Abolishing the Shoulds

We did a lot this weekend.  Saturday, Jason  and I went to Nebraska Furniture Mart and purchased living room furniture. Sadly, the couch we both coveted was already sold, but in the end, what we got (pictures when it comes in) is something that will suit us much better. Still very modern, but not as….red.  In fact, its the opposite of red. No one will be drinking red wine on the couch, I have to say.  We’ll all be switching to white, or at the very least, crowding around the one chocolate chair we got.  We get it the day my parents come into town and I don’t know if I can wait that long.

Finished spinning my first roving from Yarn Barn. I am VERY pleased with the result. Unlike the stuff I did a few weeks ago, I honestly cannot WAIT to knit with it. What I’m going to make is another question – but I might just go with a scarf since a) its perfect scarf sized, b) I’m not too terribly sure how much of it I have and c) I don’t WANNA wait to find the perfect pattern (see below for more on this).

Horrid picture, wonderful yarn.

With all of the spinning, my hands hurt – I have lupus, and with it, arthritis.  Spinning (and knitting) has kind of made my hands swell up.  It’s ok – a little alleve makes it better – but its still a bit annoying.

To take the strain off of the hands, I did some dying with food coloring today.  I did orange, and blue &  teal/green and then a little while later, did an orange/red combo (the left).  Dying was SO MUCH FUN. I’m really looking forward to spinning these guys. Whee!


I’ve also been working on the Tilted Duster (no pics – the flash on my camera is grumpy). I’m about midway through both sleeves and I’m hoping I’ll get to the point where I put it together this week.

While I was dyeing the roving today,  the thought “I’m being creative!” popped into my head.  Sometimes with knitting (and spinning, though I’ve only been doing it for a month) and any other crafty/arty projects I embark upon, I get really focused on the “shoulds”. For example, I think a lot about:

– What projects “need” to get done

– What I “should” be knitting/spinning/making based on godknowswhat criteria

– What other people are knitting that I should be knitting (again, based on godknowswhat criteria)

– Being “serious” about my knitting and other projects
Because of these factors, I forget that I am creating something.  Actually making something.  These “shoulds” take away from the fact that “Hey! I’m making something with my own two hands!”

When I was in high school and college, I thought you had to be “serious” about your art or your craft.  This is something that eventually led me out of the art world (I majored in Art History) and into not doing much of anything creative for fear that I was just “dabbling” or not taking it seriously enough.  It made doing anything No.  Fun.  At.  All.  I’d start to journal, paint, collage, or do some other fun arty or craftsy activity (blog) and my enthusiasm petered out when I was a) seized by the fear that either what I was doing wasn’t good “enough” or b) realizing that I wasn’t having any fun because I was being so Serious and walked away from it.

Lately, knitting has been like that – learning to spin and blogging, too. I expect myself to be good from day one. I expect all my projects to work out and be the Most.  Fabulous.  Knit.  Item.  Ever.  I think about the end result, and how terribly impressed (or unimpressed) “everyone” will be with the result.  Today, with the “I’m being creative!” thought popping into my head, I decided that I need to focus on that more. To forget  my own “shoulds” and “needs tos” because its making me too serious about what I’m doing and making knitting, crafting, spinning, and blogging No. Fun.  At. All.

So, look for me to shut up about what I “need” to knit, what stash I “need” to get rid of, how I “should really” get around to finishing that project.  From now on, I’m going to actively try to say “Screw what I need to do, what everyone else thinks, whether I look like a five year old made something.” And feel free to kick me if I don’t.


4 thoughts on “Abolishing the Shoulds

  1. I totally could have written the second half of this post. Except the majoring in Art History part… not so much. But the rest… totally.

  2. Oh, my! You were writing about ME! That was honestly rather refreshing to read since I suffer at times from the same “shoulds”. I have labeled myself a procrastinating perfectionist. It makes people stop and think, then they get it. I also want things perfect from beginning to end. Thank you for writing this blog – somehow I feel not so alone now! :)

  3. Is this why I hate that darn baby blanket with such a passion? I have a thousand ideas running through my head and I can’t get to any of them because I have to finish the baby blanket. It sucks all the fun out of a hobby. That is it! I’ll kick you if you kick me. No more of this deadline must do knitting stuff, I am going to spin and knit copious amounts of lace because it is what I WANT to do!

  4. I’m so glad it resonated! It’s funny because I’ve been working on it with my other stuff but not with my “creative stuff.”

    Kara, I’ll totally do it if you do. But yes, I think its why you hate the baby blanket. :)

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