For FALL 2010's delicious offerings of books, art, food, film, and unique travel--check out the NEW ISSUE of our online magazine FEAST--you will not go away hungry-- http://www.feastofbooks.com/

Between issues, read our blog posts as we and our special guests share thoughts, ideas, and recommendations about books, art, food, film, and travel. We love to hear from our readers, so please post a comment! Thanks-- Rosemary Carstens, editor

SNAX ONLINE is moving during the first quarter of 2011 -- stay tuned!

Snax Online is undergoing a redesign and will be moving to a new location. Check back from time to time for a link. In its new format, this blog will cover a wider range of topics but also its usual five. In the meantime, keep up with what's happening in the world of books, art, food, film, and travel at http://www.FEASTofBooks.com --

See you in 2011!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lace Knitting in Alaskan Villages Showcases Unique Styles

Thanks, ROSEMARY, for hosting the ultimate (as in last) stop on my blog book tour for Ethnic Knitting Discovery!

Today I'd like to talk about following your passions, even when they take you half way around the world. I've never believed in moderation. When I love something, I want to give myself over to it completely and enjoy the sensation of immersion. Although my interests change over time, I don't hold back when I fall in love with something new.

During my book tour, several people asked me if I traveled much to do my research. Although I do travel a lot, I admit that the research for Ethnic Knitting Discovery was done in my living room and at the public library. I just didn't have the money to go to Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Peru in the time necessary to get this book written. But I do travel to pursue my passions and to do research for my books. I went to Alaska while working on Arctic Lace, and I'll be making several trips to Lithuania to work on a future book. Because I had more time to work on Arctic Lace, and because my book about Lithuania doesn't have a due date yet, the luxury of travel can be part of the process.

And yet it's not luxury. To write more than a page or two about the cultural motifs expressed through knitting in a region requires a personal experience with the land, the people, and the society. For me the challenge is twofold. How do I fund my dreams? How do I tie my interests, travels, and work into one life? Those are two questions I ask myself all the time. I've tried different approaches, and not all of them work for me.

To be honest, I have trouble with work. With mercenary work, that is. The things that I do just for money often irritate me because they take up too much time. I have to remind myself that the day job is a “dream funder.” It makes it possible for me to do the things I love. If I forget why I’m working, then I get in a funk.

For the past four years, I've been making a living doing freelance work as an editor of knitting books. I met all of my financial goals, and I felt a rush of success every time I looked at my writing plan and realized I was paying my bills by writing and editing. But eventually it wore me down, and I felt I was spending too much of my energy editing other peoples’ books, to the point where I wasn't able to write much at all this year. So next month, I'm going back to a day job working for a small software company. I still get to work at home, but my work hours will be limited. That's the key to finding a dream funder! It has to give you the most money for the least work. That way your energy remains at a high level for following that elusive dream!

**Donna Druchunas learned to knit before she could read. She combines her interest in knitting with her skill at writing easy-to-follow instructions. She is the author of The Knitted Rug: 21 Fantastic Designs (Lark Books, 2004) and Arctic Lace: Knitting Projects and Stories Inspired by Alaska's Native Knitters (Nomad Press, 2006). Her designs and articles have been featured in Family Circle Easy Knitting, Knitters, Interweave Knits, Creative Knitting, and INKnitters magazines. Visit her website at www.sheeptoshawl.com


ClaireWalter said...

How fortunate you are, Donna, to have found a bill-paying "day job" where you can work at home and still enjoy some of the benefits of steady employment while finding time for your own passions. Not everyone is quite so fortunate, even when s/he tries to balance passion with such basics as earning enough to keep a roof over one's head and food on the table.

Donna D said...

Hi Claire, thanks. Yes, it's hard to find a job that can fit into a life that is both enjoyable and creative. I'm very lucky that I don't have to spend 40 hours a week in a cubicle or waiting tables to fund my dreams.

Working at home isn't as great as it sounds, though. Now that my work is in my home, I find that I have to go out to be able to write. It's a side effect I was not expecting!

Suzanne said...

Donna, I loved hearing about the creativity you have used in following your passions. We all could learn from your persistence, as there are very few artists that can solely follow their dreams and deal with the day to day realities of life. Your an inspiration! Life IS too short, and you have found a good balance that works!! Working at home can be a challenging, but you have made it work. Congratulations!!

Donna D said...

Thanks Suzhall,

Persistence is the key, I think, to reaching your dreams. That and compromise.