Divine Bird

I believe in a high-fiber diet…like wool, alpaca, cashmere…

Polycraftism

| 4 Comments

I am one person who practices many different crafts. At this moment, in my studio room (which is really just a glorified craft storage room) I have the tools and materials for:

  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Crochet
  • Embroidery
  • Drawing
  • Jewelry
  • Spinning
  • Weaving
  • Woodworking
  • Writing

This may not seem like a terribly big list, but keep in mind that it doesn’t even include reading, gardening, cooking, or gaming. Or movies. Or, you know, a social life.

It does, however, include two sewing machines, three spinning wheels, a charkha, a yarn winder, a drum carder, two swifts and a ball winder, two smallish looms, a wall of yarn and fiber, several huge bins and a closet of fabric, sewing patterns, cross stitch and embroidery patterns, bins of old drawings, art supplies, beads, wire, pliers, knitting needles, crochet hooks, somewhere in the vicinity of 25 spindles, a bin of UFOs, cones of weaving yarn, a dress form, three human-shaped artists’ manikins (plus a horse version), a sewing table, and two or three bookcases’ worth of art and crafting books. (That last does NOT include my normal reading, cooking, and research books–that stuff is downstairs.) And don’t forget to mention the dozens of baskets, bins, shelves, storage cubes, and bags that CONTAIN all this stuff.

It may be time for a bit of a destash and a lot of soul-searching to cut one or more of these things out.

How does one break up with a craft?  And how does one get over the feeling of ‘but I might need this someday’? For a crafter, that is a very real sentiment. All of my crafts overlap with each other, so it might not be as easy as getting rid of one thing and all its accoutrements.  For instance, yarn does triple duty with knitting, crochet, and weaving–not to mention that it might have first been handspun. So getting rid of yarn is right out. You see my dilemma?

It would be awesome if I could find a way to put it all together and put it all away. I am approaching crafter’s gridlock because I can’t access everything at all times, meaning when inspiration strikes for one craft, I’m prevented from acting on it.

How do you deal with polycraftism? Do you have any suggestions for me? Put ‘em in the comments!

4 Comments

  1. You make darling friends hats using this pattern (http://www.etsy.com/listing/65743695/crocodile-stitch-slouchy-beret-crochet)in something garnet red and super soft.

    Also, WHY do you have a horse mannequin?

  2. Good for you for realizing that you’re at a cross roads. You have too much stuff, and it’s stopping you from doing stuff you want to do. Ok, that’s the core principle here. I was someone who had so much stuff that I was embarrassed to bring bring people over, and I felt drowned in my own stuff. So I know. Here’s what I did.

    * When was the last time I used this stuff?
    – More than a year ago?
    * Does the craft that this stuff belong to still light my fire? Do I still put aside other crafts to work on this craft?
    – Yes? No?
    * Could someone else benefit if I were to sell or give away this stuff, and could I use the space or money for good things?
    – Yes? (That one is rhetorical.)
    * If I ever need this stuff again, can I buy/make more?
    – Yes? No?

    I know it’s easy to feel comforted by all your stuff, but in the end, it’s an illusion! It was hard for me to go through crafts, clothes, shoes, books, etc. that I’d had for years and loved at one point in time. But we knew that we couldn’t keep hoarding all this stuff, and we were moving into a house that was smaller than our apartment in some ways. By going through and setting limits, really assessing each box or bag of stuff, I cut it down big time. I hated every moment of it, but I love that my house is relatively neat (at least for me) and that I can find what I want, when I want it, most of the time. I’m no neatnick, so trust me that I KNOW how hard it is to declutter and destash.

    The best thing I did for myself during this process was get a friend to help me. Someone who had strict orders not to let me be wishy washy and rationalize every little bit of fabric or paintbrush. We would work for a set limit of time and then reward ourselves. Eventually it all got done. And while I still had a ton of yarn and craft stuff to move and store in the new house, it was half the ton it used to be! :)

    You can do it, I know you can! Don’t be afraid to ask for help and imagine all that wide open space and tools you can use for inspiration when you’re done.

  3. I can pretty much say yep to all of the above.

    I do notice that my crafting cycles. So while I won’t get rid of my machine, I have been known to destash my fabric down to a single tote while I am off quilting (current status).

    Have an craft friends open house. I have gone to many and had one or two. Every single thing that you don’t have an immediate use for goes into the dining or living room. And invite 10-15 friends and let them invite a friend or two and watch the stuff walk out.

    Do you go to a knitting group? Maybe a swap is in order. We’ve been known to upend a couple grocery bags full of yarnie goodness in the middle of the table and say go at it. LOL Oh the mayhem.

Tell me what you think.

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