Wednesday, May 29, 2013

On Synchronicity & Fear

With quilting or textile art, there is very little waste. Not so with fashion sewing. All those bits and pieces around the edges feel like throwing away money to me so I've tried to find ways to use scraps in what I call zero waste sewing.

A few months ago, I did a search for knitting with fabric and came up with a YouTube video. In it, the woman talked about cutting individual stripes from old t-shirts or fabric and about - IMHO - unnecessarily complicated ways to string them together.

My first thought was why not cut the strips similar to continuous bias in quilting which offsets a seam creating a tube and then cuts around the tube. And then, I thought why not use a tubular knit?

While that contradicts the initial goal of using waste, the idea intrigued me. On Monday, I found a gorgeous, tubular, ribbed knit in the bargain center still in its original wrapping - never opened - significantly reduced.

I cut the edge of one meter with a slight angle and then used a threadless serger to cut around the tube at regular intervals allowing the resulting "yarn" to pool on the floor.

And then, I rolled it up into a ball. One meter of fabric = 64 rotations x 44" long = 2816" or 234' or 78 yards per meter per ball. Based on that, I went back and bought the rest of the bolt... just in case... because I'm not sure what I want to knit yet.

It's messy but the fabric yarn knits into a wonderful texture even on the super small needles that were sitting on the counter. With larger ones, it'll create a more drapey fabric. I wanted to watch the video again and when I opened the home page at YouTube, this is the video that was recommended for me - What Can Fear Teach Us?

Different expressions of synchronicity and variations on the theme of fear having been showing up a lot lately - like the phrase in the postcard from Paris - you are more than what you fear. Let's assume that's true and if so, what do I fear that I am more than ? ? ?

Knitting with yarn made from fabric is only one of the many ideas that flow through my mind daily. I have no shortage of ideas, just a shortage of push to play with them. Why? I tried finishing the sentence I am afraid of ....

It's a form of rejection when you spend a significant amount of your life doing work that doesn't sell.  You can analyze it from numerous angles and realize beyond a shadow of a doubt that it has nothing to do with you but the fact of the matter is that if the work was supposed to sell and it didn't - whatever it may be - that's depressing and it makes you take a good hard look at whether you gave up too much for too little and ask what if it happens again?

I'm an all or nothing kind of girl. When I'm doing something I'm doing it deep. It appears that I am afraid of wasting time, money, and energy investing myself at a deep level in a creative endeavor that will end up failing and lead to regrets. It doesn't take a rocket scientist for that one. Been there done that.

What's more interesting is that on a completely different level I believe that all creative endeavors are successful and especially those that go in unintended directions because they teach you so much. I also believe that being an artist has nothing to do with selling your work. What does money have to do with it? Those are two different subjects - being an artist and being in business. On some subconscious level, it appears that I am afraid to try X because what if I fall in love and then I want to make lots of X's and then might decide to sell the X's and they won't sell and I'll be unhappy because I wasted all my time, money, and energy making X's... BUT...

... does it not strike you as absolutely ridiculous to NOT invest in what's of interest for fear of wasting time, money, and energy and instead to waste the same time, money, and energy doing what tickles but not nearly as loud. That sounds like bankrupting yourself.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - let's call this progress


  1. Good morning! First of all - brilliant idea to use the unthreaded serger to cut up the fabric. Seriously!! Secondly, the video was great. Thanks for posting it. As I was finishing it up and contemplating how best to respond (because I did feel the need to respond) my daughter came out of her room, having lost her voice. She is supposed to perform the first of two performances of a school play today. It isn't good, she knows it and is terrified. Mind-body connection, anyone? So we sat quietly while she had some fruit, tea and two of Grandma's ginger cookies (because cookies make everything better, within reason) and I mused on the synchronicity of life. As you posted about fear and creativity, here was fear embodied. Here's what I told her, and I think it applies to you too.
    "I think you are really brave. What you are doing is really hard for you. You don't like doing things unless they are perfect - the best that you can do - and this is far from perfect. But you are taking chances and learning new things and having fun while you are doing it, and that's all anyone can ask of you, including yourself." Congratulations on doing the work!!

    1. The serger came from the thought there's no way I'm cutting all those little strips what else will work?

      Best of luck to your daughter. Yes, cookies do make things better... and chocolate.

      Thanks for the shared words. In that abstract, stand back, and look at why you're reacting like this, kind of way, I always have a reaction around the term or implcation of perfectionism because I don't think of myself as one and yet we all have areas of perfectionism.

      In terms of creativity, I have come a LONG LONG LONG ways away from perfectionism toward a more experimental try it and see approach. I no longer believe in one right answer but in many paths both explored and unexplored. It's a much easier perspective. I'm glad I made that shift.

      SO... when I look at my reaction to the idea of perfectionism, it always comes back to what's invested - time, money, energy - and was that investment warranted ? ? ? and yet... and this is always the good giggle... you're going to invest it no matter what, why not in what intrigues you. I get it but... Thanks for the taking chances, learning new things, and having fun push. I needed that.


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