Why do we do this?

November 10, 2014

After a long hiatus, yesterday the Happy Sock came out of the WIP bag and back into action. I spent the day at Semi Permanent Wellington, hearing a whole lot of thought-provoking talks from some incredible designers. 


One of the reasons I was really excited about it was the chance to hear Jessica Hische speak again. A few years ago she spoke at Webstock (which I help out at) and her thoughts on 'procrastiworking' really struck a chord. 


This time was no exception, and at the end of the day my mind was buzzing with all sorts of thoughts about being creative and why we do what we do as makers. 

 As I listened, I knit the happy sock. And thought about how ridiculous it is. 

Whenever it takes my fancy, I break the yarn and start a new colour. Or start the new colour for a couple of random stripes before breaking off the old one. 

It makes for a some fairly interesting sock innards.

Why do this to myself?
Why do we do this, this long process of making one stitch at a time, taking two sticks and a bit of string to create something out of nothing?
Knowing that when it's done, it isn't really done. There is still more to do: all those ends to weave in. But we knit and we make each and every individual stitch. And know that the ends will be woven in (eventually).


Because we enjoy the process. I'm not thinking about wearing these socks. Each and every break of the yarn and change of colour has been a complete indulgence in my whims, to do whatever felt right and enjoyable at the time. Weaving in the ends will be tedious, but when I do that there will be a glorious pile of colourful bits of yarn to enjoy. 
We tend to get so caught up in finishing and getting things done that it can be nice, on occasion, to forget about that bit. To know it's ok to have projects that are just for play, to shove in a drawer or cupboard or tote bag for months at a time. 
It's ok not to finish. It's ok to cast on something new with no purpose except to simply cast on and enjoy the yarn. Let's focus not so much on the end goals, but the learning and the happy bits in between.



Alison said:

I LOVE this. I’m very much a process knitter and often need a deadline to actually get something knitted. I finished a cardigan for myself a while back that had languished for ages and it wasn’t until it was finished that I thought “oh yay I get to wear this”. It was like I’d never really considered that during the process of making, probably just as well when it took so long :-)

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