general stuff
hobbies can wait

hobbies can wait

“Are you actually going to use it, or will it just end up collecting dust?”

The question, from my husband, as he stared at the loom now taking up residence in our lounge room, would be considered by most reasonable people to be a fair one. If there’s one thing in life I do not lack for, it’s options in the hobby department. It’s especially ironic just a week or two after I wrote a blog post how I try and resist jumping down every rabbit hole that tickles my mojo, that I am now the possessor of a rather large and impractical loom. It is “only” a table loom, but in the delightful way my brain steadfastly refuses to grow it’s spatial awareness skills, it’s a lot larger than I expected; 80cm really didn’t sound that large when I was looking at the spec sheet. 

In my defence, it wasn’t an impulse purchase. I first became interested in weaving back in the days when forums and Facebook groups were a thing; my friend Esther had bought a floor loom and was weaving baby wearing wraps. With a new baby, two toddlers and a kindergartener, I knew myself and my limitations enough to resist. Over the years since, I’ve dabbled in frame weaving, but never totally become absorbed in the hobby; I’m a practical girl at heart and there’s only so many pretty weavy things one needs in their life.

Then threads came along, and somewhere while swirling in the algorithm in those wild heady first days of the new app, I stumbled over a crafter with a feed full of relatable inspo. A rural photographer, with kids, who was into yarn crafts like spinning and knitting…and weaving. Cool, useful, “I made my kids curtains including weaving the fabric” kind of weaving. It was a glimpse beyond the easy 5 minute weaves on Pinterest. It was something I could get on board with.

I had a tab open for a loom for a couple of months, and then a week or two ago, on a whim, I checked marketplace. And there, in the weeds of Facebook, was the exact model I was looking for, along with a stack of extras I didn’t even have on my list. It was a two hour drive, for pick up, sure, but with what I was saving, it was more than worth it.

The benefit of buying second hand, aside from the obvious saving money part, is it reduces the guilt and expectation. I’d struggled to go ahead with the full priced purchase, because it was a lot of money and what if it didn’t live up to expectations? Even second hand, it was a decent chunk of cash, but when the wheel of mojo turns, as it always does, and I move onto something else, I won’t feel as guilty about popping on a dust cover and letting it rest until our paths cross again.

A while back I asked for a spinning wheel for my 40th birthday, and at the time, I shared how my wheel may not be farm-house-aesthetic, but it is perfect for me. It’s not taking up space, and can easily be packed away. Ideal for a crafter with an attention span that makes Dory from Finding Nemo look focused and dedicated. It’s been almost a year since I last had it out, and since then, it’s been tucked away in it’s little bag, on a shelf under my desk, waiting for me to come back around to it (I can feel the itch building as we head into winter).

My craft room is laden with tools and supplies of hobbies picked up, focused on, and put down to hibernate. An overlocker I insisted I needed for Iso Mothers Day, 2020, on the shelf, after a marathon of garment making and a successful run through Me Made May in 2021. For Christmas 2015 I managed to convince Santa to upgrade my sewing machine – I think it was 2019 before I really started sewing again in earnest. Big Shot, embroidery stand, cutting mats, envelope punches. Fabrics, yarns, beads, papers, haberdashery, paints, tapes. The collection that I’ve meticulously sorted into boxed, labels cut on my cricut in a font that matches my online branding, in copper to match the house accents, stands as an ode to four decades of creative curiosity.

There was a reel on instagram, last year, about how hobbies will always wait. And it was so helpful to hear, when my craft room is full of “I’ll come back one day”. Because it’s true. They do wait. They aren’t going to run away in a sulk, the tools will still be there waiting for when we’re ready, the skills might be rusty but won’t be totally forgotten. I’m learning to enjoy each season of my creative rhythm, without guilt or “should be”. I know myself well enough by now that I need options, that I will move on and come back. To have a craft room on standby for my latest whim is nothing less than a childhood dream come true. At the same time, there’s nothing quite like diving headfirst into something completely new. My loom is the first completely new-to-me hobby that I’ve picked up since my spinning wheel 18 months ago. I’ve been working hard at letting go of the idea I need to be perfect the second I try something, and it is paying off in spades as I embrace the messy imperfection that is the early stages of the learning curve in this new adventure.

For now, I’m enjoying the process of weaving and learning, leaning into the dopamine laden joy of hyper fixation, without expectation that this will be my one and only focus forever more. My sewing machine waits when I’m in a knitting phase. My knitting needles wait when I’m in an art journaling phase. My paints wait when I’m in a cross stitch phase. It’s swings and roundabouts, and even when they gather dust, my toys are there to remind me of how much I enjoy the process of play and exploration.

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