Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Process or Product

People love to categorize. Needleworkers (like knit and crochet) seem to be divided into two camps - process and product. I never really thought much about it. Actually, I thought it was kind of silly given that if you didn't like the process, why would you even bother? But after asking for suggestions from my group of talented and creative peeps at the freeform crochet yahoo group as to what to do with my thread crochet windfall (see previous post), I had to pause. One member said to just jump in and start scrumbling and figure out what it would be later.

I don't think I can do that.

This got me thinking about process vs. product. I love to knit and crochet. I love challenging myself with new techniques, I love yarn, I love pattern books, I love knitting/crocheting with others or by myself. But that one suggestion made me realize, I am not a process knitter/crocheter. If I start a project just to have a project and I am not particularly interested in or like what I am making or have no idea of what it will be, chances are pretty good that the project will never get finished. I will eventually lose interest and unravel it. I am a product knitter, although I don't know if "product" is the right word. I am more of a goal-oriented knitter. My goal could be a sweater or it could be to try a new stitch or learn a new technique. Either way, I do not like to knit or crochet just for the sake of doing it. I like for there to be a beginning, middle and end. And when it is done, I like to bask in the glow of my creation (assuming it turned out well...)

Sometimes, it can be very frustrating to be a product knitter. There are times when I am itching to start a new project and nothing is inspiring me. I get antsy, like a smoker who's trying to quit cold turkey. I look for inspiration - a pattern, a yarn - something to fire up my creative juices. But then again, this "research" phase is also part of the fun and I can't imagine not doing it.

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