While crafting can be a way to find solitude in the 21st century, away from mobile phones and the Twitterati, the Kardashians and selfies, it can also be an incredible tool to help you with your craft, without interfering with the process.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed is how it helps me monitor my cross stitch progress. This happened by accident. I started out by taking pictures of what I’d done to see if my friends could work out what it was going to be. A really fun game if you’ve never played. It tended to be about one a day and I noticed that I could see what I’d done each day. When do something as focused as cross stitch where you can sometimes get bogged down in not making much progress, it actually really helps.
Having photography as an instant form is useful for so many things really. I often photograph my knitting in case anyone asks me what I’ve been doing. Patchwork has an incredible application for this, arranging your blocks. This is my mums domain, and she’s always done it, even when you had to go and get film developed! (Although a little less frequently then) If you arrange your blocks in different ways and then photograph each of them, you can look at the different arrangements easier and decide which you like best much quicker. Plus, you don’t have to remember how you had them before, and get frustrated when you can’t remember how to recreate it. You have a reference picture!
If you’re anything like me, you keep track of where you are in your knitting with endless scraps of paper covered in tally marks. I haven’t completely said goodbye to this method, but I now often use my iPhone to make keep track instead. A well organized note conveniently titled is much harder to loose than that back of an envelope. Bonus feature when you’re making something big you can delete the notes that you’re done with, minimizing any confusion over which set you were using
Last year, my huge Game of Thrones scarf got over 25 likes on Facebook, with a disclaimer it was not going to be knitted again for anyone (still didn’t stop people asking!). The lying down next to it was to demonstrate the scale. Apparently I look dead. Later in the year I reveled this flamingo jumper. This was the second customization of this pattern, which I am completely in love with. The response online? First time I broke 50 likes on Facebook! I don’t think I’d ever got 30 on one post before.
The jumper I finished this week, much less fantastical but got 40! Very grown up knitting by my standards indeed.
I don’t make things for likes or external gratification, I make things because I enjoy the process and out come. But boy, does it feel good for other people to acknowledge the skill, time and process that went into the piece.