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Crochet, Penelope and the Art of Unmaking

Close your eyes and imagine the joy of seeing a new design emerge, and that buzz of excitement when it’s finally complete, and it is more beautiful than the picture you’ve held in your mind for so long.

This is what drives me to start a new project; this is my addiction. I am a #crochetaddict.

Penelope and UnmakingPenelope and Unmaking

But recently I’ve been struggling with conclusions. I’ve been working on a new crochet project, and I’m very excited about it; except I’ve been working on it since January and it’s very resistant to completion.

I must have made, and unmade, this design half a dozen times now. Each time there’s something not quite right. The flowers don’t lay as they should, the shape is all wrong, and that shape’s wrong too. It’s not big enough, it’s too big, it’s too dense, it’s too lacy……

unmaking the purple crochet flowersunmaking the yellow crochet flowers

With each design scenario I find a reason to undo it. I spend hours taking back days of work. Evenings are spent undoing and redoing; unmaking and remaking; destroying and mending; brutalising and healing.

I feel like Penelope, the archetypal dutiful wife who for 3 years spent her days weaving and her nights un-weaving in a cycle of procrastination. My own making and unmaking has also suspended time by a thread and it is still resisting conclusion.

Penelope weaving and unweavingPenelope image credit

What is this cycle of making and unmaking? Where is the truth and meaning in this process?

I don’t know.

Perhaps there isn’t one.

Perhaps this period of unmaking has been about a conversation with my work.  And it was a difficult subject to discuss.

crochet design

I’d better get on with it. #crochetinglikeamadwoman

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