Creativity Through Destruction

So yeah, I talk a lot about knitting and how great it is and, sure, it has health benefits and it's a mindful activity and every night I reach it for it to unwind at the end of a long day, but a huge part of why I love knitting is because if I need to, if I want to, I can start over.
07/28/2015 10:37 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Growing up, I didn't consider myself creative for a couple of reasons:

1. I can't draw.
2. I loved writing, but my sister was a million times better than me so what was the point?
3. I hated doing popsicle and pipe cleaner crafts. Also, my popsicle and pipe cleaner crafts sucked.

So what could I do? I could solve problems, and I could befriend anyone.

These aren't traditionally creative areas, especially for a kid, so I figured I was just out of luck in the creativity department.

But a few years ago, I learned one of the most important things: Creativity is a skill. Which means it's something I can learn. Which means maybe I can't draw today, but if I study and practice a little bit every day, I'll be a much better artist (drawer?) in a year. And even better in two years.

Anyway, I still can't draw so let's switch over to a creative form I know and love: knitting.

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Knitting is one of my favorite forms of creativity for a very simple reason: There is always something to knit.

Let me explain.

I sew my own clothing, I cook most meals from scratch, I ferment every vegetable I can get my hands on, I draw in the sand, sometimes I make bad foam art in my cappuccinos, I write short stories, I take pictures -- I do lots of creative things. Some I do well. Some not so well.

But all of those things have the potential to fail. I know, I know -- that's how you learn and grow and I've learned to love all my artistic attempts and I love trying new things.

But it can also be REALLY frustrating when something doesn't live up to how you imagined it.

And yes, you can fail at knitting, BUT, and this is a very important but for me -- you can fix your mistakes. And you can do more than fix your mistakes -- you can destroy them.

Grab the offending knit project, pull out your knitting needles and ever so gently pull on that bit of yarn that's hanging there, and it all unravels.

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And then you can start over. Like it never happened.

You didn't ruin anything. You don't have to throw anything away. You don't have to live with your mistakes. You just learn from them.

You learn, and trust me, you're much more careful the 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) go around with your knitting.

So yeah, I talk a lot about knitting and how great it is and, sure, it has health benefits and it's a mindful activity and every night I reach it for it to unwind at the end of a long day, but a huge part of why I love knitting is because if I need to, if I want to, I can start over.

I can destroy everything I've made so far, and still, my creativity will be fed.

This article originally appeared on We All Knit Here.