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 $6-10 products, in a room with brilliant, creative people in industries that the outside world respects, I felt small and intimidated. I left the conference the first day thinking, “How on earth is my work going to leave an impact on the world?”
"Am I making a difference? How am I changing people’s lives with my work?”
The answer, of course, is yes, I am making a difference. I couldn’t see how yet. It was only through massive introspection and mindset shifts, along with the creation of the Fibre Muse Framework that I was able to better articulate how my knitting was making the world a better place.
So how can we change the world through our knitting? I found out that it is a lot easier than I thought. And it is in our thoughts that everything starts and has to change.
1) Change Your Mindset Towards Your Craft
Once again I am going to reference my new found best-friend, the book “Grit” by Angela Duckworth. In it, she shares the parable of the bricklayers:
Three bricklayers are asked: “What are you doing?”
The first says, “I am laying bricks.”
The second says, “I am building a church.”
The third says, “I am building the house of God.”
The first bricklayer has a job (a necessity of life). The second has a career (a stepping-stone to other positions). The third has a calling (one of the essential things in life).
This parable hit me in a way I didn’t expect. So I decided to “translate” this to make the parable of the knitter.
Three knitters are asked: “What are you doing?”
The first says, “I am knitting.”
The second says, “I am creating a beautiful shawl!”
The third says, “I am providing a friend with a much-needed gift of comfort.”
The first knitter has a hobby. The second as a passion. The third as a purpose (to learn more about hobbies vs. passions vs. purposes, read this blog post).
What does your parable look like? When you sit down to knit, ask yourself, “What are you doing?” and challenge yourself to reframe your activity into a purpose. If you’re stuck, think back to your Fibre Muse archetype and framework and use that as a foundation for articulating your purpose.
I am knitting to bring inner harmony to my turmoiled mind.
I am reconnecting with my culture.
I am expressing my individuality and uniqueness through the colors and patterns I chose.
You can keep your purpose to yourself - if someone asks you, “What are you doing?”, You don’t have to answer them as the third knitter did. If anything, this exercise is less about getting validation from the outside world and more of re-shifting your thoughts around what you do and gaining that quiet, steady confidence.
2) Cultivate Your Fibre Muse Values
Next is to cultivate your values through the lens of the Fibre Muses. If you haven’t, take the Fibre Muse quiz to discover which Fibre Muse most resonates with you at this point. Then, read this blog post on expressing the values of each Fibre Muse through your knitting and reflect on what yours are, and how knitting can best reflect your values through the lens of that Muse.
3) Take Action
All this thinking and reflection is good, but it’s practically useless without putting it into action! As a reminder, done is better than perfect. No one is expecting you to get your purpose or to execute it flawlessly. From the previous step, find ways to express your values through your knitting and start! Starting small is ok. Purchase yarn from a company that shares your same values. Pay more attention to friends and family and see if someone is in need. Be unapologetic for carving out time for yourself to create and meditate on your knitting. Once you start going down the rabbit hole of reflection, your mind will start making more connections and ways to act for you. Just go with the flow!
It also helps to share your story on why you create and what your values are and how you express those through your knitting. You’ll get the words out of your head and onto a physical piece of paper (or a physical screen). You want to it out of you and in front of your eyes so you can see what you have written, and make adjustments or reflect on it more.
So let’s start now! In the comments below, write a few sentences on why you create. It doesn’t have to be an essay or the final reason, think of it as a first draft to help get you started.