An invite from a fellow Raveler, Bowie asking if I would like to participate in a creative blog hop! Sure would! I love questions such as these as they force thinking of the why and wherefore of things, and I know that reflection on any level is the best way to learn, for everyone. Also, this reminds me of those chain letters from days gone by. Anyone else remember those?
Question 1: What am I working on?
Well, the news worthy answer to this question is that I am working on two things at once. This is a change in my usual behavior (guess that is why it is newsworthy) because I’ve always claimed that I only work on one thing at a time. This is due to a limited time for knitting, not by choice. But, with this week off from work providing additional time, I am focusing on these two things. One is a cardigan designed by another fellow Raveler, Cristina Ghirlanda. The yarn I am using was purchased for another project but a change of mind has had a chain effect on patterns and yarn, alike. I have finally settled on a stockinette cardigan that will allow the hand dyed nature of this fiber to shine through. The pattern has a bit of a quirky design factor that I always desire and the finished garment will easily fit into my existing wardrobe. Choosing the right yarn for any pattern is a science in itself, a whole separate post topic.
Then, the other project that has beckoned me (from my stash and yes, my yarn actually talks to me) is a French Red Egyptian cotton for a tunic that is also very unique in shape as well as in stitch pattern. You can see the stitch pattern somewhat, but the cable (well, I call it a cable because the process of making uses a cable needle or double pointed needle) is really a diagonal. And, yes, that is pure V8, no added ingredients. hahaha
Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its genre? I may have answered this, above. I choose to be different. Not necessarily different in the process of knitting as we all have developed our methodologies over time but, most definitely different in what I choose to knit. More times than not, I will choose a pattern from my VK collection of magazines, hard copy (I know, old school) and when that decision is finalized will go to Ravelry where there is a massive data base of patterns, and sure enough not only has no one knitted that chosen garment, but oftentimes the pattern isn’t even in the data base. I have heard others say that when they notice a pattern wasn’t worked on, think… oh, what is the matter with it? And, that seems to deter them. (Data for each pattern is very visible.) Maybe, it is a confidence thing or the competitive nature of social sites, could be a popularity thing. (Even patterns get their popularity.) When I see an unused pattern I am more likely to think what a great opportunity to take on! Examples. The red tunic pattern referenced above was not in the data base (I put it in) so falls into this category. The tapestry dress just completed was only knitted by one other person (four million people on Ravelry), also falls into this category. Most of what I knit falls into this category.
Question 3: Why do I write/create what I do? Why I create what I do is because I love being me! I believe that if you believe in yourself and your work, it creates an attitude that will allow your choice to be the right one for you. I love originality and when someone says not to do something, it furthers my fuel! I am totally committed to fashion. And fashion designers create their label. Each designer (or at least the known designers) has their own identity and point of view and I love what these designers have to say so, I say, please I want to be your muse! Just take a look and you will see a commonality, a point of view in these pieces I have knitted from these designers. Vladimir Teriokhin clearly feminine and demure. Beautiful, I say.Tom Scott… shapes of all sorts and multi-directional. You knit the blue piece one way and slip it on another. The green can be worn as a traditional cardigan or the way you see, below. Unbelievable, really.
Brandon Mably… color. Awesome color. I’ve recently met Brandon and I love the man as much as his creative aesthetic.
Why I write is because I need somewhere to sort out my thoughts, feelings, frustrations, and that is how I reflect (hmm… there is that word again) and learn from what went right and what went wrong in the knitting of the garment and/or in the wearing of it. Also, I enjoy the process of writing and feel that maybe what I have to say may resonate with others, hence the public forum. Ravelry does not have a venue for expression of thought in this manner so I turned to wordpress and this site is perfect for the freedom of speech opportunity, not to mention offers a wide variety of themes in which to make one’s work project beautifully.
Question 4: How does my writing/creating process work? Currently, the process begins with the pattern. Fashion is my total inspiration. A yarn shop overwhelms me. Too much to look at and all yarn, to me is beautiful. So, it begins with the pattern, most often from Vogue Knitting but I do veer off the beaten track now and again (always to return, however.) The pattern denotes the yarn and these days the internet serves me perfectly as I can then get the exact yarn that is called for in the pattern, and the range of color choices is at my fingertips. A precious package comes in the mail, I am always content, it is put into the stash to await its transformation. Typically, I purchase 1 or 2 skeins more than the pattern requires as I don’t want the fear of running out and sometimes that bundle waits a few years before getting worked on and by then, that particular yarn and certainly the color with the same dye lot is long gone. I do not plan in what order to knit my projects as there are many factors that go into that decision (another blog post)! From there I let the yarn and the stitch and gauge lead me into how I am going to make adjustments to fit, fabric, and overall design. Finishing touches now include putting in a label, photographing it, and writing about it here! The writing is quite easy at that point as I have freshly experienced the entire process, the writing typically flies from the fingertips.
That said and as I consider options upon retirement, one never knows what the future holds. Designing or not designing that be my question. It seems like such an obvious next step?
Bowie, thank you for the invite (hope she sees this) and I will now pass the torch to Knitswiss who may share with us her wisdom on her creative process.