Monday, January 9, 2017

Under the Boston Sun Just Saying No

So what are you doing in 2017? Have you made plans and set goals (not resolutions). Is there something you're looking forward to? A long term project that will be done?

For me 2017 already looks like a busy year. There's a new grandbaby, another graduation (for me too, I will be officially done with raising kids), and another wedding. I also have three books planned for publication, two books to write, a play to direct, and a major move which involves decluttering fifty years and seven kids of stuff.

I don't make goals or resolutions about knitting.

Why? Because it's my hobby. I do it because I love it, not because I have a list of things to achieve.

So many times we have customers in who have friends and relatives hijack their hobby. They have to make a dozen hats and scarves for the soccer team and because they started knitting an entire wardrobe for a grandbaby they have to do it for each grandbaby (I'll be up to seven this month and that's with only three of my kids). They have to make their husband six pairs of black socks and their friends shawls and they look at me and say "I can't wait until I can do something for myself that I want to do."

The hobby that they loved has become an unpaid job.

Now I'm not saying it's a bad thing to knit or crochet for other people. By all means if it brings you joy then go ahead, knit up a storm and give it to appreciative recipients.

But when was the last time you made something for yourself? That gorgeous cabled sweater you've been admiring in the last knitting magazine you bought. Yes, you can make a sweater for yourself. It is not selfish to do so. What about that beautiful beaded shawl that has been calling to you? Have you splurged on silk yarn for a scarf? Maybe it's time to do so. Those funky intarsia mittens you been salivating over - go ahead and make them and keep them. Want a wardrobe of hand knit socks? Yes, you can have that.

Other hobbies don't get hijacked like knitting does. People golf because they want to golf. They do jigsaw puzzles because they like doing jigsaw puzzles. They go larping because it's fun. No one makes demands on their hobbies. No one says "can you put together this 10,000 piece completely red jigsaw puzzle and frame it for me? They don't say "I need some exercise - could you take my place and run for me?"

Yet knitters are inundated with requests for knitted goods.

So if you are one of these people who are feeling overwhelmed by your hobby, it's time to reclaim it. Time to say "No, I don't have the time." "No, I have a million other projects to do." "No, but I'll happily teach you to knit so you can make it yourself."

I mean really, if someone said "Can you come over to my house and wash my dishes, clean my windows scrub my oven, declutter my kids' bedrooms and in return I'll appreciate it - would you do it? Well maybe. But only if there was a real reason for it, like they couldn't do it themselves, or they were moving or you really really love doing it and your house is immaculate.

But mostly you would be trying to think of a way out of it and be shocked by someone having the audacity to ask.

Honestly, it's not selfish to want to have a hobby that helps you relax and eases your stress. So why are you making it stressful?

Maybe it's best that, just like you shouldn't show off your stash (either people will think your crazy and have you sent to a mental hospital, or they'll try and figure out ways to have it), that maybe you should keep the knitting on the down low amongst your non-knitting people. It doesn't mean you can't knit in front of people, but when you're wearing your fabulous creations and people comment on them say "thank you". If you must tell them you knit it yourself, tell them how long it took you. In fact, exaggerate how long it took you. Say "this took me three thousand hours and my fingers bled." Don't say "I just whipped this up," because then they'll think that you can just whip up something for them.

So there's your knitting goal for this year. Reclaim your hobby. Revel in it. Throw your naked body into your mountain of yarn and say "mine, all mine." And learn to say no when you want to say no.

This week's sale comes with a one ball hat pattern. I'm trying to think of a way to tie in the blog post with the sale.

How about "may you one day be knitting a project for yourself in Boston with the sun shining down on you and your favorite drink by your side."


100 g/100 m/109 y chunky weight (5)

Regular Price: 10.00
Sale Price: 2:50

Posted by Anna Maria Junus (happy employee who makes things for herself and would love to be in the Boston Sun.)

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