Friday, December 13, 2013

Ideal Space: Contained Crafting

About a year ago I wrote about ideal crafting spaces. Those gorgeously organized, brightly lit, meticulously clean rooms you see in quilting magazines are what everyone strives for and no one actually achieves. I have a desk in the dining room where I keep a few paper-crafting things and a box full of yarn. Mostly, I use it to stack things I’m “going to organize” or “about to fix” or “will take care of later.” My mobile paper crafting kit is on the shelf by the door, and my secret cache of jewelry creation materials is stuffed onto the bookshelf in the living room.
I don’t feel bad about it.
Crocheting is different from scrapbooking or quilting in that you can move it around more easily. I like to watch movies or read while I work, and I can pick up a skein of yarn and move it from the couch to in front of the computer or even stick it on the shelf next to my bed while I balance my kindle on my lap. I don’t want a space specifically for crochet projects, because I’m more comfortable moving it around as I choose. If I had a “crocheting corner,” I wouldn’t use it.
Yarn can’t really be contained in an orderly manner. You can try to stack it, but soon you’ll be tossing skeins aside in search of a specific one, and putting everything back perfectly is often an unattainable goal.
Those pretty, well-lit, clutter-free spaces we see in magazines are an illusion. It may surprise you to know that photographers often stage photos. I want to see a magazine article about actual crafting spaces. I want to see pictures of messy desks and yarn in a snarl because it slid onto the floor from the crafter’s lap when they fell asleep knitting. “Ideal space” is an illusion. We can impose our will on crafting supplies, but it takes a lot more time than the actual crafting, and I would think that it constricts a crafter’s creativity.
You can try for one of those fake “perfect space” crafting areas, and I wish you success if you decide to go for it. But for me, a “contained crafting” system makes more sense. I know where everything is, it’s (generally) out of the way of my kids and guests, and if I need more room to work, I have a space I can clear off. It may not look very pretty, but my own system is ideal for my own crafting style.
My crocheting, contained.
One project near completion, the other less than a quarter finished.

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