You're Just a Knitter, You Can't Make a Meaningful Difference

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Why do you knit?

Take a moment to really think that question over.

A moment more…                     

Ok, let’s continue.

Why do we embark on a journey that requires you to invest time, money and effort into a new craft or art form?

Because of its impact on our lives.

Let’s explore that a bit.

Knitting gets a bad rap sometimes.

“Knitting is for old ladies!”

“You’re wasting your time on a silly hobby.”

“Why do you spend so much money on yarn?”

“Stop knitting and come socialize with us.”

“If you get anything handmade from someone, then you know that they have WAY too much time on their hands.”

“Handmade = shoddy work.”

“Knitting is worthless and has no value. You should pick up a more useful hobby”.

It makes you want to hide your work in shame. When people ask you what your hobby is, you stutter and turn red in the face. I still have a hard time telling people I pretty much knit for a living.

(I personally really dislike that “joke” about hiding yarn receipts from spouses because it means that we have to feel guilty about investing money into our craft).

You know that knitting is so much more. It’s not just a hobby. It’s not some silly old thing.

What is it, then?

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Why do you knit?

Why do we embark on a journey that requires you to invest time, money and effort into a new craft or art form?

The Fibre Muse archetypes (Mystic, Dreamer, Seeker, and Giver) were created from me asking my tribe the simple, yet profound, question, “Why do you knit?”

I have found myself asking myself the same question over and over again, “Why do I create? How does my work impact others? Why is my work more than just “silly little designs? Can my work be meaningful and impactful?”

I like to attend business/marketing conferences to help elevate my brand and network with some of the most passionate and brilliant people that I’ve ever met.

But often, as a knitwear designer, who mostly sold $6 products, in the face of people who I would consider to be real entrepreneurs and who are transforming lives and making a difference in the world, I look to my patterns and think:

"Am I making a difference? How am I changing people’s lives with my work? It is worth me investing so much money into a knitwear design business?"

Making money is nice. But I’m not in the knitwear design industry to make money (heh, though it’s still important).

What I want though…

I want my work to make an impact on people. Or, as I’ve discovered through many sessions of reflection, talking it out, journaling, I want knitters to realize how their knitting makes an impact. To connect to it, to cultivate it to bring more joy, healing, creativity, and connection into their lives.

To realize that we are transmogrifying the knitting process into experiences and moments that bless and uplift us and others… one stitch at a time.

It is a belief that our craft makes a difference. That it transforms lives, ours included. It’s not just some silly thing. It’s believing and understanding that knitting has POWER.

I am passionate about catalyzing transformations through connecting knitters to their “why” (because I’m obsessed about digging into my “why”).

Because that “why” is everything. It’s that quiet yet powerful force that helps push people through the crappy moments, the tough times, to see their goal accomplished. In knitting terms, dealing with unruly yarn, learning a complicated new stitch (wait, the needle goes where now??), and putting up with confusing patterns (as a designer, I make the solemn oath to make sure my designs are complete, clear and concise).

Putting up with all that crap for what end?

  • The enjoyment of the journey.
  • The pride of taking your design off of the blocking mat and wearing it for the first time.
  • The warm fuzzies when you gift your hard work to a knit-worthy someone.

(Though I think we experience much more pleasant moments in our knitting than not - when we have those crap moments though, our why pulls us through).

Ever since the creation of the Fibre Muse archetypes, I knew I wanted to go deeper into the concept: to focus on each type, dedicate the time to exploring her magic and nurturing her spirit that lives in each knitter.

But for what end?

WHY???

(If my brand were a college assignment, I can see my professor writing “GO DEEPER” in the margins. I got that comment a lot).

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I want knitters...

... to realize how their knitting makes an impact. To connect to it, to cultivate it to bring more joy, healing, creativity, and connection into their lives.

Recall the four Fibre Muses and what they stand for: each one represents a reason “why” we knit.

  • Mystic, the muse of self-care.
  • Dreamer, the muse of self-expression.
  • Seeker, the muse of self-discovery.
  • Giver, the muse of selflessness.

That was just the first step of discovering what I’ve come to call the “Impact Quadrant.” There are two axises: self-other axis and the project-process axis. The first axis identifies WHO we are knitting for, and the second, WHY we knit. Together, they culminate into the specific impact, or how the magic of knitting makes a difference in that area.

Working to fulfill all four quadrants culminate into producing a more balanced, happier and fulfilled you.

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OTHER-PROJECT Giver - Givers knit for others and use their FOs to heal and uplift others. They cultivate the magic of knitting for charitable causes, for a purpose greater than themselves. The resulting impact: the betterment of social circles, big and small.

OTHER-PROCESS Seeker - Seekers don’t knit to give to someone else, but have the “other” in mind as they consider what their actions as a consumer have on the world/environment/community which leads them to support small, local, indie businesses. They are process knitters because they enjoy the journey of creating for themselves (for reference, check the #slowfashionoctober tag on IG!). They cultivate the magic of knitting for a more ethical and sustainable life. The resulting impact: helping keep small businesses afloat which in turn help the environment.

SELF PROCESS Mystic - Mystics knit as an escape, as a form of self-care. It’s easy to see why they are process knitters; they find relief and meditation in their knitting, and once done with one project, they are already twitching for the next one. They cultivate the magic of knitting to make a happier them. The resulting impact: increased mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

SELF PROJECT Dreamer - Dreamers are what I would consider being the stereotypical artistic/creative type (though all four Muses are artists and make art). They use knitting as a way to express who they are and want to live life loud. They cultivate the magic of knitting for molding a life that is more authentic and true-to-themselves. The resulting impact: increased confidence as living as a creative human being and using knitting to express their artistic soul.

All in all, you are cultivating the magic of knitting to affect change in and outside of you to make a difference.

And now you might be thinking, (just like I often do), “I’m just one person. Can I make a difference?”

Yes, you can. I believe that little and small actions can snowball into significant change. So join me in this movement of making an impact through our knitting. I challenge you to share on social media your #whyIknit story, loud and clear!

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