05 January 2008

Because I like it - THAT'S why...

Is it wrong to pick a fight with a stranger when you go to a Joann's store? Well, maybe "pick a fight" is not the right terminology -- after all she started it.

I enjoy knitting and crocheting. And like I mentioned in a previous post, I like to crochet for afghans especially because I feel like they are more open and cozier and its just my personal preference. Its also really the only time that I will reach specifically for acrylic yarn. I'm not knocking acrylic, just saying that I like wool better for scarves. But when it comes to an afghan, let's face it -- do you really want to have to hand wash and lay it flat to dry and pay a zillion dollars for the amount of yarn needed to create it? See my point? Go get the acrylic.

So I swung by Joann's today to pick up some yarn for this afghan:

Its a free pattern from Lion Brand Yarn, go get it here if you like it. I'm diggin' the circles and the colors are among my favorites.

I also decided to pick up some much needed stitch markers (a decision made easier after I impaled myself trying to use a safety pin as a substitue and got blood on my cream colored wool) and was intrigued by the notion of a 19mm size crochet hook. (This huge hook is aptly named the 'Speed Hook'. Holy crap batman, this thing just seems wrong for some reason.) So I was dwelling in the yarn/crochet hook/knitting needle area of the store. That's when I heard it.

A woman was sashaying through the main aisle of the store very loudly proclaiming that crafts are stupid. This is not art. These people are wasting valuable time and money on stuff that isn't important. Why don't they create something worthwhile? Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...

To say that this caught my attention - and pissed me off - is an understatement. She was with another woman who was standing in line waiting to get fabric cut at the cutting counter. And she kept griping. And I kept getting more ticked off. And she wouldn't shut up. And I felt like smacking her. (Don't worry, I refrained.)

So as I was walking past her she said this: "Why do people waste their time on this craft junk?" I paused, she looked up at me and I said: "Because they like it. Leave 'em alone." And went on my way...there were a few choice words tossed in my direction after me but I don't care. That woman needed to shut her flap.

I kept thinking about it after I left the store. (With my wasteful craft supplies that included the wicked looking 'Speed Hook'. We'll see if it lives up to its name, if it doesn't I can always use it as a weapon.) This isn't really the first time I've heard this type of sentiment. I've even been "advised" that if I want to be taken as a serious artist, I shouldn't use my time doing stuff like crocheting and knitting and ATCs and other little piddly crafting things. Sorry, I don't agree. You'll never change my mind on this, don't even try.

Why can't I show in galleries and be published in books and get juried into national shows AND crochet toy devils and knit scarves and hang art quilts at local shows? Why is it one or the other? Why do people place these kind of restrictions on what they create?

I enjoy goofing around with all types of things. And I'm sorry, but when I've got work on my design wall exploring rape as warfare and an entire art quilt series conveying what the grief process feels like to me, sitting down to crochet an afghan is a welcome break. Leave people alone, let them do their thing (even if its crocheted toilet paper roll covers) and try not to suck the joy out of the act of creation for other people. Sheesh...

Okay, I now step off my soapbox. Moving on...

Here is a picture of a happy westie:

Dooley has been suffering from cabin fever in the worst way. Before it snowed, I would walk him almost every night when I got home from work. Now that the ground is all covered in the white junk, we've not been walking. (And we both have gotten a little rounder because of it.) The trouble is that little man's legs are only about six inches high. That means he gets all muddy and nasty really easily and washing a westie everyday is not really something I can add into my agenda. So he hasn't been walked. And he's been cranky because of it and just generally being bratty.

Today's schedule included tossing him in the tub. He was due and I figured that since he was already going to get scrubbed, let him get all slushy. Its a bad sign when your westie is the same color as the dirty snow. But he is clean now, smells nice and is snoring at the other end of the sofa. All is well in Dooley land.

I worked more on Dotty. I made one half of his pumpkin house and started the second half. I'm going to work on finishing up the second half tonight. I bought him googly eyes while at the store today but haven't glued them on yet.

The whole thing makes me giggle snort. I love it.

I have to stop on the crochet for a bit and practice my purling skills because....drumroll please...I am fulfilling one promise to myself and taking a sock knitting class! You have no idea how much this excites me. I'm giddy, positively thrilled! I have a pattern for a scarf that is nothing but ribbing so I'm going to practice with that over the next week. I can do it, I'm just really slow and want to be able to keep up with the class. Plus I don't want to look like a dork.

So I'm off to go waste some time crocheting the second half of a pumpkin for a devil. Why? 'Cause I like it. :)


City Girl Quilter said...

Aaarg. She sounds like Germaine Greer and her recent quilt bashing. I think it is a way for people to make themselves feel superior to others. For me, it is especially aggravating when women choose to look down on the way other women express themselves. I may not fully comprehend your crochet doll toilet paper covers - but if that's what keeps you sane, crochet on.

Barbara H. said...

It really makes you wonder why some people get so worked up over nothing. Maybe the woman in JoAnn's is secretly envious because she isn't crafty and would like to be. As one who is not shy about commenting to people in public when it is warranted, Yay you! I judge fiber & textile arts at our County Fair every year, and I see plenty of the tacky loving-hands-at-home stuff, but I always appreciate the fact that people enjoy making stuff with their own hands. And that is why it is all about, pleasure and enjoyment from the process and the results. If it makes people happy, and the crafts industry is kept afloat, it's a win-win.