Help me find something new to do with my time
August 17, 2010 8:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a new inexpensive creative / artistic hobby.

When I first started doing photography (in 2006) I found that it was a fantastic way to escape the world and all my stress and forget about the important stuff. I really enjoyed creating new scenes and spent huge amounts of time thinking about new shots and how to get better. It was my pressure relief system. Long story short, now it feels like the opposite - whenever I think about getting out my camera I just feel worse. My inspiration is in the gutter; I haven't any good ideas for shots in ages. When I go out I don't feel the relief I used to feel. I feel the burden of taking better and better shots. I guess I've set a bar too high.

I also feel like I've shot everything I'm supposed to shoot. I'm dismayed that my hobby and my grand interest of these past few years is now more of a chore and no fun. I miss the inspiration and the elation in getting a good shot. I just feel burned out. My cameras are temporary retired. Physically, I mean. I have put them away in closets out of sight to try and get all of this off of my mind.

So now I'm looking for a new hobby, something creative. I love the rush of feeling like I've created something, and I want to keep that feeling. I'm hoping you can suggest something that I can transition to relatively easily. Since I'm in a funk and feel like my muses have abandoned me, I feel kind of unable to rationally search for new outlets.


  • I am living just beneath my means, so I can't go out and purchase thousands of dollars worth of supplies or gear.

  • When in high school oh so many years ago I used to draw and paint, and found them both frustrating.

  • I don't mind precision but sometimes will walk away from something that is too tedious.

  • Likewise if a project takes days on end, especially if it is spread out in a mess while in progress, I get irritated.

  • So, there you have it. A picky neat freak who is in a funk about losing the past love of his life is asking for advice on what he can use to fill the hole. Go wild. All suggestions will be considered, because I've not been able to think of a single one myself.
    posted by komara to Media & Arts (50 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
    What about cartooning? Focus on drawing expressive stick figures a la Don Hertzfeldt. Develop your wit. Use stock photos for backgrounds.
    posted by Sticherbeast at 8:05 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

    Best answer: Knitting. Specifically, socks.

    Supplies can be as inexpensive or as expensive as you want. You can get good sock yarn for $5, or $50. Thousands of patterns are online free (just go to, and once you've learned the basics, you can design your own pair, to scratch that "I've gotta be creative!" itch.

    Projects are small, portable and easily tidied up when necessary.

    Plus, you've definitely created something - when you're done, you've got a wonderful pair of socks.
    posted by Lucinda at 8:05 PM on August 17, 2010 [5 favorites]

    I'm fascinated by a feature in Time Out Chicago called Tossed and Found where a designer finds an item in the trash and repurposes it. The project itself is usually based on an object found in an alley or a flea market, and it never ceases to amaze me what $10 or so of supplies can do to transform someone else's junk into something cool.

    This actually could become two hobbies: 1) the looking for the items, and 2) the repurposing.
    posted by slmorri at 8:13 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite] Examples here.
    posted by phrontist at 8:13 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

    How about collages? They can be quite meticulous and they involve images, which you already like. Also decoupage?

    And don't worry about your photography. Sometimes you just need a break -- kind of like in a relationship. You may one day just feel the urge to shoot again.
    posted by hansbrough at 8:16 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

    Short, possibly journal-style comics might be therapeutic on a variety of levels.
    posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:16 PM on August 17, 2010

    Seconding knitting. Though I'd suggest starting at the beginning (the learning how to knit part) and then discovering for yourself what your ideal sorts of projects are. I find socks way too fiddly and tedious, however a hat is just the perfect blend of relaxing and challenging. Other people get really into knitting tiny stuffed animals, lace, scarves, really almost any knitting project you can imagine has its fans.
    posted by Sara C. at 8:18 PM on August 17, 2010

    Writing, graphic design, decoupage (well, never tried that last one but it doesn't look like it would be fantastically expensive or messy)?
    posted by phoenixy at 8:18 PM on August 17, 2010

    Thirding knitting. If you need to zone out, by God, zone out with knitting.
    posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 8:19 PM on August 17, 2010

    Seconding knitting, although the initial outlay can be pricey--needles might be found at Grandma's or at thrift stores, but if not, they're still a small (if one-time) investment. However, it's a great multitask skill to have--you can do it anywhere, and you can pile it on to a secondary project like "I'm going to listen to the entire works of Beethoven" or "I'm going to watch the whole Criterion Collection series of films". And yarn may cost money, but at the end of it you have a functional thing worth more than its ingredients. It's neither too early nor too late to learn to make all your holiday gifts.

    Adding: collage. Glue is always cheap, things to slice up and rework are practically free, and in time, your photography skills may find their way back to you through the art form.
    posted by padraigin at 8:21 PM on August 17, 2010

    Seconding knitting. I find knitting really relaxing, and you can vary the 'challenge quotient' up or down quite considerably, once you've mastered the basic stitches (which shouldn't take long at all.) You can relax with it a couple nights a week, and after a while - bam! you've got a sweater! or hat! or whatever - something you made yourself!

    I find that knitting really helps with the 'creative' piece when i design something myself, or design modifications to an existing pattern. A lot of knitters don't do this, but when you realise that (a)knitting is just yarn, and if you screw it up or it looks bad, you can just unravel and start over, and (b) that designing things is as easy as cooking without a recipe, if you ignore the misguided idea that you need to be an expert before you try. The second thing i ever made was of my own design (it was a purse), and it was only later on that i realised that i wasn't "supposed' to be able to do that yet.

    Also, although this has some cost: pottery classes. I found this really relaxing, mainly because i had no expectation that i'd be good at it (and i wasn't)!
    posted by Kololo at 8:21 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

    Have you tried abstract painting?

    Buy some kiddy watercolors and some paper and go to town. If you want to get fancy you could get actual water color paper.

    Put on some music and just paint. It's quite liberating not to have to make a painting look like anything in particular. Then when you're done you can try to find things in your painting like some kind of subconscious ink blot test.

    You might also like gardening. It takes a lot longer, so there's no instant gratification, but it is really rewarding when you eat something that you've grown yourself. It can also be really cheap.
    posted by TooFewShoes at 8:21 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

    ha! i love that 4 of us simultaneously seconded knitting. Either its a really awesome idea, or mefi has some weird knitters bias.
    posted by Kololo at 8:23 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

    artistic journaling
    It's a free-form way of getting down your feelings. I like it because you can fill one page at a time. It's something that you can do in 20 minutes or an afternoon.
    posted by hot_monster at 8:23 PM on August 17, 2010

    Oh, also: music/video editing, like making mashups or your own music videos or your own version of a film trailer and the like. For hobbyist stuff you can use fairly inexpensive equipment and get okay results.
    posted by phoenixy at 8:23 PM on August 17, 2010

    Hey, K.O.

    I don't know if this is any help but I really love working on music mixes. You know, coming up with a theme or some internally consistent concept around which to build a mix. I've done murder ballads, regional music mixes, and a 15 track mix with meth as a theme. I find the process very relaxing. A rocks glass full of whiskey and a few hours to listen to music and think about how it would all fit together nicely.
    posted by nola at 8:26 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

    Poetry! Photography and poetry are two of my hobbies (award winning for both, woo!). I feel they are fairly similar. You are trying to tell a story, or describe a feeling/experience. 

    I'd pick up The Art of the Poetic Line, Triggering Town, and a solid anthology. I like The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry.

    You can do it all on your computer, do it the old fashioned way with a notebook and pencil, or both. Sometimes it's great to just sit in a park and write down the silly/amusing things you observe and turn that into a poem.

    I hope you find something that works for you!

    posted by two lights above the sea at 8:27 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

    Re the popularity of knitting - well it's a very cheap hobby which is low-pressure in almost every way and matches the OP's criteria pretty much perfectly.
    posted by Sara C. at 8:31 PM on August 17, 2010

    How about embroidery or cross stitch? Blank canvas, needle and thread. Your local library will probably have a good reference/how to book.

    Years ago, one of my HS teachers spent his free time embroidering silhouettes (he used actual silhouettes as his patterns). He did it free hand (no pattern buying) and said he saved money only having to buy black thread. He also said it was very meditative and had helped him quit smoking.

    My uncle started out his construction career with whittling - a very very cheap hobby since all you need is a knife and a walk in a wooded area to procure fallen branches. As you get better (and if you like it), you might want better grade wood. (That's how Uncle V got into construction actually. He asked a local contractor/builder if he could have some of their waste wood. The contractor said yes and a year later, Uncle V was not only working for the contractor - he'd married the contractor's daughter.)
    posted by jaimystery at 8:34 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

    Painting or sketching Plein Air; messy sketches in an outdoor cafe or longer thought out works in beautiful inspiring places.

    Seconding journaling its nice to have a place to create that's only for yourself, somewhere to work out and keep track of ideas.
    posted by ljesse at 8:41 PM on August 17, 2010

    Nothing beats writing for cheap creation. Go somewhere with a notebook and a pen. Write whatever, whether it's a poem, a description of what you see, a story you have in your head. Don't worry about the quality. The more you write and think about writing the better you'll get.
    posted by Kattullus at 9:31 PM on August 17, 2010

    Writing is wonderful. Creating characters, places, conflicts, histories.

    You could try learning an instrument. Something simple. Maybe the guitar? Could be cheap, maybe $150 or less. Took me a few months to get on my way. Maybe this is too long for you.

    Web development? Not sure if it would be your thing... it is very tedious.

    If you're feeling stuck when it comes to photography, maybe you need to try new things. Abstract photography? Photoshop?

    Maybe you can shoot a movie with a cheap camera. Or stop-motion.

    Build things. This would be a lot of fun. Find some good resources and choose a project.

    Cook! Man, I'm getting myself all pumped up...
    posted by jykmf at 9:36 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

    I vote for embroidery because that's my hobby. :) You can often pick up unopened or even half-finished embroidery kits at thrift stores and rummage sales. But I bet you'd also like knitting.

    However, I took note of this: "I feel the burden of taking better and better shots. I guess I've set a bar too high."

    And one thing that may help you is doing something you don't feel a need to excel at. As a bit of a perfectionist myself, one of the ways I can often re-locate my inspiration when my perfectionism is getting in the way of me DOING anything, is to do something I feel free to completely suck at. Pottery, for example. I took a class. I was awful. I loved it. It inspired me. I never got past a lopsided vase, but I had so much fun doing something I was awful at. Sometimes I like to get a coloring book and just color. I'm not even that great at coloring, but nobody expects a coloring book to look good, right? In a non-artsy vein, golf. I am the worst golfer ever. *I* have great fun doing it, although I don't typically inflict it upon other people or do a course where I might slow people down. But I like hitting balls! Not being expected (even by yourself) to be good at something or to learn and excel can be very freeing, and I find it can unknot other areas of my life that are all knotted up with perfectionism. So try sucking merrily at something!
    posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:42 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

    Seconding cooking. I've never had the patience for knitting (I'd rather be moving around than sitting when I need to unwind), but the ritual of cooking combined with the feeling of creating something delicious is great. You can cook for yourself or other people, take courses or teach yourself with books and the internet, and you don't have to spend much more than you would otherwise on ingredients. Picking one sort of cuisine (French, Chinese, whatever) and learning the basics would be a good way to start.
    posted by oinopaponton at 9:48 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

    I'm going with writing poetry.

    It might sound stupid, but in lots of ways it can be like photography with pen and paper. It's also over quickly, so you get a sense of accomplishment right away. But you can drag it out for as long as you like, editing and revising the poem. It's also something that is so super-subjective that it would be hard (even harder than in photography) for you to place yourself on the continuum from "good" to "bad," and there is no money to be made writing poetry, so you're less likely at the outset to turn the hobby into something more pressure-inducing.

    I think one of the things that takes the joy out of a hobby is our adult tendency to start ranking ourselves at it, turning it into a competitive game, or starting to think of it as a money- or fame-generating venture.

    Poetry requires only pen, paper, and words. You know at the outset that it's basically useless. But chasing after the elusive right words can be incredibly satisfying, whether you catch them or not.
    posted by Ouisch at 9:55 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

    Bonus: you can read your poetry or get it published in some silly little magazine and get a little bit of heady stage rush. Or you can sock it away in a drawer somewhere for your descendants to find. Either way is good.
    posted by Ouisch at 9:57 PM on August 17, 2010

    I draw, and this is what I was going to recommend.

    May I ask what you found frustrating about them? Was it lack of technique, lack of good materials, didn't know what you wanted to draw?

    If this still interests you, local community colleges often have evening classes in one or the other. I'd recommend drawing; after you have the basic techniques down, all you need is a sketchpad of some sort, a pencil, and an eraser. (One caveat with community classes, however - some teachers require minimal materials, while others require a lot. In my experience, if you talk to them and explain that you can only buy the minimum worth of materials due to financial reasons, they'll work with you on that.)
    posted by spinifex23 at 11:36 PM on August 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

    *And by one or the other, I mean different types of drawing - Basic Drawing, Life Drawing, etc.*
    posted by spinifex23 at 11:40 PM on August 17, 2010

    Everyone above has given excellent suggestions, but as Eyebrows pointed out, I think the key part of your question is this:

    I feel the burden of taking better and better shots. I guess I've set a bar too high.

    From everything you've said, photography is your thing. Nothing wrong with taking a break, nothing wrong with having other hobbies (and depending on your practice, pretty much everything else is going to be cheaper than photography.) But four years is awfully quick to have exhausted everything in the photographic world, and one of the best ways to liberate bottled creativity is to change your method, not your media. There are dozens of ways to approach an image technically, and you get to take it from there. Changing process also means you concentrate on learning how to do what you want to do within the new constraints you've set yourself, dispelling your "better and better" quandary since you're going to make an awful lot of (potentially interesting) mistakes on your new learning curve.

    Looking for cheap? Pinhole photography comes to mind: it's as cheap as you want it to be, as complicated as you want it to be, and very, very fun. What about photograms, which combine your love of photography with collage?

    You've not lost "the past love of [your] life" yet. Just break down the walls you think are there and try loving it from an entirely new direction.

    According to Bull Durham, wearing women's underwear can also help in this regard. YMMV.
    posted by Chichibio at 1:09 AM on August 18, 2010

    Perhaps you'd enjoy curating your collection of photography from a third person perspective. You could build a website to house your best images, write captions, and create themes via tagging.
    posted by macinchik at 2:03 AM on August 18, 2010

    Sashiko. White thread, a needle, indigo cloth, simple geometry. It's like meditation - creativity without thought, because the outcome is predetermined.
    posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:13 AM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

    I'm going to be a voice of dissent against knitting. I knit, and it's a great hobby and I frequently recommend it to people, but it can be quite expensive, especially if you buy better-quality yarn and needles and work on large-scale projects, and especially especially if you buy things on impulse, because it will become a yarn-collecting hobby. Plus it can clutter up your house fast with supplies and finished/partly finished garments, and larger projects can get terribly tedious. Ask me and my yarn closet how I know!

    On the plus side, knitting is fairly easy to do on the train/in the dentist's waiting room/watching tv if you're looking for that sort of thing, and knitters are friendly people and there might be a regular knit night near you.

    I'd go with writing - it's practically free, you already have all the equipment you need for it, and, past a certain point, what makes writing "good" is reasonably subjective. Plus you can make it as structured or freeform as you want.
    posted by Metroid Baby at 4:28 AM on August 18, 2010

    If you're money-tight, I'd reverse your thinking and consider hobbies that are either cost-neutral or save/make money in the long run. Cooking's a clear choice here, though don't neglect baking or even candymaking as having some small-scale sales potential. Knitting is too, to a certain extent. Any hobby where you learn to fix things for friends / neighbors / Craigslist buddies for cash / traded goods and services / backrubs.
    posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:01 AM on August 18, 2010

    For all the knitters - take it up a notch and try urban knitting. Pros: no hot garments that you'll never use/wear; can use the cheapest yarn from garage sales and thrift stores. Cons: possible opposition from neighbors, but you never know until you try.
    posted by CathyG at 6:07 AM on August 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

    Thirding (or whatever) collages. Last night I was in a bad mood and I sat down with a bunch of magazines, cut out pictures I liked, and made collages out of them on the inside covers of these 50-cent Caliber spiral ring notebooks I'd bought earlier in the day. I will use the notebooks for writing (journal, fiction, whatever). Maybe having nicer notebooks will inspire my writing. Anyway, making the collages was weirdly therapeutic and really fun (and I can't do visual arts, like, at all).

    Someone else mentioned learning the guitar. This was my first thought, but I hesitated when I saw you wanted to create something. You can write songs and stuff if you want, but if you just want to learn songs, you can still sort of create something: I got a plain black binder, put some ruled paper and a three-ring hole puncher in it, and I add new tabs/chords/lessons to the binder whenever I find something online I want to read. Print it out, add it to the binder, and it's all organized for you! Plus you can print out blank tab sheets and tab your own music. If you are interested in learning guitar, maybe my previous comment here will help.

    I also agree with the people who said cooking. I always thought 'I don't know anything about cooking, I can't do it, plus I'm too broke to even try.' Then someone nice showed me that you don't need a lot of money to create delicious, inspired dishes, and once you know a few basics, it's really easy and fun to experiment. It's fun for me to try and recreate something great I had at a restaurant. Plus you can customize it as much as you want! This works well for your 'creating something' criteria, and it's fun to share with people (plus people will want to hang around for the food once they realize you're an awesome cook -- back in the days when I knew nothing about cooking, I was so so SO impressed with people who could make something halfway decent).

    Someone on MeFi posted a link to The Sketchbook Project a while ago. If I could draw at all, I'd totally do it.

    Good luck!
    posted by Put the kettle on at 6:08 AM on August 18, 2010

    Like spinefx23, I wonder if you might want to take a fresh approach to drawing. In highschool, were you were just copying from photos and pictures? You might find a life drawing class to be exciting and challenging. Most class formats that allows lots of time to loosen up and draw gesturally. You learn about action, balanca and form while it keeps you from getting too hung up on the details.
    posted by bonobothegreat at 6:12 AM on August 18, 2010

    Baking beautiful bread can be a very inexpensive and rewarding hobby, as long as you don't feel the need to get all the fancy professional gear.

    Also, have you considered getting into crafting, in general?
    posted by kaudio at 6:12 AM on August 18, 2010

    Baking is great - very simple, all you need are ingredients, an oven, and mixers/spoon/baking tin. I find it relaxing to knead bread and really satisfying to eat something I've made myself from scratch. I don't really see it as a 'hobby' as if I didn't make bread, I'd end up buying it, but it definitely feels satisfying. See also: baking cakes.

    Upcycling furniture is fun, but you need space to be doing the painting (although I was amazed at how easy upholstering a drop-in seat is).
    posted by mippy at 6:33 AM on August 18, 2010

    Back to the "knitting is expensive" thing - compared to things that are basically free, like writing, maybe? Compared to photography or learning to play a musical instrument, or even a serious commitment to cooking/baking, knitting is really cheap. It can get expensive if you start buying luxury fibers, entire fleeces (now spinning is expensive!), all the yarns and needle sizes and every little trinket. But unless you have a serious hoarding problem, it's fairly easy to keep the expenses within the realm of normal.
    posted by Sara C. at 7:04 AM on August 18, 2010

    Writing. And to keep yourself from becoming all perfectionisty about it, buy "No Plot, No Problem," read it next month, and write a novel with all of us crazy people this November. By the end of it you will probably be up for taking pictures again. If not, there's always Script Frenzy.

    I also like abstract painting and cake decorating, but they're more expensive. And when I'm in a real creative funk, I look at all the things you c an enter at my state fair and try whichever one sounds good. You know you've gone too far with that when you win a ribbon for your hand-carved gourd.
    posted by SMPA at 7:04 AM on August 18, 2010

    Response by poster: So many thanks to everyone that has responded so far. I appreciate your input and am grateful that you'd take the time out to recommend things.

    To everyone that recommended knitting: so far it sounds like something I'd like to try (and had never thought about trying before). I feel like I don't listen to enough music nowadays - because I absolutely can't write, edit photos, or do anything brain-intensive while listening to music - and I think were I to learn the basics of knitting and have the motions become automatic it could be a good way to go through some music at the same time. Metroid_Baby: I don't plan to go ape over whatever I find to distract myself, so I don't see myself collecting a billion yarns and so forth. I fell asleep last night thinking about simple black scarves. Honestly couldn't think of anything else off the top of my head that I'd want to knit, but scarves would be enough.

    To respond to a few things that came up more than once:

    Drawing: I drew a lot in high school. I took classes, I filled up sketchbooks, I debated going to art school. I can definitely tell you it's not something I'm interested in revisiting. The satisfaction-to-time-spent ratio was way out of whack.

    Writing: may be an option. It's something I can do tolerably well. I had never considered poetry as I've never really enjoyed poetry in any form, but maybe I'll give it a look.

    Cooking: already doing so to my heart's content and enjoying it. Seems like more of a necessity than a hobby, but yeah. Got cooking down.

    Music: played bass guitar for a couple of years, wasn't ever very good. Doesn't hold much interest for me now.
    posted by komara at 7:12 AM on August 18, 2010

    Response by poster: Two quick individual responses:

    Chichibio: I have a long answer to your response but I really don't feel like I should go on and on about photography here, so I'll shelve it. If you want to hear it feel free to memail me.

    macinchik: already have a 'portfolio' site, looking at it right now just makes me feel worse, ha ha.
    posted by komara at 7:14 AM on August 18, 2010

    You can make all sorts of sculptures with a box of basic Lego bricks.

    Time-to-completion is short, relative to the medium, and it's 100% recyclable for future projects.

    Warning: Collection size may grow over time.
    posted by Fleebnork at 7:53 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

    I know what you mean about burning out from photography. When I started out, I was big on documentary/travel photography, after awhile, I found myself coming home to images that I didn't feel anything for. I would think, "I have taken a picture just like that before, but better".

    I gave it a break and started again a few months later but instead of using a dslr, I took pictures with my camera phone at night. Currently, I am pretty happy with the output of my new project. Using a low quality camera gives the pictures a kind of grittiness sorely lacking in dslr quality images.

    Well, enough about me, the point I am trying to get at is that photography is such a diverse medium that there will always be something new to explore. Go browse through some photographer books at your nearby store for inspiration, get a theme and start working on it. For example, "I want to create a photo-essay of 40 images on [a particular theme/subject]".

    ps. Have a look at this website if you haven't. Great writing on photographs and photographers. That's what I do when I lack inspiration.
    posted by ianK at 8:44 AM on August 18, 2010

    If you like working with your hands, you may want to consider experimenting with sculpting. You can pick up modeling clay at most craft shops, but I actually like working with pottery clay which is generally dirt cheap and can be dried out completely, crushed, have water added and turned back into a usable medium.

    As a plus, combining it with your photography background could lead you to some new shots, or, if you are feeling particularly crafty, you could use it as an inroad into things like stop-motion photography, which can be loads of fun.
    posted by quin at 9:33 AM on August 18, 2010

    My kids and I have been watching Lego stop-motion animation on YouTube. Makes me want to try a really simple film of, like, a block moving across the floor or something. This could be really fun and it's a thing I have no aspirations of greatness (or even goodness) about, so as someone up-thread said, I think it would be pretty low-stress.
    posted by not that girl at 10:13 AM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

    I haven't done it in quite a while but I used to really enjoy Mosaic. I would find all different sorts of things to break very cheaply at good will/garage sales etc. Also, I am terrible at drawing but the great thing about Mosaic is that it doesn't have to be exact and I got a lot of great project ideas online. Grout is very cheap at any hardware store. I got a pair of inexpensive tile cutters at an arts and crafts store. It does not, however, meet your requirements for being neat.
    posted by heatherly at 12:20 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

    couldn't think of anything else off the top of my head that I'd want to knit

    I have an idea for you: make me a nice little sleeve for my external hard drive. All I want is something attractive that will keep it from bouncing around excessively in my backpack. I don't need it to survive a nuclear war, just a relatively uneventful day at school, and imo a nice plush Hard Drive Sweater would work great! Use any color but pink; no Hello Kitty or skull designs; maybe an elastic band or drawstring if you feel ambitious. :-)

    On a more helpful note, what about computer animation or even simple game design? Since you already apparently have an for the visual, I think you'd really enjoy the kinds of things you can do in Flash (not web site design - tedious and boring and prone to intensifying your perfectionist tendencies - but the fun animation things). Investing in Flash is probably out of your budget, but there are some free or cheap alternatives that work ok if your immediate goal is more scratching a creative itch than becoming a professional.
    posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:58 PM on August 18, 2010

    Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. Tonight when I have free time I'm going to watch some videos on and see if maybe it's something I think I can do and that will keep me distracted.
    posted by komara at 12:11 PM on August 19, 2010

    If you're going to go with knitting, here are some other resources that i have found super helpful:
    1)Knitting for Dummies. Seriously, its a very useful book. I still refer to it on a regular basis.
    2) Excellent for finding projects to knit, getting inspiration, getting help, all sorts of stuff. Its a knitter community :)
    posted by Kololo at 8:39 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

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