About the series
The Healing Craft Series features creators sharing their thoughts and feelings on crafting and healing through crafting.
“[…] knitting has been my anchor. The brain loves patterns and repetitions, especially a brain in agitation clings to it. Not only has it been a quiet moment, it has also given me a sense of value and productivity.”
What kind of craft do you do and how long have you been doing it for?
I learned to knit as a teenager but it didn’t stick. When I was pregnant and bedridden with my second child I learned to crochet, I actually crocheted her first set of clothes. She came into the world in the spring of 2015, then I started to knit a lot. Since then I’ve been knitting clothes for babies, and in 2020 I finally started knitting for adults. I’m self-taught through Youtube and then I just try things out.
What is your favourite place/time of day to craft and why?
I have 3 children aged 7, 5 and 2, the latter is at home with me all day so I knit whenever I can – time of day isn’t important. My bedroom is my safe place – I painted it dark blue and hung up long dark blue curtains, it’s so soothing. Being alone with my yarn in my bed is the safest and quietest thing I know.
What inspires you (in life & in crafting)?
I am on a journey and I’ve changed so much over the last few years. Right now I’m very much inspired by boundary setting. Saying no or learning to take care of oneself. I’m learning that for the first time in my life. But also the strength that lies in putting oneself first: what do I want to do? I will not make choices or endure anything to please others. I can’t and will not fit in to any box, I’ve tried that my whole life and it only brings pain and stress.
It also has to do with my creativity, which in the past was very much about what I made should look “perfect”. I’m so proud of everything I’ve done, but I also remember how hard I’ve been on myself, I never felt it was quite right. I only saw the flaws and compared myself to everyone else. Because I have come so far with myself, my creativity has run free and I feel detached from the comparison and the “perfect”, whatever that is. It has really opened some doors for me creatively and made me feel much more confident in my craft.
How has/is crafting helping you and your mental health?
In early 2019, I was diagnosed with bipolar and ADD. It was a shock and a relief at the same time. It was a time of great pain and restlessness. I lost the urge to knit for a long time and I don’t even remember when I started knitting again, that time is very blurred. Since then, knitting has been my anchor. The brain loves patterns and repetitions, especially a brain in agitation clings to it. Not only has it been a quiet moment, it has also given me a sense of value and productivity. It’s something that is only mine, something I have thought of and made all by myself with my own hands. I don’t know what I would have done if I didnt have those things with me through this process.
What is your advice to other creators (or newly started creators)?
Let it go! Try it out! Do what feels good! My experience is that what’s fun is the right thing to do. Your craft doesn’t have to look like anything else, it’s not perfect, it cant be compared to anything or anyone. Do you think it’s cool to be technical and uniform? Do it! Do you think it’s cool to do what suits you in your own way? Do it! Just like Marie Kondo says about the joy you feel when you hold something you truly care about. That’s where your strength lies. And please don’t undersell your self, your work matters and have great value. Your time and your craft is important, it’s okay to set a fair price! Taste is what it is. Some people love spicy food, others don’t. That doesn’t make spicy food bad, some people just like something else.
Anything else you’d like to share?
If I could wish for one thing for all those who make handmade clothes, it would be that there will be an understanding and appreciation that it can be much better than mass-produced clothes. It is not a cheaper option.