Crafting Memories

comments (2) November 10th, 2008     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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The beginnings of my Obamarama shawl.
Pride & Prejudice is a crafters friend, maybe even true love. Or maybe thats just me.
The beginnings of my Obamarama shawl.

The beginnings of my Obamarama shawl.

Photo: Jennifer Worick

I always have to be busy.

While some see this as a curse, I consider it a blessing.

I don’t do “down time.” For me, leisure time translates into felting a ring during Rock of Love Charm School (my impeccable taste doesn’t always extend to television) or reorganizing my craft book collection during a weekly phone call with my mother. Like our prairie ancestors, hard-working laborers who considered idle hands to be something devilish, I must keep my hands and my mind constantly in motion. I may not have the primal urge to procreate, but I do have the need to produce.

This, of course, is a great thing as the holidays approach. I have created and squirreled away a gift here and there throughout the year so I’m not completely at sixes and sevens as December looms.

Much like some associate significant memories with music, I can pair up events both landmark and lame with most of my creations. While watching the election returns last week with Michaela and Gregg, I worked away at my feather-and-fan shawl, anxiety initially working through my fingers before giving way to confident yarn-overing, my hands feeling their way along the needles as my eyes remained glued on our president-elect. I can’t wait to drape my Obamarama shawl over my shoulders. Hopefully, it’ll be finished and blocked by Inauguration Day.

Knitting has always had a calming effect. On that September 11th, I secreted myself away on the top floor of my house, working up a sweater in an easy rib with a startling French blue silk-merino yarn from Tess’ Designer Yarns. Surprisingly, when I wear that sweater, I think of the comfort it provided rather than the tragedy that brought it into being.

These days, I hunker down in front of the TV, my crafts warming me even if the register is on the fritz. I have the series of crystal rings that I knocked out during one season of Project Runway (Top Chef had a little something to do with them, too. Okay, fine, and The Real Housewives of Orange County).

I mixed up lip balm during a particularly lurid episode of CSI: Miami, which makes slicking on the reddish goo a bit, well, ghoulish. When I have something slightly more complicated, say a crochet pattern on which I have to concentrate (since I have the attention span of a fruit fly), I flip over to QVC, where the soothing sounds of a host trying to sell me Jackie Kennedy-inspired jewelry or no-fail eyeliner fades into the background as my project comes front and center.

Then there’s always my trusty DVD of Pride & Prejudice (the Colin Firth one). I reckon I’ve seen this about 40 times so I can craft with ease, looking up at key moments, such as when Mr. Darcy dives into his pond, or when Elizabeth shyly looks up at Mr. Darcy after turning Georgiana’s sheet music… What was I saying? Oh right. I learned to sew to the dulcet sounds of P&P; when I lay out my genteel cloth napkins, I can’t help but luxuriate in the pleasures and niceties of the past. Hygiene may have been wanting, but those Georgians could set a table.

In the future, you can find me at my website or blogs, Things I Want to Punch in the Face and Prairie Tales. My new book, Backcountry Betty: Crafting with Style, is in stores now.

posted in: election, memories, television

Comments (2)

Jen1964 writes: That's the best way to get into warp speed knitting! I started knitting in front of T.V. back when I discovered my husband was going to watch every Yankee game that T.V. covered! I didn't mind the baseball, but there were times when I WAS getting a little fidgety and bored. (Don't tell him!) Then I learned to knit while reading. The thing is, you're starting out at normal speed, and 2 hours later you've got some incredible amount done, and hardly remembered doing it all. Later I learned you gotta stretch every 1/2 hour or so, to prevent repetitive strain injuries. O.K., so now it's a little slower. With computer, same deal. Get up and walk around and stretch every so often, and refocus eyes a lot. I don't find I remember the shows, though. I just remember a warm glow, and how much I love knitting!
Posted: 6:56 pm on November 17th
jessajune writes: I, too, have spent many hours crafting to the delights of P&P. Before I owned the DVDs, I had a videotaped-from-tv version.

And I definitely have found that knitting is a great aid through stressful times - when my family went through some land-use drama recently, knitting was the only thing that kept me collected during endless city council meetings. My bed is covered with a blanket I refer to as "Penelope", which I knitted after a painful breakup - I promised myself I didn't even have to THINK about dating again until it was finished. And now, it is much more likely to remind me of Lord of the Rings - which I watched several times during its creation - than of my lost love.
Posted: 1:28 pm on November 13th
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