Creativity Hello Pip-Life

Slow Down Rewards

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Let’s talk about this…

I’m making a granny square blanket. I’m actually doing it pretty quickly, but it’s a repetitive task and ‘quickly’ means it’ll be done in a month or so. I LOVE doing things that take a bit of time. I understand, though, that not everyone is like me. Some people just can not be bothered to do ‘slow’ stuff, because it’s… well… slow!

I think they’re cheating themselves.

I think slow is rad. I think it’s really great to just chip away at a task and watch things evolve and slowly get done.  To do this, you’ve got to get started, commit to the process and ritual, learn to love the doing as much as the result. As you work away, the repetitive, methodical doing and the ‘sticking at it’ are actually working their magic in your body. They are teaching you things about yourself and creating a bubble where ideas and thoughts and new movements, styles and skills can start to freely flow.

Some people are impatient and that impatience means they can miss out on these really valuable slow-down rewards. They’re skipping ahead all the time, not tackling the things that seem plodding because they’re not willing to commit the time.  They’re so focused on the ‘done’ that they’ve not considered important gains like experience and artistry and the meditative pleasure of repetition.

Doing things that take a while, that take persistence and a bit of mettle is one of life’s great pleasures (to me!)

How about you? Does slow stuff make you feel frustrated or are you all about it?

x Pip

PS: I think I’m going to make 80 squares and then crochet them together

14 Comments

  • Reply
    Helene
    March 7, 2015 at 8:56 PM

    I did a slow project – took me two years- 12 x 12 granny squares with five rounds of five different colours in each….

    Problem was I didn’t sew in the ends as I went so after I joined them all up I had over 1000 wooly ends to sew in 🙁

    Haven’t finished it yet- about 800 ends still to sew in- this post has inspired me to finish it- wish me luck !

  • Reply
    Mamie
    February 20, 2015 at 1:32 PM

    Oh I truly believe that this kind of making is so nurturing and nourishing for the soul!
    Also I love the way you have documented your process, so fun!

  • Reply
    Helen Edwards
    February 19, 2015 at 6:33 AM

    I have never been a “slow” lover when it comes to things like knitting, crochet etc I always say I am no good at “fiddly” things. But that does not mean I don’t have the experience of flow, which is what I think you are getting to when you do these slow tasks. I find that in running, working in my garden, reading a good book, painting a picture which takes time and many stop and starts, painting a room, in writing a really good and involved blog post, in lingering with my children. I think it takes all kinds of people and we are drawn to different things. I tried very hard to knit and crochet when I was young but it just didn’t work. I think that impatience is also not all negative. The fire in my belly has given me many great experiences in life and I don’t think I have missed out at all – and I love your granny squares xx

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      February 19, 2015 at 8:16 AM

      I’m talking about more than flow (but flow IS part of it!) I guess it’s the difference between sprinting and running a marathon? Both are great, but the marathon brings a whole bunch of experiences that the sprint doesn’t!

  • Reply
    Carol
    February 19, 2015 at 4:30 AM

    You are so right! When I first came back to crochet – after years of not doing it, I was so eager to complete projects that were done quickly!
    But I wanted to LEARN new techniques – since my major accomplishments in earlier crochet (before that long layoff) were mostly very simple shawls.
    So I learned to SLOW DOWN and have found what a reward it is to see projects start to take shape…I can do far more complex patterns and the rewards of taking my time have been multi-pronged…I’ve learned that crochet has not only allowed me to learn, but to RELAX and take my mind off of unpleasantness like pain, worries, etc. When lost in a project, I find myself relaxing and enjoying that slow, but sure, progress.
    A lesson one has to learn!

  • Reply
    susan perry
    February 19, 2015 at 1:21 AM

    I have to start by reminding myself that whatever I am doing “slow” does not come with a deadline, that the idea is to enjoy the process. The fact that this is a discussion topic speaks volumes about our lifestyles.

  • Reply
    Suse Nethercote
    February 18, 2015 at 8:15 PM

    I absolutely agree and deeply feel that we need to start applying these same principals to business creation and practice. Thanks yet again for your wisdom Pip! x

  • Reply
    Jen
    February 18, 2015 at 9:24 AM

    I’m impatient so the slow stuff is hard…I like the start, agonise over the middle and speed through the end so I can start the next thing! It’s something I have to work on, because I miss so much of the enjoyment of being in the moment of ‘doing’…Boo sucks to that. So I’m crocheting something spotty and squared with left over little scraps and a lot of white, thrifty as well as a long grow. It might take a while! x

  • Reply
    Robyna|The Mummy & The Minx
    February 18, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    “meditative pleasure of repetition” – I LOVE that phrase – it’s so very true – that lovely, relaxed place where you are just lulled into a sense of peace.

  • Reply
    Chloe
    February 18, 2015 at 3:17 AM

    I love them! And I love slow too. I’m making some patchwork hexies by hand at the moment, which I’m really enjoying. But I do lose momentum on things as well. I’m knitting a cardigan for my son – he’ll probably be too big for it by the time I’ve finished it! And the number of patchwork UFOs I have is embarrassing – ooops!

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Threads & Bobbins
    February 18, 2015 at 2:22 AM

    I think it’s great to have an ongoing project that you can just pick up at any moment! Granny squares are perfect for that! I love the yarn that you are using and I cannot wait to see the finished blanket 🙂

  • Reply
    Deb Baker
    February 17, 2015 at 9:39 PM

    I love these kinds of projects. They are good for the soul and for me it’s my form of meditation. If I do get bored or lose interest along the way, I start another project and alternate between them. Any kind of art or craft is good for the soul and I feel a little bit sad for people who don’t get it. They’re missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures.

  • Reply
    Rosie
    February 17, 2015 at 8:35 PM

    Those squares look so thick and cosy, I bet that blanket will be all kinds of cuddly when it’s finished.

    I have to be in the mood for slow or repetitive things. When I start something I’m usually enthusiastic but then half way through I lose momentum. For example, there’s a half finished Harry Potter scarf that I’ve not picked up in months because I just lost momentum. I know that when I’ve finished I’ll be proud of it and wear it but I can’t get back into it.

  • Reply
    Bec
    February 17, 2015 at 8:17 PM

    I’m somewhere in between. I’m a keen crocheter and I love the process, but I always seem to lose momentum about half way through long projects and need to start something else before I come back to it. Definitely think there’s a kind of therapeutic value in sticking with “slow” tasks, though! And such a sense of accomplishment when they’re done!

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