The Comfort of Repetition

I am almost to the end of crochet month and the other day I was thinking about the art of crafts. A lot of times when you say you want to make art, perhaps what likely comes to mind is painting, drawing, sculpting, or something like that. You don’t often see an art school that focuses solely on crafts like weaving, sewing, or knitting. Sewing is for fashion design schools. But I feel like most art schools focus on visual arts. But I find that I really enjoy these crafts that create some kind of useful household product. Items you can wear or use around the kitchen but also enjoy how they look. Maybe I am wrong about this. Maybe there is a big movement in becoming master knitters and I just don’t know about it. I know through the pandemic, we really started to enjoy shows like Blown Away and The Great Pottery Throw Down along with British Bake-off. All of these shows highlight crafts that a single person does that can be functional and very creative. Beautifully decorated cakes that the family can enjoy. Lovely coffee mugs or dishes that have color and design. And for me, so far I’ve enjoyed embroidery and crochet for those reasons.

Obviously, I am no great craftsperson. I am just a beginner in both of those. Right now I am working on a blanket. It’s small and intended for a baby or toddler. But I am still practicing trying to get the crochet work even. I like how repetitive it is. I like how I can work on repetitive loops of yarn and listen to music or watch a show or have a conversation. It’s kind of soothing that it doesn’t need intense concentration.

And honestly after the intensity of the last several years- the pandemic, the political issues, everything-its taken a mental toll over time. A lot of times mindless television or scrolling can be what I turn to in order to relax. But it’s not nearly as satisfying as semi-mindlessly creating a blanket that I can actually give someone in the end. So far I’ve made a kind of sad scarf that I don’t think anyone will want, a hot pot pad to give to a friend, and now this blanket. I am not sure who I can give it to, but so far I like the work. I used to love writing and would think of things to write all of the time. I don’t know what it is about the last few years. I find myself less able to string together a coherent narrative. Less able to organize a piece of writing. So I find it very soothing that creatively I can sit and do some small activity over and over until it turns into a lovely functional gift.

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