The title is not a criticism. It's a question. Did you see the punctuation mark there at the end? It's a question I'm pondering.
Before we go further, I should make my position clear. I am a control freak. It's not always obvious and can surprise people who don't know me because I appear to be very relaxed and chilled out about things. Those who know me better will tell you it's an act. I am a little bundle of perfectionist anxiety. However, we are not here to discuss my neuroses. This blog isn't big enough and it would get boring very quickly. I'm just explaining that I may have a bias.
This post has been prompted by the previous one discussing the frustration I experience when I'm waiting for others. It seems I'm not alone in this. I've spoken to other creatives about this issue and it seems to be more common than I thought. "Thank God it's not just me!" is the frequent response. I know my frustration lies in the fact that this is an element that is out of my hands. I have no control over what someone else is doing and that brings about anxiety. Why can't they do it faster? What's taking so long? Are they even giving it the proper attention it deserves?
I remember my tutor at Uni telling us that knitting was perfect for control freaks because you decide everything. The weight of the yarn, the colour, what happens at what point within that fabric. The length, the width, the outcome. You are creating something out of nothing. You have ultimate control. But then maybe that's true for all creatives. Whether you're a potter, weaver, graphic artist, musician, unicycling juggler, you have the control. You decide where to put the minor chord. You control the tension of the warp. You decide on the glaze or the stroke of a brush. There is an argument for "allowing the medium to talk" and there is an element of that. The potter works with the clay to create a pot instead of an intended mug. The weight of yarn will dictate which stitches are likely to work best, but ultimately we decide. By selecting chunky weight, I know I'm not going to be knitting lace.
Whilst I'm happy with the label of control freak, I understand that others may shy away from it. Maybe there is a better way of describing it. I had a friend who worked as a manager in HR and was fond of those buzz phrases that don't actually mean much - "blue sky thinking" and "flexibility within a framework" but maybe she was on the right lines.
Maybe what we do is not control but intelligently design?