Monday, November 15, 2010

What's in My Crochet Bag - Stress Edition

That's right. I said it. What's in my crochet bag right now is stress. I've got a great big bag of stress in my bag. It starts with work stress, then, using that as the base, add Thanksgiving stress, money stress, house stress, kid stress and holiday budget stress and you have me: a useless ball of nerves and misery.

The thing is that there are a lot of reasons why I craft. I craft to create, to exert control over an out-of-control word, to produce something worthwhile, to develop skills that will be marketable after the zombie apocalypse. I crochet for all of those reasons, plus stress relief.

I'm afraid it's not doing it's job, though.

Perhaps because I am trying to Christmas crochet, which is probably enough to drive anyone up the tree, especially someone who very, very stupidly put two, TWO, 2 sweaters on her Christmas crochet list.

So, there's not much to add at this juncture. I am working on a sweater. I have some scarves, another sweater and some ornaments left to go.

I thought I'd hear from you guys. It doesn't have to be crochet, or even fiber arts or even crafting. But what do you do for stress relief that sometimes stops being relief and starts being the cause? And what do you do about that? What do we do when the things we do for fun stop being fun, I guess is my questions. With special care taken for the fact that I have no doubt that it will again become fun. In other words, "Quit doing it," is probably the wrong answer for me.


Suze said...

I have the same problem about stress around the holidays and feeling like I have to make stuff for everyone else. Here's my solution: DON'T. Crochet what you want, whether it's for yourself or anyone else, and just don't worry about it otherwise. If you have to make something, go for ornaments, or other simple little things. You have enough going on, you shouldn't have to make whole sweaters for other people!

Steve said...

I play guitar to relax and it (almost) never fails me, perhaps because these days I get so little chance to do so.

However, last Sunday I decided to write a song in a day as a NaBloPoMo blog post. I say a day, I had about an hour. That become a bit stressy (self-induced though it was) and I didn't finish it, which left me a bit deflated and still with a blog post to write.

To answer your question, I'd say take a little break from it for a while. Sorry if that's the wrong answer!

Jessi said...

Suze - Wise words. I may drop back a bit on the sweaters. If I only had to finish one by Christmas, that wouldn't be so stressful.

Steve - I know all about that stupid self-induced stress! I do that to myself all the time. Thanks for the advice.

Strangeite said...

Not sure about the marketability of crocheting during a zombie apocalypse, but it could be valuable during a good old fashioned TEOTWAWKI apocalypse. You might consider getting a spinning wheel and learning the art of turning fibers into yarn.

I know it was just a joke but I couldn't resist.

Jessi said...

Actually, it's only partly a joke. Not that I expect an apocalypse of any kind, but as an avid sf reader, I can't help but think about my viability in a fall of society kind of situation. Crochet may not be the most valuable skill, but it's more valuable than say, computer programming. I am going to learn to knit next and then I'll move on to spinning. As I understand it, spinning is fairly equipment heavy, so not cheap. I'm also working on learning to can.

Strangeite said...

I am in the same boat. Being a SF (so glad you use the old-school SF instead of the more modern sci-fi) leaves a mark. I agree that the chances of complete collapse of civilization is almost nil but after you have kids it changes your perspective. Suddenly, it becomes your job to prepare them for the world in which they will probably have to face, but also be ready to deal with the world that is highly unlikely but not impossible. I guess it is the boy scout in me. Be prepared. Plus, it saves us a ton of money by only having to purchase staples when they are on sale.

Canning is important. You can pick up a steam canner for almost nothing, but you will be limited in what you can actually store. A steam canner is far more practical but about an order of magnitude more expensive. Anna and I have on our wish list a 30 quart All American Pressure canner, specifically model 930, because their are no rubber gaskets that can corrode.

Also, why you are right that computer programming might be limited in its usefulness, don't discount a solid basis in network engineering. A USB drive with a linux distro and a couple of HAM radio packet modems will be a very cheap and effective method of maintaining a versatile communications network.

I had better stop writing now before I remove in doubt to the depth of my insanity.

Jessi said...

I'll tell you what. You make me a USB HAM radio doohickey and I'll make you a nice, soft scarf and hat. Win-Win.

Orlandel said...

Ok, the whole SF scenario has left me totally in the dark, but my Christmas stress is a quilt. That I don't even have all the fabric for yet. So I have a back up plan. One that can be picked up at the very last minute, but if the quilt don't get done - I have a plan. (And if it does and we have a zombie apocalypse I guess I can hide under it.)

Jessi said...

Oh my. I wouldn't even begin to do a quilt for Christmas this late. You are a brave, brave woman. And we'll totally need it for the zombie apocalypse, because I am bringing the girls and coming to the farm. It's not as easily defended as my house, but much more sustainable.