I recently made the decision to stop taking orders for crochet things and just enjoy making stuff for myself and my family for a while. When I first started crocheting again after a break I enjoyed being asked to make things for other people, its flattering to think other people like your things enough to want you to make something for them too. It means a lot to me that somewhere out there babies are wearing bootees I have lovingly made and heads are kept snuggly in winter in my handmade crochet hats, whilst weeny owlets watch silently over their new owners.
Sadly as time has gone on I found I had almost completely stopped making anything for myself, my girls or as gifts for people, because every spare crochet minute was spent racing down the order list. It took a while to realise but the end product had become the goal so much that I was losing out on the sheer joy of the process. I felt under pressure too, I started having trouble relaxing at all because I’d feel terribly guilty If I wasn’t working on an order.
When I told someone a while back I was thinking I’d like to start a blog she said it was a great idea but “leave the mental stuff out” which I have done to date, but I need to mention it here as part of this post. I suffer from ‘anxiety’. I never really understood what that really feels like to have constant physical symptoms like that till I actually started to experience it. I think anxiety probably manifests itself differently person to person, so I will not describe my symptoms but for me the pressure of deadlines and a growing order list was feeding my anxiety and I had to decide it was time to stop. I was experiencing a paradox of being really overjoyed that sometimes I could create something lots of people wanted me to make but at the same time kind of wishing they wouldn’t! That sounds awful (ungrateful even?) but I hope it makes a little sense.
I’ve spoken about it before I’m sure, but I need to have variety too, I cannot plough endlessly in the same furrow. I get bored and it becomes tedious. It really matters to me that if I make something it I make it with love and creativity.
So here I am making things ‘just because’ and I am loving it.
Crochet has again become a way to still my anxiety, a mindful meditation, a real joy and something I look forward to. One of the biggest bonus’ of making things for yourself is that you can just use whatever colours feel good to you and not worry if your crazy combinations will disappoint someone else. That’s what is happening with my work in progress at the moment, a zig zag blanket. I’m just choosing the colours I fancy and I am not afraid to be a bit bold “does that dark green *really* work here? Stuff it! Lets do it anyway, it’s my blanket so it doesn’t matter!” I can take my time too and just enjoy the process. I am happy. A happy little hooker 🙂
Edited to add the now finished article. I really love it.