Crafty Manolo » Quickie Question: The Rites of String?

Quickie Question: The Rites of String?

By Twistie

Ritual. We all follow some ritual or other at some point in our lives. The illustration above is a representation of an ancient Druid rite, but it could just as easily be of a wedding ceremony, a Bar Mitzvah, or a high roller having a pretty woman blow on his dice for luck in a casino.

When it comes to crafting, some of us just pull stuff out and get making things… and others have more or less elaborate rituals. Some have different kinds of rituals for different crafts, others keep to one ritual for whatever they’re doing.

My rituals? Well, they’re pretty much the same for lacing or needle felting, though there’s less set up involved for the felting. In either case, I make sure I’ve got plenty of elbow room while seated on the couch, get all my equipment and materials laid out within easy reach, put a drink nearby but in a spot I’m unlikely to jog with an errant elbow, put something amusing on the television (most often a film or a marathon of a series I like, but never, ever the news because it’s not relaxing for me), take a deep breath, let it out, and get going.

Most of these things I can easily explain in practical terms. Who wants to have to put aside a heavy bobbin lace pillow to run down another ball of thread? I quickly get bored when things are too silent around me, hence the entertainment. If I don’t put a drink nearby, I’ll forget about eating or drinking until I’m in a pretty dire place.

But that breath? No explanation. And yet I do it every time, whether I’m alone or in public. It’s pure ritual. It just seems to ground me and allow me to work.

So what about you? Do you have any rituals you follow? Do they differ depending on what you’re doing or not?

8 Responses to “Quickie Question: The Rites of String?”

  1. ZaftigWendy Says:

    I think we all do the beverage-in-reach-but-out-of-danger thing.

    I mostly just kick the cat out of the chair, settle myself and my beverage, then get up and get the remote, then re-settle, then put up my feet and sigh. And then knit.

    The sigh of contentment is an essential part of the whole thing.

  2. dinazad Says:

    I’m textile touchy-feely – when I’m knitting or weaving, I keep touching and stroking the knitted/woven parts. I can’t not do it – it’s half the pleasure of crafting…

  3. ZaftigWendy Says:

    @dinazad – I do that, too. And frequently stretch it out and admire it – well, knitting. Weaving is sorta already stretched. I also frequently call other family members over and demand they admire my work.

  4. Twistie Says:

    One of the aspects of bobbin lace I love best is that it’s required that one occasionally pet one’s bobbins to get all the threads lying correctly… which it now occurs to me – not for the first time – can sound incredibly naughty.

  5. Twistie Says:

    Oh Wendy, that’s one of the reasons I take my work out in public when I can come up with a reasonable excuse to do so. Then I don’t have to demand, people just come up out of nowhere and stand amazed. It never fails to bring me a moment of true smug.

  6. Margo Anderson Says:

    I have an ending ritual. I create sewing patterns, and, as they’re big and elaborate, they take months or years to complete. When I complete one, everyone in the house at the time must perform the Dance of Pattern Completion, no exceptions. There are no set steps, one simply dances from the heart, which has led to some interesting bellydance/ballet/Muppet/mosh pit fusion pieces.

  7. Twistie Says:

    Let me know the next time you finish one and I’ll add a random Peanuts dance (Snoopy, zombie, or weird shrug) to the pile. Major accomplishments should be properly celebrated.

  8. ZaftigWendy Says:

    Yes, the Happy Dance of Joy!

    And Twistie, I’ve found that the simple act of making a very plain nothing fancy at all sock can bring admirers out of the woodwork. Not at home, of course, because they’re used to it here, but hoo-boy, people see a foot-shaped object hanging from 5 needles and they go apoplectic! They never knew that socks could be made without machines!

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