KAT’S JOUR­NAL ...from the stu­dio

De­signer and blog­ger Kat Goldin on slow­ing her cro­chet pace and learn­ing to savour the process in­stead.

Simply Crochet - - SUMMER -

For some­one who makes her liv­ing out of cro­chet, the fol­low­ing ad­mis­sion might seem strange, but here goes: I've spent a lot of the last six years as a cro­chet de­signer not re­ally en­joy­ing cro­chet­ing very much.

I like the swatch­ing and prob­lem solv­ing that comes with pat­tern de­vel­op­ment. I like the code crack­ing that is cro­chet pat­tern writ­ing. I love pho­tograph­ing fin­ished items to show them in their best light. Lay­out and chart­ing took a while to get the hang of, but have be­come an as­pect of the busi­ness that I re­ally look for­ward to when pub­lish­ing new de­signs comes around. For me the best part of the whole process is def­i­nitely the release of new pat­terns and see­ing the de­signs re­made by oth­ers. But the ac­tual cro­chet? Meh, I could take it or leave it.

From the early days of my busi­ness, get­ting my­self to sit down and cro­chet re­quired a very sim­i­lar skill set to the one I em­ploy to get my five-year- old on the school bus in the morn­ing. There was the men­tal prepa­ra­tion that took place in the day or so be­fore: “OK Kat, to­mor­row you are go­ing to cro­chet that shawl.” Then, there were the warn­ings that ranged from “in 25/20/5 min­utes, you are go­ing to sit down and ac­tu­ally do the work,” to “PUT THAT PHONE DOWN AND GET OFF THE IN­TER­NET RIGHT NOW.” Of course, the snack

“I de­lighted in the process and rep­e­ti­tion of stitch af­ter stitch.”

and Net­flix or au­dio­book ac­com­pa­ni­ments had to be just right as well, and then built-in ex­tra in­cen­tives to “just fin­ish the next row then you can check In­sta­gram” kept me on task. Heavy yarns, long stitches and quick and easy projects be­came my de­sign wheel­house, just so I could get it over with. And so it went for years. I would be­grudg­ingly cro­chet so that I could do ev­ery­thing else.

A CHANGE OF HEART

“It oc­curred to me how much I had ac­tu­ally been cro­chet­ing.”

I can’t tell you ex­actly when that mind­set al­tered, but I can tell you when I no­ticed it. One af­ter­noon, at our weekly three-hour stint at the lo­cal swim­ming pool for lessons, I re­alised that I'd for­got­ten my cur­rent cro­chet project to work on. I had my book, my phone and a friend with me – all of which were per­fectly good en­ter­tain­ment to while away the hours – but ac­tu­ally, I just wanted to cro­chet. I made a quick dash out to the car park to see if maybe I had a long-ne­glected project in the car that I could pick up. I even de­bated mak­ing the one hour round trip drive over a rather snowy moun­tain at the time to get my project from where I had left it on the kitchen counter at home.

As I laughed about my ob­ses­sion later, it oc­curred to me how much I had ac­tu­ally been cro­chet­ing re­cently. My

morn­ings started with a few rows be­fore I be­grudg­ingly left it and my bed be­hind to feed the masses and start the day. Projects fol­lowed me around the house as I did var­i­ous tasks: change the wash­ing over, cro­chet a bit, stir the por­ridge, cro­chet a bit, read with the six-year- old, cro­chet a bit, and on and on all day. I even found my­self reach­ing for my hook more of­ten than I was reach­ing for my cam­era – some­thing that’s nor­mally un­heard of in my house. PROCESS VER­SUS PROD­UCT The strangest thing about it was that the de­sire to al­ways have a hook in hand wasn’t fu­elled by the am­bi­tion to fin­ish some­thing or the blind panic that pro­ceeds a dead­line. It was be­cause I gen­uinely en­joyed mak­ing. I de­lighted in the process and rep­e­ti­tion of stitch af­ter stitch, and de­signed things that high­lighted that leisurely med­i­ta­tion – Tu­nisian shawls and dou­ble cro­chet rib­bing in fin­ger­ing weight yarns have fea­tured heav­ily of late with the slow­ness of stitch built into the de­sign, just so I can savour the process. I even re­cently picked up a lace weight yarn, such a change from my pre­vi­ous pref­er­ence for aran and chunky, be­fore re­al­is­ing that I didn’t have a hook to match its weight.

It seems that old dogs can learn new tricks. And if I can be­come a process per­son, surely one day I will be able to get that small boy on the school bus. See what Kat’s been hooking lately on her blog at www. slug­son­there­frig­er­a­tor.com or on In­sta­gram @kat­goldin

“Morn­ings start with a few rows.”

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