Sunday Service: More crafts

From knitting to sewing. Yep, it’s like that in my world. Spent this Sunday afternoon testing out this new pattern for a drawstring bag. Well, making a drawstring bag is new to me, and I wanted to do a ‘test run’ on some cheap fabric scraps I had lying around instead of botching up the pattern with good fabric.

Yep, learned(-ing) the hard way to understand patterns. Made some fab jogging trousers and pyjama bottoms for myself. Tried adapting the same pattern for my partner and…well, considering he’s about nearly a foot taller than me you can imagine how badly that project went. Those of you who’ve sewn with jersey fabric know the hell I’m talking about.

Anyhow, yesterday I had a look at my knitting pile and thought I needed somewhere to store all this stuff. That led to heading out for my first ever visit to this shop called ‘Hobbycraft’. A kind of superstore for crafts. Usually I buy my supplies online but today was a day to try out a few new things.

Yet again I found myself with the urge to finish this bag in one day. I didn’t find this project as relaxing as knitting, mostly because I was set on finishing the bag in one afternoon because, in my head, if I can finish it, I can understand the pattern. In some ways this is true. Just instead of using a regular sewing machine, like normal people, I decided to start with my overlocker (‘serger’ to North Americans) then switch to my sewing machine in the end. Maybe I should just start with following the pattern properly before making adaptations to the process.

I just really, really love my overlocker! The end result were still pretty good, and more importantly it fits one of my knitting projects!

Hand made anxiety

Well the title is a bit misleading. I am using my hands to make things, just not ‘making anxiety’. I suppose ‘the act of making stuff by hand is my current way of dealing with anxiety’ isn’t that snappy a title, but it is the focus of this post.

I learned to knit this year. A friend got a bunch of us together and convinced us to try knitting. I tried it, was hooked, and haven’t looked back since. Knitting is usually associated with lonely old women, grandmothers (not the same thing) or hippy earth-mother types. At least that was my impression. Was I ever WRONG on all accounts. It’s a brilliant hobby and one that has helped me manage my stress and anxiety in surprising ways.

When I knit, I’m focused on knitting. In the now, and on the thing I’m making. It feels like a break. A long, proper break from the anxiety I feel about work and life (mostly work, but that’s another time). I’ve got several projects on the go, so the struggle for me is to slow down and take the time to enjoy the process. I tend to focus on finishing rather than taking it slow and taking it in. I should be enjoying the ‘break’ but I find old habits die hard: the need to complete things. The need to finish. The need to accomplish something. To do something useful. To have something to show – It’s not easy to untangle (heh heh) all these inadequacies, but I’m learning. Slowly. One bit of wool at a time, I suppose.

It feels good to make things with my hands. In the end, that’s what matters to me. That feeling of a proper break.