A while ago I drafted a post about not being good at things. That particular post focused a lot of strength training and lifting and the realization that I struggled to consistently strength train because I felt like I wasn’t good at it and didn’t like that feeling. The post obviously never made it to the web. Around the same time Rachel published a really great post along a similar line (and probably much more eloquently than I would have.) My comment on Rachel’s post pretty much sums of that previously drafted post as well as touches on the point of this post – crafting.
Crafting (and DIY in general) is another one of those things that I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve never felt particularly good at it. Crafting brings out my inner perfectionist and makes me feel crappy every time I create something that isn’t as perfect as its store-bought counterpart. And those feelings can be intensified when you look at the amazing projects floating around the blogosphere and Pinterest (oh god, Pinterest). After a while I started to question whether crafting and DIY was something I actually wanted to be good at or just something I felt like I was supposed to be good at.
But here’s the thing, I really do enjoy crafting. I’ve been an on and off crafter my entire life. In middle school, my mom brought me home a sewing machine from school (She’s a Home Ec teacher and they’d recently done away with the sewing program at her school.) and I made myself more scrunchies that is even reasonable. I took up scrapbooking for a brief stint after high school. I knitted for a while in college. Inevitably though, I gave up on those things when they got hard. When it came time to improve my skills (and ultimately mess up along the way.) The only crafting I’ve ever really not given up on it food crafts and cake decorating.
If history shows me anything it’s that I really do enjoy creating things even though I don’t feel like a particularly creative person. The other thing I’ve realized as I’ve gotten a bit older is how special handmade things really are. I like being able to give handmade gifts. I love the idea of a handmade Christmas, though I’m not sure I could ever get it together enough to pull that off. But even more than that, the things that always make me reflect fondly on my childhood are all the things my mom made for me along the way – every decorated character cake she made, all the handmade Halloweeen costume, the fact that she made my senior prom dress. These are things I want to be able to do for my child(ren) or my neices and nephews.
And so I’m taking on the goal of improving my crafting. When I stopped knitting, it was because I got bored with knitting row after row to make a bajillion scarves. I was never quite able to wrap my head around the purl stitch and I felt like without that, I couldn’t go any further. So this time that was wear I started. Thanks to this book that Laura sent me nearly a year ago, I finally figured it out. I also figured out how to knit in the round, alternate between knit and purl, and identify when I should knit or purl, and I’m about 2/3 of the way through a new cowl neck scarf for myself. Yes, I’ve made errors, but I’m way more proud of the progress I’ve made.
I also had my mom dig out my old sewing machine from her basement. This brings me to my next crafting goal: sewing. I want to sew a dress (actually one of my Mission 101 goals) for myself to wear this holiday season (aka for Christmas and/ or New Years Eve). Hoenstly, this is a pretty ambitous goal, but it’s something I really want to do. I’m going to pick a simple pattern, and my mom had agreed to help me especially with fitting.
The way I see it is like this: if I can actually manage to do a single, unmodified push-up now (which I totally did over the weekend friends!), I can definitely sew a dress. It might not be perfect, but it will be awesome.