"This isn't the cure for cholera."

“This isn’t the cure for cholera.”

That’s what I often joke to friends, students and customers when they are frustrated learning a new technique or stymied by the project that they’re working on at the moment. Maybe their crocheted blanket looks more like a granny trapezoid than a granny square. Maybe the magic loop method is seeming more mystifying than magical. In any case, I often remind, “This isn’t the cure for cholera.”

I say this very much tongue in cheek. And don’t get me wrong—I am crazy bananas passionate about the fiber arts. Knitting and crochet and yarn and needles and hooks and spinning wheels and looms—all of it!

But there is a lightness to our art. It’s not heavy. It’s not serious.

And here is my inelegant segue to the meat of this blog post. I was just at The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) trade show in San Diego this past weekend. I was surrounded by brilliant teachers (I’m looking at you, Patty Lyons and Chris Bylsma!), intrepid store owners, talented craftspeople and vendors selling gorgeous products that are begging to be turned into even more gorgeous finished goods by people like you.

The show was equal parts exhilarating and exhausting. And to unwind after each day, I did what I usually do after a long day—puttered around on my phone—playing puzzle games, catching up on social media, and reading. During my puttering, I came upon a quote I hadn’t seen in a spell:

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

The fiber arts at first glance may seem insignificant. We’re making loops with sticks or a hook and turning it into things to wear or use. We’re poking fiber with a needle to make a felted owl. But I would dare say that what we do is much more important than that.

There’s a whole lotta negativity and destructiveness that occurs in the world today. And yet, we come together to create.

We make special gifts for our beloved that they will treasure for years.

We come together with our friends each week to knit and to listen to what’s going on in each other’s lives.

We make things that will help keep a homeless person warm in the winter.

We make a cuddly toy that a child will cling to for comfort when he’s scared or sad.

We make whimsical hats to cheer our loved ones going through chemotherapy.

We teach a co-worker how to crochet and it eases some of the anxiety she’s been experiencing.

We teach and pass on the art of making loops with sticks and string that has been passed down for centuries.

Yes, knitting that cabled hat or spinning fluff from a sheep may not lead to the cure for cholera. But it’s so important that we do it.

Binding off for now,

Christian

January 13, 2016 by Christian DeSario
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