Go Forth and Craft!

Apologies for no video version of this final blog in this particular series. Battling a bad case of poison ivy and trying to find a new home for our LYS so just not enough bandwidth for video making/editing. But I hope you’ll enjoy this compilation video of my openin greeting with all the sweaters.

Hello, my yarny loves.

We’ve been crafting up a storm. And we’ve needed—and continue to need—a creative storm.  A creative storm of change.
In ourselves, our homes, families, communities, cities, and beyond. 

Our whole nation is in need of some change.

I started this little video project because I wanted to send out some good creative energy to other crafters I knew were holed up at home, wanting to make a change: in their crafting, in themselves, in the world around us that is clearly in need of some major transformation. 

I have a habit of seeking and seeing metaphors everywhere and wanting always to make meaning from them. And as I picked up my knitting needles and bent over my work, I kept seeing connections between the needs of the world and the needs of this little project in my hands: attention, intention, humility, courage, risk-taking… on and on.

As many of us are now vaccinated we don’t need to “Stay Home and Craft!” We can, when ready and safe and at our own pace, GO FORTH and Craft. 

But going outside, going into other “insides,” being around other people…. while all things we’ve missed, it’s pretty anxiety-producing to ponder engaging in person again.
And I think we all know that we’re called to go forth in a NEW way. 

Because not everyone we come across will be in the same place we are as far as masking needs and other safety protocols depending on their individual and family situation. Of course it has ALWAYS been true that not everyone we come across is ready to engage in the way we expect or want to engage. Like so many things, the pandemic has brought light to so much that was pre-existing but not necessarily visible or understood or experienced or paid attention to by everyone.

So we may not need to “Stay Home and Craft” anymore. 
But there is still crafting, making, reimagining, unraveling, recreating to do.
And there is a need for attention, intention, humility, courage, risk-taking. 
All the things we’ve been exploring in these Crafting a Better World videos.

Which reminds me of a few crafting acronyms that seem fitting right now.
WIPs and UFOs; KIP and CAL.
Yes we love our ambiguous acronyms! 

WIPS are “works-in-progress.” 
UFOs are Unfinished Objects. 
To KIP is to Knit in Public.
Or we could be more inclusive and CIP, Craft in Public.
And to CAL is to Craft-a-Long together.

Some pretty awesomely apropos acronyms for this moment that really speak to where we are and where we need to be. 

WIPS are those projects you are working on that are, well, “in progress.” Could be you just started. Or could be you started months or years ago and it’s still “in the works.” There are all kinds of WIPS. And we can feel whipped by them. Defeated and overwhelmed. But we need to reject that energy. Instead we should think of whipping up a storm of energy! Getting ourselves —and our world—metaphorically whipped into shape. But unlike projects, we, our life, the work of crafting a better world—this is ongoing work, always “in progress.” So think of diving into a bed of “whipped cream” if it helps you embrace the inbetween space of WIPs.
This is long haul work. 

UFOs are different from WIPs in that they tend to be more definitively abandoned projects, things that have been “on the shelf” for a very long time. UFOs are often seen as lost causes. Maybe you ran out of yarn or lost the pattern or just lost interest. Maybe there’s something else you keep putting aside. What’s a skill or ability you think is forever beyond you? For me there’s my struggle with my internal facial recognition software, learning people’s names and faces, and fear of making cold calls. I think, if we’re honest with ourselves and our loved ones and our community, we’re pretty clear there’s all kinds of unfinished business that needs attending to. Especially when we realize the damage some of our UFOs, or our inattention to them, may have done. So let’s not let the fact that we might now be able to go back to some semblance of “normalcy” stop us from remaking ourselves and our world for the better.

KIPPing is knitting in public. Or Crafting in Public. It’s not a performance, but a sharing, a normalizing of doing craft in the public sphere. It’s about letting people see the work in progress, see the stitches being formed and ripped out and tended to. We have to normalize the process of making, of crafting a better world, of making mistakes, of reimagining new ways to do things. Whether in person or via zoom or via whatever way we can get out there and connect and reconnect with one another —let’s bring out our crafting a better world imaginings into the public sphere where the collaboration truly begins.

A CAL is a craft-a-long. That’s when we join with others in doing the work. In knitting or crochet, we might choose a singular project and we all get our yarn and tools and start making our version of it. In our size, in our preferred color and fiber. In community, we can CAL, too. We can come together and focus on the work, each of us bringing our individual understanding to it, but also our ears for listening and our spirits for really listening. Our intention and attention. And maybe then all the mending and reforming and dismantling and remaking can really begin in earnest. Together we can craft a better world. May it truly be so.

Thanks for taking this journey with me. There will be more metaphors for meaning making eventually. So stay tuned. 😉

Illustration by Rik Lain Schell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *