Now think about how you learned to work with yarn. Were you given some yarn and a crochet hook and told to go make something? Of course not! You were probably taught how to knit first, which is far more difficult technically, and encouraged (I�m being kind here) to make nice, even stitches. Chances are that you didn�t even get to choose the yarn.

When my husband was a young child, his mother would give him some pencils and a huge sheet of butcher paper and then send him outside to draw. As he grew older, he became curious about how other people made pictures and eventually read every art book in his local library. He particularly devoured the how-to books and became a very sophisticated artist by the time he was a teenager.

But, thanks to those early years of drawing on his own, he never lost his own style, especially his distinctive line. And even now, when he works with computer software, his distinctive sense of design still comes through.

Now think about how you learned to work with yarn. Were you given some yarn and a crochet hook and told to go make something? Of course not! You were probably taught how to knit first, which is far more difficult technically, and encouraged (I�m being kind here) to make nice, even stitches. Chances are that you didn�t even get to choose the yarn.

Right?

And from there you moved on to patterns, since they�re everywhere. In women�s magazines, in specialty mags, and everywhere yarn is sold.

Right?

You weren�t encouraged--you possibly weren�t even allowed--to make something on your own, because you were supposed to make something pretty and useful, and you couldn�t possible do that by yourself.

Right?

I�m not going to talk about the sexism inherent in all this, or the way women have been pushed, for centuries, into learning superb fiber techniques so they could fabricate someone else�s designs. Yes, women have increasingly become the designers, but they�re just feeding a system that puts other women into creative straitjackets.

Right?

Then there are the glossy craft mags, mainly for knitting and weaving, that showcase very lovely and often extremely sophisticated pieces that their readers can only copy. And, of course, instructions and patterns are included to make your copying easier, and the more you copy, the better you get at it.

Right?

And the better you get at copying, the less confidence you have in your ability to make something on your own.

Right?

And if you do dare to make something original, you better make sure the technique is perfect, because that�s the first thing people are going to talk about.

Right?

And if your shoulders ache and your wrists hurt and your fingers are starting to get numb, don�t worry--that�s what happens to everybody as the arms of their straitjackets get pulled tighter and tighter.

About the Author:

Cindy is a teacher, artist, writer and a yarn and fabric lover. Her web site is http://yarn-and-fabric.mustsee.info


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