Passing Down Crazy

Because Sometimes the Best Thing You Can Give Your Kid is an Addiction…To Yarn

I Am NOT a Patient Person!


I learned something about myself today.  Yay!  How exciting….not!

I was watching a Craftsy* class and knitting away.  (I’ll tell you about Craftsy in a minute!)  Ironically, the class was a free one from Quilt Con.  So I was knitting while watching quilt classes.  Anyway, Mary Fons was the speaker.  If you’ve been a quilter for a while, Fons and Porter is a very familiar name.  Liz Porter and Marianne Fons have been in the industry since the early 1970’s.  Liz retired recently, and Mary Fons, Marianne’s daughter, is now part of the show and the company.

Clear as mud?

I was watching a seminar taught by Mary Fons.  She’s energetic, dramatic, and only 32 years old.  She’s not your stereotypical quilter.  She made the comment that people comment all the time that they’re not patient enough to quilt.  Her response was, “I’m not patient!  If I was a patient person, I wouldn’t need to find something to do with my hands ALL THE TIME!”

Read that again:

“I’m not patient!  If I was a patient person, I wouldn’t need to find something to do with my hands ALL THE TIME!”

That is so me!  If I end up sitting for more than thirty seconds, I just about panic if I don’t have my knitting.  I detest going to movies because it’s too dark to knit most things.  I can tolerate a movie on TV if I have knitting.  I knit through my kids concerts and sporting events.  I have a t-shirt that says, “I knit so I don’t kill people.”  That’s not a joke!!!

Knitting, spinning, and quilting, Diet Coke, and most importantly, a relationship with Jesus Christ, make me a nicer person than I would be if I didn’t have those passions!  That’s kinda scary, because I’m not very patient and sweet to begin with!  If I had a soapbox about being a mom, it would be that we need creative outlets if we’re going to survive!  I’ve never worked outside the home, but I have friends that have, and they say the same thing.  Some parts of being a mom are just drop dead boring, and I know this is a touchy subject.  Occasionally, I hear a mom say, “I love everything about being a mom.”

What?  Not me!!!  Laundry and dusting and vacuuming are not the least bit fulfilling to me!  And to be honest, it wasn’t that exciting to watch a beginning softball game, where they never hit….or caught….the ball.  But I could smile and wave at my son and be totally engaged, while I was knitting!  And laundry was made tolerable because I’d work on a quilt between loads of laundry.  That makes a mind numbingly boring day into a day that feeds my need to create.  I can have the best of both worlds.

I would love comments on your thoughts about all of this.  Please be respectful of others opinions!!!

*Craftsy is an online classroom with classes on so many different things.  You can learn to decorate a cake, machine quilt, knit, crochet, spin and more, all from the comfort of your home (or your bed, in my case).  There is a charge for most classes but they’re well worth it.  The teachers are well known and respected in their fields.  I haven’t done a lot of classes yet, but I’ve enjoyed the ones I have done.  Here is the link to the Quilt Con series that I was watching and it’s free!  Make sure to watch the one that Mary Fons did!


Author: mariajhmom

I'm a wife, mom, quilter, knitter, and spinner. I blog at

21 thoughts on “I Am NOT a Patient Person!

  1. I’ve been saying that for years and years. I knit because I am impatient and obsessive. I think what people may be trying to say is “I don’t have the patience to LEARN to knit.” Which actually seems valid to me. It is the learning part with which comes the most frustration, and often the biggest joys. But it is a bit of an investment. If you are looking for an immediate payout with knitting/spinning/crafting, you’ll not be likely to get it soon. These people also may be product people. They cannot imagine knitting for the joy of knitting, but rather look at how long it takes to make a sweater and be immediately put off by it.

    At least these are the things I tell myself when encountering someone who seems to imagine I am a patient person. Please, don’t put ME on a pedestal in that department!

    On mothering. Yes, you yes you’ve summed me up well. In fact, I am cackling with joy that this week is the last week I have to give up my saturday to a hot, loud, wet pool room watching a number of children eagerly learning to swim better and faster. Until next semester that is.

    For housework, I often reward myself with knitting. “I’ll get the bathroom cleaned, and then sit and knit for awhile.”

  2. Being nicknamed “Antsy Nancy” long ago, I am not a patient person, either. Having 3-7 things going at once is not unusual for me. I also cannot cope with watching TV or anything like that without having my knitting or spinning or sometimes even reading going at the same time. Right now as I’m typing this the Weather Channel is also on. There are also a load of clothes drying and oatmeal cooling on the cooktop. Dishes are waiting patiently for me in the sink….

  3. I have mixed feelings about Fons’ comment. I want to keep my hands busy but some projects are too busy. Hands: busy. Mind: free to wander. I signed up for a Craftsy mystery knit-along, in which I am supposed to be making a Laera shawl. I am way behind because I am procrastinating casting on the 300+ stitches to get started. I want the finished product but I’m not sure the anxiety of keeping track of 300+ stitches is worth it!

    • You probably already do this, but in case you don’t. Cast on 50 sts, count twice, repeat each 50 til 300 sts on needle. Since you’ve counted twice, no need to recount the groups of 50. Next knit your set up row placing markers between each repeat. If the even rows are simple knit or purl, count that you have the correct nbr of sts in each section. It’s usually simple to make corrections on the return row if needed. Also, since there’s so many sts, I’d place a lifeline every 4 rows or so. Many knitters think that’s too much fuss, but I think of it as anxiety free knitting.

  4. I always love when I’m able to catch a Fons & Porter show on one of our PBS channels or Create. You cannot believe how upset I was when on our way home from a business related road trip, the hubby and I made a detour to stop in Winterset, IA to see the brith place of John Wayne and it was shortly after that, that I discovered Winterset is where the Fons & Porter store is. Needless to say, I’ve been trying to barter with him to make a trip back down there so he can go back to visith the John Wayne site and I can go to the Fons & Porter store.

    Mary’s statement about patiences is very true! I’m one of those types of people as well–hence the 100s of yo-yos I’ve sewn and haven’t a clue as to what I am going to do with them and the fact I look forward to finishing a quilt, just to hand-sew the binding on while watching a movie with my hubby or going on a road trip. I wish I knew how to knit or crochet, as the projects seem a little more portable than dragging around a large quilt! It always makes me laugh when people comment on how patient I must be in order to work on quilts–not so much! If they knew how many times I walk away from a project for a time or how many WIPs I have, they would know I’m not patient!

    I am not a Mom, so I can’t relate to the needing a creative outlet from being a Mom, but as a Wife of an over-the-road truck driver and someone with a full-time job, I appreciate having a creative outlet. I think everyone should have at least one! It keeps me sane (although, at times some may question that!) and gives me something to look forward to doing and has a purpose.

    I will make deals with myself if I’m trying to work on a project and should be doing ‘responsible’ things instead–like I will clean this room or do laundry and then work on a project, or tell myself during the summer I can’t work on a project until I’ve spent some time weeding the garden–my way of multi-tasking!

  5. As usual Maria, I’m totally with you on this. I take my kindle and knitting everywhere I go for fear of being stuck in a boring situation. And with 5 boys, knitting has saved my sanity through endless sporting events, long homeschooling days, and their choice of movies.

  6. Amen to Maria (as usual) and to my fellow homeschooling Tammy. I used to cross stitch but after about the 3rd child, I found it too tedious and needed something more relaxing. Now I knit and crochet. My Kindle is my constant companion for times when bringing knitting would be too obvious or when I expect the wait to be too short to pull out knitting. That just shows how impatient I am! If I anticipate a two minute wait, I have to have something to do! Forget sitting through a movie, lecture, ball game, concert or child’s lesson without something to do. My whole family knows that Mom goes NOWHERE without her knitting. We set off on a long trip once and I realized about a half hour in that I didn’t have my pattern with me for one project I brought and didn’t have the right needles for the other one. We literally looked up a yarn shop right there along the way and went and BOUGHT me some needles. haha I agree about the idea of people who don’t have the “patience” to knit probably being “product oriented”. I am a total process knitter. I knit to KNIT not to reach an end result. So much so that I leave a trail of unfinished stuff in my wake. When it becomes boring, I abandon it. I don’t have the patience to NOT knit or SOMETHING.

  7. I do not have children, but I worked as an accountant for 31 years. In my “real” life, I was a spinner, knitter, dyer, and quilter. Those creative outlets got me through all the boring, tedious days on my job. Now that I have retired, I work at my LYS, and I am trying my hand at being a knitting teacher. I have to admit that I really don’t like it—-I don’t feel it is appropriate for me to knit through the lessons because I am on the students’ dime for those two hours, and I am shocked at how excrutiating it is for me to sit with my hands idle, watching them work. (I also have to fight the urge to keep watching the clock the whole time.) Your post has given me a little light bulb moment—I have been struggling with the lessons, but couldn’t put my finger on the reason why—now I’m realizing that a big part of it is because they are BORING to me. I know it should be rewarding to pass the craft onto other people, but I have to admit that where the rubber meets the road, it just ain’t.

    • Brenda, I have the same problem. I find it terribly boring to teaching classes. I enjoy teaching people I know, one on one. Strangers in classes? Boring. I also find that being a home school/Sunday School teacher is not a guarantee that I will be a good knitting teacher. Knitting is very intuitive for me and I have a hard to time translating what I do instinctively to a form that someone else can understand. I also have a hard time interpreting what others do wrong. If I had done it myself (and I, at some point, have screwed up in every way imaginable) I could tell you exactly what I did and how to fix it. When a student shows me some crazy yarn over/dropped stitch/knit into the wrong strand monstrosity, my mind just glazes over. I finally gave up teaching at my LYS. I really kind of sucked at it and I’d far rather just be knitting. 😛

      • I have been working at learning how to teach since November, and I’m going to start looking for another part-time job next week—I am ready to give myself permission to admit that teaching isn’t a good fit for me and to move on. There are two other instructors that work in the shop, and they love doing it and are making allot of extra money. For me, it has just been a big hassle.

  8. I love quilting….but I’m the kind of person that needs hours, days and weeks to concentrate and work on a project. Not just a 1/2 hour here, 15 minutes there. That drives me nuts!! But most importantly….your views on motherhood….bless you, bless you, bless you!!! You have hit it dead on…at least for me! I know people (a few family members) whose kids are grown and gone, and the parents are still “oh I wish they were little again”, “oh I wish they never moved out of the house”; “oh, we love it when the grandkids come over and stay for days”…..blah, blah, blah. And I’m like..”are you friggin nuts????? Get a life!! How sad that there’s nothing else going on in your life for you and your spouse. Personally, I’m glad it’s over and what a trip it was. From now until they throw dirt over me….it’s my life! Me and hubby.

    • Amen, Linda. I’m just starting to move mine toward the door and, as much as I adore them, I tell them, “Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out! I plan to have a life after you’re gone so do NOT count on being able to come back here unless it’s to VISIT. AFTER calling first!”

  9. YES, YES! to all of the above. And now people might accuse me of liking my crafts better than my grandkids but that is not true, just seams like it!!!

  10. LOL, everyone! Great comments!

  11. I’m not alone!!! Finally, there are kindred spirits out there 🙂 My husband thinks I’m nuts when I’m sitting there watching the TV with my crochet in hand. If I’m not crocheting, then I’m online, if I’m not online, then I’m either crocheting or cardmaking and now thanks to Craftsy, tatting!! I have to have something in my hands or I’m falling asleep, as soon as I put whatever I’m doing down, I start dozing off. Yay to fidgety hands everwhere 🙂
    Sam AKA Yammas x

  12. I’m exactly like the rest of you-right now I’m knitting, watching Britcoms on PBS, and surfing the net. AND waiting for my daughter-in-law to post pics of the grandson’s prom. We are so alike!!

  13. My husband says “you’re always busy”. I’m sitting ‘wasting’ time watching tv the least I can do is have a product at the end of that time. Kind of left over from my upbringing when my father would find ‘work’ for you if you didn’t look like you were already doing something productive.
    I can’t stand housework, will cook and clean dishes because someone has to. I like a clean house, so thank goodness my husband likes to clean and do laundry. So we split the duties.
    And my child seems to have grown up okay. Reading, crafts and traveling were our major activities. He is very crafty with his hands and loves to read. I will say I like children past the toddler stage. Indiana Jones’ father’s line, “You left home just when you were getting interesting.” 🙂

  14. Great post. I feel validated. Now if I would only work on one craft enough to level up my expertise. 😀

  15. So much of what you said rings true for me – I am a much nicer person if I have regular opportunities to be creative. Knitting in particular destresses me and allows me to catch up with myself. In periods of my life when I have been too busy to knit, the inability to do something creative has added to the stress of being overly busy and the result is not very pleasant. I’m very grateful my long-suffeirng husband gets how important it is to me to be creative.

  16. Maria- I agree with that statement. The reason I have all these hobbies are that I need to create. Otherwise I would have taken up alcoholism long ago.

    And being a SAHM, I get why mothers have outside jobs.

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