Changing the World, One Project at a Time

Sep 28, 2008

Posted by: SuperJenn


As my children grow older, I seem to spend more and more time on the go. Football games, baseball games, school plays, band festivals, church functions – you name it, my two boys are probably involved in it. It’s all too easy to, along the way, lose sight of just who and what I am. Once upon a time, I was a girl with big dreams. Someone who was going to change the world – or at least my little part of it!

Portable crafts have become a lifeline for me. A little way to keep in touch with myself while playing the part of Football Mom, Band Mom, or one of the million other things that I am expected to be on any given day. A little yarn, some knitting needles, a crochet hook, and a small pattern for afghan squares, washcloths, a hat, a pair of socks – those are my bliss. Four nights every week I spend on the sidelines of a football field watching my 8 year old practice. Four nights a week I sit in my chair and knit or crochet. I make sure not to pick something difficult – I am there to watch my child, after all. Four nights a week, someone trying to make small talk will approach and ask what I’m making. I’ll tell them, and invariably hear, “I haven’t seen anyone do that kind of stuff since my grandmother!” It’s absolutely beyond them why on earth I would want to do something so old-fashioned. Enter my “changing the world, on project at a time” dream.

Sitting there one night, a little girl came up to me with a friend of hers. She didn’t say anything, just stood there softly stroking the yarn. After a few minutes, I looked up at her and told her hello. She smiled, muttered a greeting back and kept stroking the yarn. After a few more minutes she walked off, her friend trailing behind looking disgruntled and more than a little put out. I understood, though. This child has it – the desire to create, the want to make something and be proud that it was created through hard work. The next night, almost as soon as I sat down, the girl approached again with the same friend in tow. The friend wasn’t going to walk away unsatisfied this time, though. As soon as they got up to me, she demanded “What are you doing?”. I explained to her that I was crocheting a baby blanket for my mother to give as a gift to a co-worker of my fathers. This opened the flood gates. For the next hour, both girls dug through my yarn bag, asking about what the different colors were named, why some yarn was soft and some rough, how long it would take me to make the blanket, and a myriad of other questions. I could have easily become upset as I watched my carefully wound balls of yarn become tangled and grassy, but I was far to happy for that. I was realizing that, although I didn’t solve the problem of global warming or win a Nobel Prize, I was changing the world. These girls, though they have since moved to a different field for practice, have now been ushered into the world of crafting. Some day down the road, they’ll be out shopping for a baby blanket and remember that, once upon a time, some lady that was around their age was sitting on a football field making one. Maybe they’ll choose to make one, maybe they won’t – I have no way of knowing. All I know is that they will not think that only grannies can knit or crochet, the stereotype will forevermore be broken in their eyes. That, to me, is a wonderful and beautiful thing.

My challenge to you, my fellow crafters, is to find ways to break the stereotypes that you face in your venue of crafting. Only women can do needlework? I don’t think so! Men, grab the floss and aida and create!! Only men can weld? Ha! Show ˜em, ladies. That way you, too, can change the world one project at a time.

Until next time, folks!

Crafty Witch Jenn

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.