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There's a funny thing that happens when you're a known knitter. I know that mechanics and photographers, among other professions, experience this as well: people expect to benefit from your skill, for free (or at least at a greatly reduced cost). It's my favorite backhanded compliment. Wow! That looks amazing! You're so talented! Will you make me a [generally complicated, time-consuming, and/or expensive item]?

We've been conditioned to expect things to be handed to us freely. I give you money or praise, you give me Thing. But that's not how it should be. What if we all recognized the abilities that we each have, instead of dismissing our own talents as worthless, and also extended a greater level of appreciation to other people's? I think that both of those are important factors. Because if I don't see the value in what I can do, how can I value someone else's work? If I'm constantly putting down my own abilities - oh, it was nothing, really - then I will unconsciously do the same to others.

I find that I'm most attuned to beauty in others when I am most secure in my own - and the same applies to my particular art. When I can recognize the practice and talent that goes into my skill set, I am also more attuned to it in others. Gratitude and appreciation wash away entitlement when I realize that while I may not be able to paint or cook or any number of other things that I'm interested but not proficient in, I do have something of value to offer in exchange.

Really, we all do. That thing you may consider weird is the more valuable in its uniqueness - and that skill which comes so naturally that you consider it commonplace may not be so common as you think.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday!


Elizabeth said…
Visiting from Five Minute Friday.
blestbutstrest said…
Beautiful knitting samples! I totally get what you mean. Often times someone at school will ask me to photograph a school event...I'm an expert BIRD photographer--I always warn people that birds and bees and bears are my preferred subjects ;). And all too often people assume that they can use my photos for free--or even without giving credit to me as the photographer. Sigh. This has caused me to appreciate the artistic work of others much more than I used to. Those lessons aren't always easy to learn, but they sure make us better people once we learn them!

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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


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