Create your own happiness

So…I never really considered myself that handy with DIY things. I’d try things when I was younger and most of the time I wasn’t that good at it. I was good at math and school in general but all that artsy craftsy stuff just always seemed to NOT be my thing even though I wanted to be artsy. So…I grew up believing I just wasn’t able to do those things. Math, computers, etc. I could do those things and that was where I focused my energies.

But after watching another FTF (Fulltime Family — a group of fulltime families that live and mostly travel in their RVs) mom post her photos of things she would crochet I wanted to try again. The girls were also interested so we picked up a crochet hook and a book and some yarn and as the girls watched me try, they began to try.

Sometimes the book was unclear with it’s still photos so I would YouTube videos to see more. Some YouTubers had good videos, some were too difficult for me to follow. Sometimes it was their fault for going too fast and sometimes it was just that I didn’t understand their teaching style.

I stumbled upon Bluprint which was first called Craftsy. I have no idea why they changed their name but they did. I joined on a cheap intro and began a few of their videos and loved their teachers. Many different teachers, many different craft skills. The more I watched, the more I learned.

I’ve been working on learning more about knitting by making an afghan throw by making 1 square at a time with the CreaCrafts boxed project. But…back in March they stopped shipping my monthly box and all I get now are excuses.

So…I picked up a book at Joanns that had 50 knit squares to make. And it turns out that with my leftovers of the yarn from the other afghan project I was working on actually makes the right size squares when I use patterns from the 50 squares book. The book is pretty easy to follow but they just give you the basics. Do this get that.

So…I got to the section on cables. I’ve always been fascinated by the intricate cable designs and I have no clue how they do that. The book taught me the basic steps but I was having to look up the cross over each time. It made no real sense to me. I then went to BluPrint and looked up basic cable knitting. A great teacher explained the WHY behind the HOW and BOOM. It made great sense. The same video taught me to actually read knitting patterns. WOW. I’d tried before and just got more confused. Even such a simple thing she taught. When cable knitting you move stitches off the main needle, knit other stitches then knit the stitches you moved off. But the thing is. Depending on what you are doing you either hold the off stitches in FRONT or BEHIND what you are knitting. One simple thing. If your arrow points RIGHT hold your cable needle to the BACK because it will “be RIGHT BACK”. BOOM. She had another one for LEFT but it didn’t make sense to me. Instead I thought. For the arrow going LEFT I “DON’T WANT TO BE LEFT BEHIND” therefore I should stay in the FRONT. Simple, easy, now I don’t have to keep going back to the name of the stitch to figure out if I hold it in front or in back. So simple.

I write all this to say that I think many of us, especially women have this desire to create things. Men, I think have a desire to create ond a different level. They want to build. Big things, sturdy things, useful things, fix things. I’m not saying you can’t want both depending on your gender, but I think women desire more to create beauty, to decorate, to enhance and it’s different. Bluprint has so many options for anything you want to learn whether it’s yarn arts like I’m learning or woodworking, drawing, painting, etc. Every time I login I find more things they’ve added and I could just spend my entire day watching videos and learning and doing things. And the more I learn the more I want to try something else I always thought I wasn’t good at.

Artsy craftsy skills aren’t beyond our reach. It wasn’t that I “couldn’t” do those things as I always thought. It was just that I needed a teacher, some patience and some practice. When I first tried knitting I dropped or picked up extra stitches all the time which messed up everything I ever tried so I would “frog” (when you rip it all apart and start over…came from rip it…ribbit…hence frog) it and start over and never finish because I couldn’t not mess up. Yesterday on one square I wound up with one extra stitch. What? How? Fine. I know how to knit two together so I just did that. Fixed the issue, right number of stitches keep going. I still can’t find where that extra stitch came from but you can’t see a problem in my pattern. So who cares!

You know you have that thing you always wished you could do. Whether you join Bluprint or not. TRY IT. If money is holding you back, start small. You want to draw or paint, start with just some pencils and a drawing pad. YouTube has tons of free videos some good some not. You want to paint, pick up a really cheap paint set. Sure the quality won’t be that great but who cares. Chances are your first paintings won’t be that great either. Want to try yarn arts. Buy 1 crochet hook and a skein of yarn you like. Tons of sales at Walmart or Joanns all the time and you can get a cheap ball of yarn. Embroidery? Same thing, always a way to find something cheap. But don’t let people or yourself convince you that you can’t do this. I think we as humans have this need to create things that has been lost over time.

It wasn’t that long ago that everything was made by hand. That people took up skilled crafts. Some wove linens, some spun thread or yarn, some knitting that yarn into clothing, some sewed, some colored cloth or yarns. Everything was made by someone by hand. Those skills were passed on from person to person each adding their own something to the mix. Things were valued more and treasured more. Things were even repaired or re-purposed. Now, we buy mass produced things, we have no connection to them, we don’t value them as much and we throw them away when we no longer want them. I think in doing this we have lost something in us. So many people are depressed, lack purpose, feel unfulfilled. We’ve turned into a consumer driven society and we are like parasites just taking in everything we can looking for the collection of these things to bring us happiness. I think our true happiness only comes when we create. When we can produce something large or small, it ignites something inside us that gives us satisfaction of a job well done. No THING is ever going to give you that. You will just keep looking for more things and feeling more empty.

So…try something new today. And if you are lucky, maybe you can turn your hobby into your job and live the satisfied life.