Free style!

My first crochet project free style (no pattern) and different yarn.

The creativity flowed strong for the making of this floor rug.

Never thought I’d get to the point where my skill set was good enough so try to make something without following a pattern. I’ve surprised myself!

Now onto the next project…

Tying Knots

When I was in primary school the fad was to make friendship bracelets. A quick lesson from a classmate, a selection of a few colours of embroidery thread I convinced mum I had to have (lucky my mum was a big supporter of craft activities), and I was set to make the bracelets. I taught myself new designs, the patterns formed in my head (there was no Internet to look up or YouTube videos to watch). Each night before bed I would make a new bracelet. I made a lot of them.

For the life of me I can’t remember how to make them. I do remember I enjoyed knotting the thin threads and making up my own designs. As an adult, I thought I’d try and connect back to this childhood joy. Right now, macramé is back in fashion, and I thought I’d make my own hanging pot.

I bought a DIY pack and followed the instructions. It was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I had to undo the knots and start again at least three times, and I made such an error I had to contact the lady I bought the kit from for some more rope.

What was going on? The mistakes I were making was unbelievably stupid and why wasn’t I picking it up like I had when I was ten?

Adult brain.

I was second guessing without realising. I wanted to get it perfect the first time. I just wanted to get it done, and I was fixated on the end result.

When I was about ten, I didn’t have any of these expectations. I simply gave it a go. It’s this approach I’d like to get back to, but it’s not easy. My adult brain too easily interferes. Also, my adult brain learns much slower than when I was ten, a child’s brain is like a sponge and simply soaks up new information, and my adult brain is overloaded.

Wanting to give macramé another go, I booked into a workshop. Sometimes it’s much easier to be shown, and have a teacher there to help you out when you are all knotted up. Plus, there are a few tips which can help out, and keep you from getting over tangled.

finished hanging potplant.JPG

During the workshop, I connected more with how I approached making the friendship bracelets when in primary school. Also, I found a meditative state when I knotted. Maybe it was because I had more confidence because I wasn’t second guessing myself. While knotting, I worked at my own pace and rhythm. I found a way to relax, to have fun, to play, and reconnect to my inner child, whose approach to learning is something I should apply more in my life. This is what I’ll be attempting to do when I make up the DIY macramé hanging plant kit I have sitting on my kitchen table. I might be tying knots, but I’ll be having fun.

Stitch in Time

In the winter months I relax by watching TV by either knitting or crocheting. Doing something with my hands helps me to settle. Once I’ve eased into a rhythm, the counting of stitches moves from having to be thought about to a feeling, which happens naturally, and I slip into a meditative state. While my hands are knotting yarn into a scarf or beanie or cowl, the opposite is occurring in my mind – the thoughts are being untangled, events of the day are being unknotted and decisions processed with potential options considered and perhaps a resolution reached.

If I knit long enough my thoughts quieten, and the meditation deepens which is nurturing for my soul even if it only happens for a moment. My inner rhythm comes out in the pace I stich, making a physical connection to myself and how I feel. I can see if I’m stressed, the stiches are formed tightly. And so I can adjust, watching the stitches loosen as I knit. If they don’t loosen, then I know I still need to relax. So I take a few deep breaths, and try to release the thoughts or feelings that might be troubling me. This isn’t always easy, but as the stiches form, I have a visual of how I’m feeling, which becomes the focus towards relaxation, instead of the thoughts or feelings.

It’s also always rewarding to create. It’s a big part of my life, not just with my writing but also my craft. I feel it’s a different sort of creativity to when I’m writing, while I’m making something practical like a scarf (I keep it simple!) I’m seeing my progress and when I finish I can feel I have achieved a project, which is rewarding in itself. But its also a journey, not just physically making something but also an inner journey one that’s unfolding in secret as the length of the scarf increases. The scarf almost becomes a sign of how much I’ve meditated, my thoughts hidden in the stitches, captured in time and held outside of me where they can no longer trouble me.

While on the exterior, maybe it looks like I might be avoiding certain jobs, or putting off problem solving or planning, while I take time out to knit and crochet. The reverse is actually occurring. I’m allowing myself time to meditate. I’m mentally dealing with the problems, events, or planning at my own pace. What might look like procrastination, I’m really doing as the old saying goes “A stich in time saves nine.”