Mar 14, 2011

On creativity as an anti-negative force; and just a little bit (of tawashi)

In an example of using craft as therapy, lately I've been using quick, instant gratification projects like emotional salve. Things have been stressful for the past few days (or more, depending on where you want to count from) — in a Murphy's Law, "Why am I even bothering?" sort of way.

I found myself in the contradictory position of wanting to craft to counteract the destructive powers of all the negative feelings flying around here, but knowing that if I work on anything complex, or anything that requires a fair amount of thinking or paying attention, I'm likely to create more mess — more destruction.

So rather than jump into anything and mess it up, I sat for a while and thought about why I was thinking of crafting to counteract the crappiness. And it occurred to me that while I think of (fruitless) negativity as destructive, crafting is creative — not just in the sense of "imaginative," but in the literal sense: It focuses on creating something rather than destroying something (even if technically some "destruction" is kind of necessary for creation ;)).

Once I realized that, it seemed kind of stupidly obvious, that of course people naturally turn to crafting — or to any creative pursuit — when suffering from an overabundance of negative feelings. Duhhh. ;)

So anyway, my solution to being stuck in a universe governed by Murphy's Law was these little crocheted tawashi — basically, dish scrubbies:

Tawashi: round 1

The back:
Tawashi: round 1

And one that reminds me of a sea urchin:
Sea-urchin-esque tawashi

They're made with old acrylic yarn that refuses to leave my stash because even though I hate knitting with acrylic, there's some sentimental value attached to this yarn — it was pretty much the first yarn I bought (yes, I fell prey to the bizarrely common idea that the best thing to start beginners with is potentially squeaky, unforgiving acrylic yarn) and I have it in a wide array of colors that I really still love. That is, it's refused to leave the stash until now. Now I can expand my crochet skills and make a bunch of scrubby things!

Of course, I'm a bit iffy about the idea of scrubbing dishes I'm going to eat off of with probably non-food-safe plastic (and I don't particularly want to put more synthetic chemicals into the water supply). Then I started wondering: What the crap is the green side of a standard scrub sponge made of, anyway? Are my acrylic scrubbies better or worse than the mysterious green scrubby side of the sponge?

Ultimately I'd like to make scrubbies out of yarn that's both scrub-friendly (i.e., not overly smooth) and natural — hemp and nettle come to mind. And then I'll be left with this darn acrylic yarn again, waiting for some other non-frustration-inducing application.

Anyway, at the very least, my little acrylic tawashi helped me fight the destructive negativity monster. And hey, that's pretty good for cheap acrylic yarn from 10+ years ago.
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