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After all the quick challenges last week, I was thinking about how making choices quickly and completing projects fast can allow you to get into the flow more easily because you’re sort of working before your brain and your inner critic have a chance to show up. It’s a lot of fun, too, and you can feel a sense of accomplishment in a short period of time, which is great when you’re trying to build a habit like we are here.
But working slowly can also be really great in the opposite way. Slow crafting is meditative, causing you both to think really carefully about each move you make and in a way to not think at all.
Here’s an example.
My Slow Crafting Project
Since I started writing about crochet here, my intent is to go through the basic stitches and share a little pattern than helps you learn the stitch and gives you a lot of practice with a single stitch at a time.
I’m also using these projects as a way to use up yarn that’s been sitting around way too long, so I chose this cone of yarn from Yarnia PDX that’s been sitting in my house for years.
It’s pretty, but the way they do yarn is by winding a bunch of threads (six, in this case) onto a cone that you work from. It’s not spun. So each of those individual thread has great potential for getting snagged or worked through at the wrong time or left behind.
So I’m going slow. Incredibly slow. Each row of 30 stitches takes a couple of minutes, as I carefully watch to make sure I have grabbed all the threads as I pull through my lops, and that I’m going through all the threads I need to on each stitch.
Even with all that attention I sometimes mess up. But I pretty much have to be super-focused on what I’m doing in order to make this project a success.
That might sound pretty boring to someone who is used to crafting while watching television or doing something else (I can still do it while listening to TV, but there’s very little watching going on).
But it’s actually kind of great.
Isn’t the point of making things that we really love to do it? And how better to show the materials respect than to take our time with them? How better to get all the fun we can out of a project than to take it slowly?
And while these sorts of projects require a lot of time and focus, they don’t really require your brain’s full attention, so you can mentally chew on other things as you’re working. It’s one of those projects that becomes like washing the dishes or taking a shower; you’ll probably come up with some good ideas while you’re doing it.
And even if you don’t, it should help you calm down, relax, enjoy the stillness and the silence if you can get a still, quiet place to work. I have been using this as my travel project this week and got to work on it a bit when my daughter didn’t want to leave school when I came to pick her up. I sat in the next room, where I could see her through glass doors, and stitched. It was lovely.
Do you ever do deliberately slow crafting (as opposed to projects that take frustratingly long to finish)? I’d love to hear about it. And I’ll be sure to share my project when it’s done. It may be a while.