Moving slow

It started, I think, with the Slow Food movement. It then moved on to lots of others things in the craft world. I’m not sure where else it is found specifically, but I generally find that the concept is around just in the general culture in the US right now.

Occasionally, I find it annoying, because I think some people misunderstand the point. On some of the quilt podcasts I enjoy, for example, Pam of Hip to be a Square keeps joking that she doesn’t really get into it, because she produces quilts and other projects regularly, at a fairly fast pace. Now, to me – and I have no idea if the general understanding of the slow movement is in agreement with this or its my own idea – but the actual speed of production has nothing to do with whether or not you are participating in the Slow movement. Because actual production speed is not the point, whether fast or slow. The difference is in the attitude.

No matter what speed you are producing at, I want to know:

  1. are you enjoying yourself?
  2. do you feel pressured to produce without much creativity?
  3. are you doing this because you want to or because you are “required” to?
  4. do you have sufficient time – I don’t care how MUCH time – to make the things you want to make and still immerse yourself in the process? To be creative?
  5. do you like the end product?

There are other questions you could ask and other ways you could phrase these. They are just a sampling of the questions that go along with it. But the fundamental point is the same: your attitude towards what you produce is what makes it a reflection of the slow movement or not. You and I could both be quilting for the same amount of time, you could make five quilts while I just made one, but if we both enjoyed the process thoroughly, then we did it plenty slow.

design ideas

I have this idea for a sweater out of my grey handspun: top down sweater with a cable knot on the shoulder, that then has cables going down the front on each side and down the arms, also maybe down the back? I

I want it to be a square yoke sweater, done top down with purls for the turn point of the arm; follow the basic logic of a top down raglan, but not raglan shaping, looking more for set-in sleeve shaping.

I hope this is going to be possible, I’ve been dreaming it up for a long time.

Of course, if it doesn’t work, I can always try again later.

But I cannot start until I’ve finished the two sweaters that I have close to completion. It’s a rule.

Satisfaction of creativity

It’s funny how sometimes you get lost in the busyness of life and then suddenly realize — I’m not getting what I need. My life in the last month or so has been busy enough that I’m not finding even the minimum amount of time necessary to satisfy my crafting urges. Last night, instead of going to bed as soon as I got home, as I probably should have, I stayed up an extra hour to wind a skein of yarn and chart up one of the designs from Barbara Walker’s first Treasury. I was filled with the hunger to knit something. Today I finally found some time at lunch to start the swatch — blanket, scarf, stole? — and walked away feeling satisfied. I’m not sure why it needed to be knitting; that’s usually my hour for cross stitch. I’m not sure why it needed to be cables, although I have been thinking about them for a while. I just know I walked away feeling that faint sense of satisfaction.

It wasn’t enough. I’m hungry for more.

Tonight I’m going to do some more and maybe some weaving too. I’ve got a warp to finish. And this weekend I really must do some of the cross stitch, if only to make up for the lost hour of stitchery today. And, well, who knows what else? There are things I must get done this weekend, but my main focus this Saturday is going to be some crafting. I really need it.