Why do I make things?

Honesty, I do understand the skepticism and the confusion as to why I would make things when I can readily buy things that are already made. I get it, sort of. Admittedly, I'm very process-oriented. In my baby blog days (circa 2014, when we were living in Central Indiana*) I wrote a post about the process of making.

I still feel the way I did when I wrote that post. I think people are often motivated to do something or not do it because of skills or traits they already have. For example, I hear all the time, "I'm not patient enough to knit." But I want to look at things from the other side. Instead, I see knitting not as something I do because I'm patient, but because I want to cultivate patience. Knitting has made me more patient. The same argument goes for creativity and taste—two things everyone can develop by putting these skills to task. The more I knit, the more I develop my creativity (if only you could see some of my first knitting projects!) As for the argument of "I could never learn that," well, to paraphrase Stephanie Pearl McPhee, if you can learn to drive a car, you can learn how to knit.

I also love this direct quote from her book, All Wound Up:

100 years ago, buying something you could make was considered wasteful; now making something you could buy is considered wasteful. I am not convinced this is a step in the right direction.

We are created in God's image—He created us, and since He made us like Him, I think there are parts of us that inherently want to create beauty. That desire to create could manifest in knitting, or painting, or writing, or raising children, or cooking beautiful food, in engineering, or in praying for or encouraging others.

I acknowledge that these are just loosely collected thoughts, but I thought I'd share just the same. What are your thoughts about creating beauty? And having patience for making vs cultivating patience by making?

*as newlyweds, living in an arguably sketchy neighborhood, that year when it snowed so much we saw a snowplow get stuck on our street. It was the first year of marriage, where life felt a little unsettled and a little lonely besides each other's company, where we "camped out" in the living rooms with quilts and pillows a bunch of times, and when I learned how to cook and we learned how to be adults and how to love each other and navigate life together.

P.S.—If you ever want to read posts from my archives—there are a lot of them! More than 180, actually.

P.P.S.—This October has been my most prolific writing (blogging) month ever? Hm.

P.P.S—A Slow Manifesto is a beautiful post with themes in this same vein, written by Amy Bornman

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