH MY...I absolutely love your hair. It rocks my socks!

Susie said...

Thank you AC! :-)

I have compromised on every possible level and I have bought a spider to decoupage, you read that correctly... I shall report back at some point.

I really, really wish I wanted to hack back brambles though!

Karen M said...

Sounds like you need some Handmaiden Seasilk.