#WhyIMake 2020

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Remember back in January when our biggest goals were to lose fifteen pounds, use up our overflowing yarn stash and spend less time watching Instagram stories?

Yeah, me too.

The year 2020 started innocently enough, but it has been nothing but an emotional rollercoaster for the entire world.

During this “season of stress”, folks are turning to hobbies to help relieve some of that pent up anxiety and energy.

I’m so thankful that I discovered crocheting back in 2016, during a very difficult time for my own family.

Since then, my love for crocheting has grown and expanded into knitting, something I never thought I would master.

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I’ve become a bit of an evangelist when it comes to creativity. Since I came to it a bit later in life, I don’t want others to wait so long to tap into that amazing part hidden deep within themselves.

So I continue to write and make YouTube videos every week with the hope that others will discover these amazing yarn crafts and help themselves in the process.

I seriously cannot get enough of this stuff.

#WhyIMake

My entry for The Crafties 2019 hosted by LoveCrafts.com, focused on how crafting helped me cope with stress as well as my changing role as a mom to adult children.

You can read my 2019 #WhyIMake entry here

What I continue to love about crocheting and knitting is that it’s like the friend that knows just what you need, when you need it.

Although this year has been very stressful, indeed, the reasons #whyimake have evolved.

For Others

While I’m not a mom of little ones anymore, I still have such a great affection for children.

Their innocent questions, need for hugs and cute pudgy hands pull at my heartstrings. On the rare occasion that I’ve been able to witness for myself when a child receives one of my handmade toys, brings me great joy.

To see their little eyes light up with surprise and happiness is truly a gift.

Piano Lessons

My oldest child, Meghan, is a piano teacher and a very good one indeed. She is in the second year of her PhD studies for Music Education at the University of Missouri. Go Tigers!

I knit her a little bunny last Christmas that ended up looking remarkably like her as a child, as much as a knitted bunny can resemble a human being. And of course we named the rabbit, Meg-Bunny.

Do you see the resemblance?

Meghan now uses her bunny to teach young students how to play the piano.

She employs Meg-Bunny to demonstrate how to have the correct posture. She places the bunny on their shoulders and challenges them not to let Meg-Bunny fall off.

During this unprecedented time of quarantine she also uses the little knitted bunny to give her students high-fives and hugs because they can’t have any physical contact.

Alex Needs a Bunny

Last week my daughter told me about one of her little students named Alex. Alex is not yet six years old and he adores Meg-Bunny.

Alex and his family have recently moved to the United States from Bulgaria. Alex loves to talk about his grandmother back in his native country and he loves to give Meg-Bunny hugs.

One day he came into his piano lesson and noticed that Meg-Bunny was laying on her side. He came right up to my daughter and whispered, “Is Meg-Bunny sweeping?”

At first my daughter wondered what he meant by “sweeping” and then realized he was trying to be as quiet as a mouse because Alex thought Meg-Bunny might be sleeping.

She knew right then and there that Alex needed his very own bunny.

And thank goodness, she knows someone who can make that happen.

Experimentation

For Alex’s new bunny I’ve decided to experiment with some new yarn. Eeeeeekkkk!!

I’m going for a fuzzy body and clean cotton clothing. I’m hoping the contrast will look exactly as it does in my head.

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I will be knitting the body with two strands of yarn at a time. The first is Rowan Kid Classic and the second is the Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

I made a small swatch and I am already in luuuuuurve with the fuzzy combination of lambwool and kid mohair.

For the clothing I am will be experimenting with DMC Natura Just Cotton. This is a splitty yarn, which I don’t love, but it comes in so many different colors and the matte finish is gorgeous and that’s all that matters to me.

As always, I will let you know how my research and development turn out. I like how professional that sounds.

All of that brings me to the second reason for #whyimake. Experimenting with new materials and techniques keeps creativity exciting and new.

Whether I’m learning a different knitting stitch, trying a new pattern or designing an amigurumi toy, the experimentation process is part of the creative journey.

And. I. Am. Here. For. It.

Self-Care

I honestly didn’t realize until fairly recently that I struggle with self-care. I have to battle the thoughts that make me feel selfish for doing something just for me.

This is my third reason for #whyimake. I’m learning to care for myself through craft. I’m enjoying it way more than I thought I would.

I’ve recently started my very first knitted shawl just for myself. And I can barely put it down to do anything else…..#myhouseisdirty.

I didn’t fully understand how making something just for me would make me feel. Yes, it’s a little decadent. It’s a little extravagant, but right now that’s just what I need.

As always, I will be sharing a full review of the project once it is finished

Why Do You Make?

What are some of the reasons that you make? Do you knit for stress relief? Do you crochet to show your love for your family?

I would love to know how crafting helps you.

I know crafting isn’t going to save the world, but it can help one person at a time and I think that’s pretty darn great.

Happy Stitiching!

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24 thoughts on “#WhyIMake 2020

  1. I enjoyed this post very much. I think the photo of your daughter is so precious! Your creations are perfect for children. It reminds me of the days before battery powered toys. I had a church doll as a child and if I had a daughter, she would have had one too. My boys still have their stuffies. They were into leopards and tigers!
    I absolutely love the yarn you are using for your shawl. The colors are so soothing and will complement darn near everything!
    I knit to create, to pray, to unwind, to interact, to withdraw, to show love to others and to myself. I knit because our prison has orange jumpsuits and I have never looked good in orange.

  2. The little ones pictures are so sweet! And you’re right that this year especially we need creativity and things for ourselves. Thank you for the reminder and the constant inspiration. 🥰

  3. I love how your daughter is using Meg Bunny to help her wee students and show love to them in these troubled times. For me, I knit for several reasons. 1 I can’t sit and not have something creative in my hands. Even with a good book I tend knit while reading. 2 I really dislike waste of any sort. I used left over wool ( mostly given to me ) and make strippy sweaters hats etc or as I am at the moment a stripy blanket. These I donate to refugees both here and overseas. Our province sends a container overseas each year of donated knitting. I do buy new wool for babies knitting etc.

    • Thank you, Marje! That is so wonderful that you are using up all those scraps! Have you ever watched the YouTube channel Little Drops of Wonderful? She makes a scrap blanket and I think she calls it her “Ugly Blanket”! 😂 But she and her family use them them picnics and for car trips!

  4. Another lovely post, not just by a gifted knitter but also a talented writer! I find knotting and crocheting very soothing. There actually is research out there saying that the repetitive movements are good stress-busters!

  5. 2020 sure has been a doozy, hasn’t it? I can’t knit or crochet but you always make me want to learn. I love your many skills, among which include knitting and writing and video making and ultimate encourager! So many talents, lady.

  6. Such a great post, Elise! You totally have me wanting to take piano lessons with Meg and Meg- Bunny, see how Alex’s bunny turns out, and pick out a selfish projectand decadent yarn just for myself. I too love to knit and crochet to share with others, unwind, and see how far I can stretch my creativity! I’m looking forward to seeing your projects and hearing your professional insights! Take care! ❤️

    • Thank you so very much, Jen! Piano lessons are such a wonderful thing and one of these days I’m going to ask my daughter to teach me! I can’t wait to get started on the bunny for little Alex too!

  7. Since I was 6 yrs old, when my grandmother taught me to crochet with the smallest steel hook and crochet thread(Boy, did she have patience!), I have tried almost every type of craft. Dip n Drape was a biggie for awhile, so was embroidery, quilt making, cross stitch, so on and so forth! But I finally settled on and get the most joy from the big three….crocheting, knitting and sewing! I especially enjoy making critters of all kinds. I can’t describe the excitement of finding a new pattern or a pretty yarn. It gives me such contentment and joy to work on a new project whether it is for my Etsy shop, for a family member or something to spoil myself. I just pray my hands never give out on me as my life would certainly be at a loss.

    • I totally understand that feeling!! And your grandmother had soooo much patience! Wow! And I pray my hands never give out on me as well! I want to keep crocheting and knitting for years to come! 🧶🧶🧶

  8. I have been crocheting, knitting, or embroidering since I was a child. It seems like I always have had some kind of project going to pass the time while my husband watches tv. I began crochet amigurami a little over two years ago when my own former Mizzou Tiger became pregnant with my first grandbaby and I just love trying new patterns. Now I’m making Harry Potter characters for my other daughter. After I had a major hand injury six years ago (non-dominant hand) I struggled with controlling yarn tension for crochet or knitting. I made some adustments and was able to start again. I find that yarn work keeps my arthritis at bay in my hands. I love the look of your knitted animals but, as I’ve aged, I find I make more mistakes in knitting and become more frustrated with the reverse knitting that results. Your work is beautiful and I definitely see the resemblance between your daughter and her little teaching assistant.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your making journey! Those Harry Potter characters sound so cute!!! And that is wonderful that you were able to come back from your hand surgery to be able to craft again! And I’m so glad you can see the resemblance between my daughter and her bunny! 🐰🐰🐰

  9. I look so forward to getting your posts and newsletters! It motivates me so much to hear from you especially when I’m so discouraged with a pattern that isn’t coming together🤦‍♀️. Your Daughter is so beautiful and yes the bunny does resemble her. I will pray for your son and this difficult journey he is going through I truly couldn’t imagine but I have a savior who can and knows his pain. I know you probably hear this a lot but trust in Jesus and he will guide you and your son through this .

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