Expressing Your Values Through Your Knitting

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A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling a bit lost and confused about the state of my brand, Aroha Knits; notably, how to reconcile Aroha Knits and the Fibre Muse, two seemingly distinct identities.

“I don’t quite clearly see how to balance the two properly or how to view them in my mind,” I told my coach, “I feel like I’m focusing so much on the Fibre Muse that I’m losing sight of what I was originally doing in Aroha Knits.”

“Frenchie,” my coach told me, “Aroha Knits was the first use of the Fibre Muse Framework. You are the CEO or founder of Aroha Knits, and the creator of the Fibre Muse Framework. You created a sub-brand that helps people understand the impact they can have. You’re using the Fibre Muse Framework to help teach other people how to create their version of Aroha Knits essentially.”

Lightbulb.

In early years of Aroha Knits, I was putting the Fibre Muse framework into practice without knowing it, but I was living it. When I started knitting and designing, I wanted to explore and connect with my heritage using knitting as a way to breathe new life into traditional Maori arts and crafts. Knitting (and by extension, designing) was a way for me to express values what was important to me: reconnecting and learning about my cultural heritage and using my finished works to express myself.

My knitting at the time was a manifestation of both my Dreamer and Seeker Fibre Muses in action. Because of my values, I was able to infuse my knitting with purpose.

Why I created the Fibre Muse Framework

Why did I create the Fibre Muse Framework in the first place? What prompted me to do so?

In learning how to brand our businesses, the first exercise that we have to do (if your branding expert knows their stuff) is answer the question, “Why do you do what you do?”. As in, “Why are you really doing this?”.

I came across this question two-three years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since. In fact, it’s become a foundation of the entire Fibre Muse brand.

“Why do I create?”

I’m practically obsessed with this question, I revisit it every few months or so, especially when I’m feeling empty and bored in my business (it happens! It’s normal). Returning to this question lights a fire within me and reminds me what my purpose is. What impact I want to have, using knitting as my tool of choice.

How does the Fibre Muse Framework fit into this?

I love knitting so much because it has given me a purpose in life (the self-discovery of my culture through knitting). I want to share this feeling that I’ve discovered with other people because it feels so darn good (through the Fibre Muse Framework and everything else under the Fibre Muse name).

I light up when someone goes through the transformation process of, “Oh, I’m just a knitter” to “I’m a knitter with a purpose; knitting enables me to make a transformational impact.” Because I understand the emotions they are going through (it makes for a fuzzy and warm feeling).

Also, by transforming a knitter’s outlook on their craft, to not just a hobby, but a mode to help actualize their purpose in life, the effects can be felt outside the fibre community. It could potentially shift society’s outlook on knitting from “Oh, that’s cute,” to “Wow, that’s amazing what you can do with sticks and string”.

What the values each Fibre Muse represents

Now that I’ve touched on a bit about why I created the Fibre Muse Framework let’s take a look at it. There are four Fibre Muses:

Dreamer: knitting as a form of self-expression

Giver: knitting of a form of selflessness

Seeker: knitting of a form of self-discovery

Mystic: knitting of a form self-care

Each Muse has their purpose for knitting, and by extension, a set of values. I’ve updated the Fibre Muse Framework to now include these values.

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Note: because the Fibre Muses are archetypes, if you are a Mystic Fibre Muse but find yourself resonating with the Seeker values, that’s normal. The Fibre Muse Quiz identifies which Fibre Muse you resonate with most strongly at this point in time, but I believe that we should be integrating all parts of each Muse with our main one. We’re complicated humans, after all!

How you can use the Fibre Muse Framework to create your own version of Aroha Knits

Now to the juice-y part of this blog post: how to create your own Aroha Knits, aka, knitting with purpose and intention for transformational impact.

If you haven’t already done so, take the Fibre Muse Quiz to identify your Fibre Muse. Read the results, reflect on how this Muse shows up in your life. Maybe share your thoughts about it or journal it privately.

Next, come back to this post and look at the values for your Fibre Muse. Select the top three that resonate with you the most. Then choose two values from the other three Muses.

Example, the main Muse is Mystic. Values: inner harmony, calm, simplicity. 2 other values: mastery and empathy.

And lastly, spend some time journaling or reflecting how you can integrate these values into your knitting.

Example, continuing with the Mystic Muse. If I value calm, I will be more intentionally to set aside a time and place for me to create. If I appreciate mastery, I will challenge myself to try new techniques, and develop a deeper understanding of my craft. If I value simplicity, I will be more thoughtful in my pattern purchases and chose ones that allow for everyday wear + easy styling.

There is no right or wrong answer to this exercise. The point of this is to start engaging better with our craft, to be more mindful and most importantly, be more intentional. Once we know what we value the most, our mindset will start to shift and then begin to dictate our actions.

And if after a few months you find yourself feeling less engaged with your craft, return to these questions:

Why do you create?

What do you value?

How can your knitting be a reflection of said values?

There is a good chance that the answers to these questions will have changed. Why? Because you’re a human being, and part of the human experience is to grow and to learn. So will your purpose and your values.

What are your values? How do you use knitting to express them? Please share below!