Sunday, February 21, 2016

When giving up is still a win...

I had an honest moment this week.  I had been dragging my feet about sewing a lining for a bag I'd crocheted up last fall.  This was the last picture I posted (complete with fabric that was to be the lining - fabric that I love, by the way):


Once I found this cute fabric, I committed to finishing the bag.  Except that I didn't.  Didn't commit or didn't finish?   Well, obviously, I didn't finish, but I sure thought I was committed to doing so.  And yet it's nagged at me.  For months.  I've told myself I'm just procrastinating getting the lining made, but I think I knew better.  Don't get me wrong...  I can be a world-class procrastinator -even about things I want to do, but the honest-to-goodness-truth is that I've been ambivalent about the bag.  For a long time.  Now the fabric for the lining, I love!  And that may have actually made it harder for me to make myself line the bag since I wasn't sure I was going to love the whole thing when I was finished. So I put it off.  And told myself I'd do it "someday".

Okay, and the handles nagged at me, too.  Part of me wishes I had not crocheted the handles, but rather, found a way to attached other, more durable handles to the bag.  The more I thought about it, the more I imagined those handles becoming all stretched out and worn-looking, all the while the pretty lining would haunt me for having relegated it to the inside of a bag that I didn't like all that much to begin with.

And on and on all those negative thoughts nagged at me every time I saw this yet unfinished bag, and I grew more and more apathetic about the whole thing.

And suddenly this week I had a little epiphany.  Don't line the bag!   Just get over not loving it already, and use it as is until I don't want to use it anymore.  Nobody is going to care what I do with this bag, or the fabric I bought to line it with.   I don't get bonus points for finishing a project I'm not interested in finishing - not this one, anyway.

I looked around to see if anyone was going to dispute these thoughts, but there wasn't a naysayer to be had.

And just like that, I decided to put the fabric away for some other pretty project, and put the crocheted bag to use already. Even if only for yarn storage.

And as of yesterday the unlined bag holds skeins of yarn I've recently purchased for making a blanket for the living room sofa.

While this isn't like some great accomplishment or anything, I do feel like I had a success here.  Normally I'm not too terribly bothered when a project doesn't thrill me or simply isn't quite what I hoped for.  I'm no stranger to ripping out and moving on.  I don't know why I hung onto this one for so long.   

I don't know that it matters whether or not I ever really understand my waffling for so long over this one bag, but once again I've learned that letting go, even changing direction, is every bit as much a part of the creative process as moving forward can be.  In fact, the freedom gained from giving up something that is a negative almost always leads to greater creative energy.

And with that freedom and energy I now press on to work on the two blankets I am fond of (Kilim and Arrowhead), and eventually a third one with the yarn above.  After months and months of searching for the right blue-green shade for a living room afghan, my eyes just happened to land on this yarn recently (when I wasn't even looking for it) in the I Love This Yarn aisle at Hobby Lobby and I'm so excited about it I can hardly wait to start working with it.  But I'm telling myself I need to finish at least one of the other blankets before starting this one. 

We'll see if I can keep that resolve as the soft blue-green of this yarn has been calling to me - ever since I found it - did I mention it was on the very bottom shelf? - as if someone had hidden it down there - nearly out of sight.   And it was on sale!  I think it was fate that we found each other.  :^)



14 comments:

  1. I think yarn storage is a much better use of the bag rather than lining it with that gorgeous fabric and still not liking it, now that would be a waste! Looking forward to seeing the blankets when they are done :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. I'm so glad I put this one to rest. Can't wait to show off the finished blankets. I'm telling myself I can't show them again here until they are done. :^)

      Delete
  2. It IS a win. Like you I procrastinate when I'm not entirely certain in which direction to go with something. I don't call it procrastinating though - I think of it as "percolating" in the back of my mind. Sometimes by putting something aside for a while I can go back to it with a clear head and fresh ideas. I think that's what you've done with the bag!

    Of course you probably could still replace the bag handles with some wooden ones, but it works nicely as a yarn basket :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Percolating sounds so much better than procrastinating. :^) I suppose a good lesson here, too, is when not sure about something a little time may be bring clarity. Guilt need not apply!

      Delete
  3. Great idea, to repurpose the bag and fabric. I think it looks perfect in its new role.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank, Lucy. I'm certainly happier. :^)

      Delete
  4. Okay, I love the fabric but I love that bag too! Is there a pattern for it? I want to make one! LOL! I love the colors you chose and I definitely like your new yarn! I'm glad you're happy with your decision but I like that bag so much..please tell me where the pattern is! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam, I'm glad you like the bag. The pattern is called Starling Bag. Here is a link to the pattern's Ravelry page:
      http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/starling-handbag

      The thing I do like about this bag is it has a rectangular bottom (it has squared-off corners). I kept thinking I would put a piece of plastic canvas in the bottom (when I lined it ;^) to strengthen it and so it would hold its shape. It's an easy pattern. The only thing I didn't care for is the seam that that is created in the crocheted fabric (it runs up the side), and that the pattern calls for turning. It makes it harder to use a self-striping yarn (I tried with another yarn and wasn't crazy about the effect). If I do it again, I'm going to try to crochet it in a continuous circle. We'll see. Oh...and I made mine significantly larger than the pattern, and I held two strands together. The pattern, as written, will not make a bag a large as mine and the handles are much smaller. It was an easy pattern to adapt.

      Delete
  5. I think the yarn storage bag is perfect. You chose the perfect idea for it. Your fabric will be used for something extra nice, I am sure. Love the color of the yarn for the blanket too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your bag is very pretty and I really like your colors. I do understand your decision not to line it. I have finally given myself permission to stop projects I no longer enjoy. I try to look at them as learning experiences and move on to other things.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh, I know this feeling... When something doesn't go right in the project, but you deny it until the end. I always feel so great when I finally make my mind to rip something out or just live with it! Crochet bags are absolutely perfect for storing yarn!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Me too, I know that feeling very well - I usually say to myself, 'Aren't I lucky, that there isn't any knitting police?" I strongly believe that at least for me, knitting is there to make me happy, and with it, I can do however I please. Good to know there're plenty of us :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I always procrastinate if sewing is involved; but some of the greatest knitters and crocheters would agree with us; Elizabeth Zimmerman, for one. Your honesty is touching, because I've been there before and felt the guilt. As for the move to a new project or two; ones that make you happy? Hurrah!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...