Thursday, July 10, 2014

Project vs. Process

I'm all about the process. I love to crochet, I love to knit. But I don't care whether or not I ever finish what I'm working on. I have many single socks that may or may not ever have a mate. It took me a very long time to understand why I'm that way, and part of the answer came after we participated in the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator years ago at the company where I worked at the time. I'm all INFP, baby - no answers in any other category except those, so I'm pretty extreme in my personality.

As an INFP, I'm extremely introverted. That doesn't mean shy, although I am a little on the shy side. It just means I'm exhausted after a morning of talking to people at market on Saturday. I enjoy talking to them, I just need a few hours to regroup and get my energy back afterwards. I'm also a "big-picture" person. I can see the end result, just not the steps to get there. Or I can see the steps, but I don't care about taking them. I want to get from Point A to Point B without having to go to points A.1, A.2, A.3, etc. I'm a feeler - I care about what other people are feeling. I want to know that people like what I'm making. I spent a good deal of time with my market customers asking how something makes them feel, and I'm very interested in their answers. And I'm never, ever on time, and if I am by some chance on time, I had to work very hard to get there, often managing to convince myself that I had to be where I was going a half hour early so that I managed to arrive somewhat on time. Time doesn't matter much to me, except that it passes much too quickly most of the time.

So all that leads back [somehow] to my original point of being a process crocheter/knitter rather than a project crocheter/knitter, which I really think ties into my personality. I love the feel of the yarn running through my fingers. I love counting my stitches. I love looking at the pattern the self-striping yarns make as I work with them. I love imagining how the finished project will look (because odds are not in the project's favor that it will ever actually be finished). I love making all the little pieces for the amigurumi I create. I don't like the stuffing part. I sometimes don't much like the sewing part, so sometimes the stuffed pieces sit for a while until I have so many finished that I have to put them together in self defense. I do love making their little faces, where the slightest variation of a stitch can change their whole expression. After they're [finally] finished, I like to imagine how my customers will feel about them. Will they smile when they see them? Will they give them as a gift, making someone else smile in the process?

Now these bowls? I love the whole stinking process, which means I actually get finished projects!

I love the crocheting. I love watching the colors shift or blend, and I love thinking about how they'll look when finished as I'm working on them. I love the felting process - I stand by the washer the entire time, taking them out every few minutes to see how much they've felted and how much they've changed. I love taking them out and rinsing them in cold water and feeling the fabric draw together and seeing how the colors emerge or recede and this happens. I love shaping them into the perfect bowl - big or little, deep or shallow depending on how the yarn felts. I love watching them dry in the sun and transform into fuzzy little vessels. I love the tedious process of trimming off the fuzz to see the beauty of the felted fabric beneath. I love everything, start to finish, about the felted bowls I make - maybe because each step of making them is so different than the step before that it seems like a totally separate project? Whatever the reason(s), I'm just glad they're something I can finish!

 Felted Bowls drying in the sun and awaiting defuzzing ...