Are you proud of your handwork?
I recently shared this essay on a Ravelry forum. I got some insights on how I tick. Pride, enjoyment, accomplishment, completion. Are these interchangeable?
Substitute your hobby, craft, or avocation with my word “knitting.” I will share later some of the responses and reactions to what I wrote. Meanwhile I just started purple baby hat #6.
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Am I proud of my knitting/crocheting?
I finished a baby blanket/throw after starting it over 18 months ago just “for something to do” while waiting with Mom in the emergency room. I pieced it with some odd lots of unloved acrylic yarn left over after my sister died. I forgot about it for a while and recently completed it to get it out of the way.
I suffer from chronic depression and have a hard time starting things and following through. As a sign of trying to overcome this, I showed this item and a baby hat I just started to my therapist and she loved them! As an artist she complimented the color blocking. As a non-knitter, she marveled at the stitch work. She asked, “Are you proud?”
I didn’t feel proud. I just felt null. I mean:
- I can knit–no biggie there.
- I can follow a pattern or instructions how to make a stitch.
- I can even improvise.
- It was just some oddball yarn I didn’t love.
- It wasn’t brain surgery.
- I’m not keeping the thing for myself.
I haven’t made all that many projects that are complicated. Maybe that’s the factor that stimulates a bit more excitement/pride from me. Yeah, maybe I felt a bit proud when I finished my first socks, the first stranded pattern, or when I completed the mint-green vest that is too huge. They were more complex.
But overall, I’m not too impressed with myself. These little baby hats are patterned on a basic stranded pattern, but I have no excitement about the yarn or the pattern. It just zips along quickly. People who see me knitting (doctor’s waiting room, waiting to pick up a prescription, etc.) ooh and aah, but I think that’s because they have never seen anyone knit, and I’m happy to describe what I’m doing.
So I asked my community on Ravelry to see if they have pride in their handwork… all of the time? Or do they just do it sometimes “for something to do”?
I tend to see the imperfections but am trying to let that go because we humans are not perfect. I haven’t started a project with my beautiful Icelandic wool because I’m not sure my skills are good enough yet. Besides, I can’t decide on a pattern.
Proud? It’s something to aspire to.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?