Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Flow of Ideas

The other night, I was feeling as dull as dishwater in the creativity department, as if I couldn't innovate my way out of a paper bag. I'd just finished the black t-shirt and it fit exactly the way I wanted it to fit and created the new T & T that I wanted to create and even still... it was another black t-shirt. Boring.

So - naturally - I went on the Internet and started looking at the work and websites of some really creative people and at first that made me feel even more discouraged. Their clothes were ALWAYS wonderful. My clothes were ALWAYS terrible. You know the game our minds play but...

... I stuck with it long enough to get past the glossy, shiny covers and start looking at the details. That hem. That ruffle. The way the buttons were placed. How the collar was finished. The fabrics used. And the more I focused on the details, the more ideas began to formulate.

Do the work. It's not a lack of information; it's a lack of action
. My own words were coming right back at me. Good thing. They're good words.

Early in January, I started knitting scarves. First the grey one above, then turquoise, then pink, and now black. The lace pattern of the grey scarf is adapted from the socks I was previously knitting. The pattern of the turquoise scarf is adapted from a baby sweater and mixed with a stitch in the Lace & Eyelet stitchionary. As I was finishing that one, a friend came to knitting wearing a sweater with the edging on the pink scarf and I recognized how it would merge with stitch of the grey scarf and knit that next. Starting with an edging meant knitting to the middle and connecting the two ends. I developed the diamond shape to soften the seam which in turn led to ideas of a scarf with the diamond pattern running from end to end PLUS realizing that I need to learn the Kitchener stitch for a seamless join.

This is the flow of ideas. One thing leading to another and explored sequentially as your idea bank and your skills improve. It reminded me of the same journey taken with quilting, of first learning how to quilt and then designing quilts by watching the way the lines of the block patterns met and mixed just as the lines of the stitch patterns meet and mix. Been there. Done that.

We can compare to discourage or we can compare to encourage. We can also set ourselves up for failure (or boredom) or for success. Nurturing the inner sewist as it is. What's in it for me is an interesting question to explore.

For a complete change of pace, I'm sewing the Vogue 8721 silver jacket at right . When I was in Vancouver in September, it was on display at Fabricana and I was allowed to try the sample on and talk to the clerk who had sewn it. It might fit but that's not really relevant right now. I picked this pattern because it's sewn with a woven fabric, for the origami nature of the pattern. and because it has to be sewn - completely - before you can try it on. I plan to simply enjoy the process of stitching, of doing my possible best, of doing the work, and watch as one idea leads to another.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - I had to change directions with the black scarf because the yarn is so dark and splits so easily that I couldn't see it well enough to knit the more complicated pattern I'd designed. Even as it was frustrating, I am thankful for the eyesight I have and for glasses that improve my vision.


  1. I completely understand that feeling. It sucks - but you sure find ways around it quickly! Your scarves are beautiful, btw.

    1. And need to - find ways around it quickly. I'm determined not to get mired in creative quicksand.

      Thanks. I'm enjoying the scarves. Easy - relatively speaking - while stretching my design muscles in new directions.

  2. I sewed the jacket at top right of 8721. http://badmomgoodmom.blogspot.com/2011/08/not-gray-but-weather-was-uncooperative.html

    It's very well-drafted, with an asymmetrical armscythe and sleeve cap. It set in beautifully. I collected the other patterns by E Gillet after that experience.

    1. Thanks for the link. Great info about how the armscythe was drafted. I'm seeing more patterns that appear to be drafted for a forward tilting shoulder perhaps because that's becoming more the norm. I'm going to look up E. Gillet's other pattern.

      Erica B sewed that version as well without the adaptations -

  3. Your scarves are beautiful - perfectly knit. I admire the consistency of your stitches!

    1. Thank you. That's lovely to hear.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.