Crafter’s time warp

The word ‘pastime’ is no coincidence. I’ve been reflecting, recently, on how creative activities seem to devour the time, sometimes voraciously. I am hoping to rein in the times where I’ve crafted myself into several hours-long states of self-forgetfulness; these zones of suspension are creatively desirable, and are calming in their own way, but (alas) lives aren’t entirely made on trance states. In and around the making, there are bills to pay, dogs to walk, taxes to be done, dishes to clear.

Here is a little doodle of that moment of coming up and out of a knitting session. It’s been a few hours, and someone has just reminded me – oblivious – of the time. SCN_0014.jpg

In the real world, the glasses will have slipped much farther down my nose, granny-style. As crafters out there know all too well, maker-time tends to escape the dictates of clock-time. That well-intentioned injunction to work for only “15 more minutes” goes unheeded as the knitting grows and grows and takes on a momentum all of its own (if only I could harness this energy when it’s time for the laundry).

What is your view? Do you regulate or schedule your inner crafter, set times when making is “off-limits” or, on the other hand, allow it days where it has free rein? How do you find the balance between clock-time and maker-time?

My posts have been more doodles and drawings as of late – something about Spring’s arrival has back-burnered the warm woolies and stirred up some hibernating drawing energies. I hope to have more knitting news in the next little bit…like a few new FOs!

A happy Wednesday to you.



21 thoughts on “Crafter’s time warp

  1. I totally commiserate with this post and your feelings. I get in the zone with knitting sometimes, so far, in fact that it takes bodily pain to pull me out of it–and even then, I’ll still knit a few more rows . . . It’s kind of amazing and meditative and zen, I think. Forget the problems, the world, everything but the click click of one more stitch 🙂 In short, I think it’s awesome to get carried away with crafting; but yes, eating and bathroom breaks, and good stretches for walking are good too in moderation (lol)

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    1. Yes – bathroom breaks, food, water! Knitting is amazing for all the ways that you describe. It’s one of those rare things that’s both relaxing and productive, tho my back has been telling me, in various ways, to ease off a bit! – I will keep those stretches in mind. 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts on this, Melissa!


  2. Hahaha! You’ve perfectly caught the moment of waking up from craft-based suspended animation – that bewildered “hey, where did the morning go?” look! 😆 The only thing that helps me keep track of time is either having my trusty murder mysteries going in the background, or the radio… But when I switch those off to concentrate on something, I can lose hours at a time. I’m just glad I’m not alone in this!

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Helen. 🙂 I really like the idea of the radio or programs to help introduce some pauses and time-keeping into the mix. I will have to find a good program for when a project doesn’t require too much focus, maybe catch up on some news while I’m at it. At the moment, I use a Youtube music ‘playlist’, but as the crafting-times got longer, so did the playlist, ha! Have a great day!

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      1. Hahaha! Yes, I can see how that would be a problem! Podcasts are good as well – I always enjoy Melissa’s​ on Knitting the Stash. Also, if you’re looking for a new radio station to get hopelessly hooked on, BBC radio 6 broadcasts worldwide online and has the craziest, most diverse playlist going. Oh, and no ads… Always a bonus! Happy crafting 😀

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  3. I told myself a while ago I would schedule in particular crafting time – one afternoon a week just for me – which didn’t mean I wouldn’t craft at other times…. however, I just craft when I like so that didn’t work out! I can lose myself in stitching and knitting, totally losing track of time!

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    1. Me, too, Christina! How interesting you mention that – I’ve also tried to set aside a particular time for creative things. I tell myself I’ll only knit at night, for example, or draw after the dishes are done. Like you, I just end up making things whenever the feeling hits, which is often. I think this is ok! Enjoy your Thursday!

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  4. My ICU nursing career gave me a glimpse into other’s lives that few people get. And the one immutable fact I learned along my way is that no time is lost when spent doing something you enjoy. Creating in whatever form you choose is the most productive and enjoyable way to spend your life. I look around my studio and see things I made 50 years ago and can be instantly brought back to the moment of inspiration. I agree with CCBeasties that you can multitask with a good audible book but artistic endeavors are high on the list of differences between us and the animal world. I bounce from craft to craft now that I am retired, and I thank God each and every day that my life is filled with beauty and art and ideas and moments of zen and not shiny floors or stacks of clean laundry. It’s not lost time ladies; it’s gained LIFE!

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  5. Thank you for your thoughts, Patsye. 🙂 I appreciate your time- and career-tested input! How beautiful that the things you made years ago are still bringing joy, beauty, and inspiration. I couldn’t agree more that time spent making things is important and is gained life (wonderfully put!).

    I think one thing that I’ve been thinking about ( but doesn’t come up in the post) is how / whether the value of creative time can be measured. I don’t earn revenue for the things I make, and am very ok with this for now. But this does leave the question of time and value (i.e. why make?). Your comments help to remind me that one answer to this is that, in making things, we’re also experiencing and living in richer ways. There is a lot there to be thankful for!

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  6. I try to control my inner crafter but that never works. I am terrible at staying in the studio with scheduled time. I have to go in the studio to create when my inner crafter randomly tells me to go in there (and then she wants to stay there late into the night!)

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    1. I’m with you, Tierney. At times, the starting and stopping of making things feels a bit out of my control (hence the post). Ditto about the late night sessions – something about the peace and quiet of night really puts me in the making frame of mind. 🙂

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  7. I have checked your site three times today (still having Reader problems) and this is the first time your post has showed up! Aaargghh! Anyway, the doodles are great fun, and very clever. And glasses, oh well at least we have them, I guess. A nose with ridges on would be good though, so we can prop them just at the right spot, no sliding!


  8. I love that you get so into your knitting. Sounds like it’s a heart felt act for you! I’m really looking at going with the flow and consciously directing my actions. Maybe intention is a good way – and asking for an inner guidance each day to show me the way. Thanks for asking. Blessings!! Debbie 💜🌼

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