Monday, 3 October 2011

Tricky cornering

My fingers were twitching all weekend for making but the sun was glorious and not necessarily conducive to working with merino wool. 

Saturday was spent in a windowless room pursuing the gentle but complicated art of quilting.  I managed to spend so long pulling together a convoluted patchwork that I didn’t actually get to the quilting but I have lots of ideas – although once out in daylight I realised that the colours that worked under tube lighting looked pretty sickly in the real world so Saturday’s work is being relegated to the “tutorial” pile for future reference.  Sunday I realised that my garden has been completely overwhelmed by Triffids and I couldn’t sit out there to sew or knit without risking knitting some wee beasties into the baby blanket I’m making and am not sure that would do at all.  So I threw open all of my windows and sat basking in the sunshine, blinding myself with my needles; I have sun spots from the light bouncing off my Addi turbos so I’m only reading three letters in every five as I type this – apologies for any typos as a result. 

Over lunch last week, my father and I had what we thought was a lively and interesting chat about the drive to craft and make things – this can’t be simply a recession led love of all things retro.  Man wasn’t designed to sell only services.  Without wanting to sound too Pretty Woman about it, people love creating and building things from model railways to stamp collections, wonky shelves and bobble hats – that drive doesn’t disappear because we’re sitting in our offices making money or selling services (although in my job I definitely don’t make money and HR services are a tricky sell at the best of times).  Perhaps the reversal to wanting to make and grow things represents an appreciation of a more nurturing, recycling and appreciative approach to things, a recognition that new isn’t always better (although it’s not always bad either).

Given how much I love learning about the techniques and history of crafts I’ve also recognised a propensity for analysis paralysis.  A couple of years ago it wouldn’t have occurred to me to stop and think before launching into something – I’d have just had a go.  Now I’ve gone to so many workshops and read so many different books on techniques that I’ve almost worked myself into a corner and can’t get to the point. 

I’d have got the scissors out and taken them to the tunic that’s been in my peripheral vision (as a ruffled tee shirt) for ages and “had a tinker” to see what I could make of it.  Since I got Bobby (my trusty Janome) and actually learnt some of the skills that would help mitigate likely disasters I find it harder to get started.  Knowledge isn’t always power.  Sometimes knowing how things work make the risk of failure that much harder to swallow.

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