Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Inspired Knitting: One

In my quest to identify, isolate and illuminate areas that inspire us, I've come up with the following triggers:

Be it a favorite coffee shop, a street, the beach or an entire city, place can be an extreme influence over us. How does a place or better still, a sense of place inspire you? Your trip to India... your Grandmas house...your bed?

Sometimes just looking at a skein of yarn is enough to inspire. Silk, cashmere, twine.... but what about beads, buttons, ribbons? I have a bundle of little red buttons for example, just begging for a sweater to show them off. We can design projects specifically to highlight and utilize our awesome materials.

Friends, family, strangers, celebrities... they can all inspire us to make things. My favorite thing is trying to imagine just the right sweater for a particular pal. How do they move? What would they wear? What would make him or her feel like a king?

It be be one color or a combination of colors that jump start your engine. I love the muted color in this photo, which was a total accident by the way, because it feels other worldly. I could design using these colors or try to re-create the mood it suggests say, in a rooms decor....

Obviously, the trends and style of the times play a very important role in what we make.

Most commonly we make things for a particular purpose like.... I'm cold, I need a sweater. Or my sister is having a baby, I should make her a gift. Filling the needs of others or even ourselves, is an important reason to make anything and perhaps the most satisfying.

I'd say most things we make are a combination of the above ideas. I like to include my "inspiration story" when writing up patterns because I think it's often more motivating than the project itself. If we learn how others are inspired, we too, can begin to notice what gets us in the mood to make.

Look for experiments with these ideas in the future....


Kj said...

There's another aspect for me as well, which i don't think is neccesarily about inspiration, but its part of what makes me want to start a project. Its the very feeling I have when I'm in the midst of making something. There's a sense of purpose and productivity when I'm in-process. it's like time expands for me. Like last summer when I made my pneumonia-recovery blanket, sometimes it's the only reason I felt for getting up- "there's more to be made today". and just recently when I was making the tea cozy for my sister-in-law, the first thing I've knit since moving to Seattle, there was this sense of return to "knitting time" where time moves differently- it's like a kind of homecoming- returning to a quieter sense of myself, but also creative as well. I haven't found words yet to really describe the sense of pace and motion within "knitting time" but I'm sure you know what Im talking about.

Do you think this is part of inspiration, or more about the creation process? Can the two be seperated?

ZU-ZU said...

Where did you come from? I agree that it can be a combination of things that inspire us. Until you came into my life I tended to see an end product and wanted to create that. Now your creativity, observations, and musings inspire me!

Keepitmoving said...

Well, you made something once and realized that you liked making things. That is a reason...inspiration... to keep searching for projects. Maybe it doesn't matter that much to you what you're making... ? But it does. You want to feel confident, you want to feel pleased, you want to feel proud. When I knit, I am most satisfied by lace and complicated patterns... it gives me something to look forward to each row. A change.

If knitting were just about the finished sweater... we'd all have made our one and moved on. But no sooner than we've cast off and sewn in our ends are we ready to pick up the needles and begin again.

There are times when I don't want or need to be knitting. Perhaps these are best described as uninspired times. I think what Kj is talking about is more the act of creating, but without inspiration... I don't want to put my hands to work.

So the two go together.

Kj said...

Kim, you should be leading weekend knitting/inspiration workshops for theologians and scientists, where you guide them through some basic stuff, then it gets taken to the next level through creation and discussion. Then you need to co-write a book with two of those people and it will change they way we all think about creativity, numbers, inspiration, ourselves and God. Get busy...