Process Matters

In the fiber arts world most folks are divided into one of two groups – production or process.  Of course like anything, the lines can get blurred by things such as a new baby, upcoming birthday, and the mother of all crafting deadlines: Christmas. Through the years of owning a yarn shop I have seen it all and I have lived with one foot in both camps.

Production crafters thrive on the accomplishment of the finished item. They will work tirelessly – literally sometimes barely eating, bathing or tending to household chores – to finish their project. The rest of us mere mortals wonder if the producers don’t have secret yarn elves tucked away doing the work for them as that seems to be the only way we can explain this type of accomplishment. I admire the producers. I wish I could have cranked out shop samples at warp speed. But I’m not one of them; I become physically repulsed by the effort required to slog through an uninspiring item. I’m not proud, but I’m honest.

So, clearly I am a process oriented creator. I love the planning, gathering, and the starting. Once I see how the thing is going to look and the challenge is over…I usually mentally check out, which leads to many small detours – bunny trails – because something beautiful captures my attention. In our world these long forgotten projects are called W.I.P.s, Work In Progress. I have a basket stuffed full with project bags containing many such projects. Such vacillation is the bane of my existence; possibly even one the reasons for the demise of my retail business. 

Somehow, when it comes to fiber and spinning things are different. There is something so amazing about the process of creating yarn. By simply taking the prepared wool and, using a wheel or spindle, introduce a smal amount of twist that then holds the fibers together. It is magic. This is just the first step in the process before the yarn can be used. Many people have said to me, “Why would you want to do all that when you can buy perfectly good yarn?” The answer is simple. It is the process. With simple tools I can create the yarn I want, the yarn that makes my heart and soul sing, and a yarn, that to me, is a finished work of art.

As I begin the move from being a retail shop owner to an independent fiber artist I am more than a little concerned about my natural tendencies. Will I be able to create an environment in which I can be successful? Can I battle my natural procrastination tendencies? Can I ignore those bunny trails? Only time will tell. They say knowledge is power. I have the knowledge, so now to see if I’m empowered. With God all things are possible. I believe that He has uniquely equipped and guided me to this moment in time and now it is up to me to step out in faith and let His gifts shine.

Until next time,