Knitting Nuances

A 2015 & 2016 Top 100 Knitting Blog!

Tapping into Your Creative Process

Where do Knitting Nuances come from?

Showy Hat Top

Showy Hat Top

Some people, like my engineering husband and our chip-off-the-old-block daughter, think in linear lines… B follows A, C follows B and the world makes a lot of sense. Not me. I’m the type who wakes up in the middle of the night with “ah ha“ moments like the Showy Hat Top and Flat i-Cord shown below. I always keep a pad and pencil on the night stand so I don’t have to whisper ‘don’t forget’ to myself for the rest of the night (it’s 4:13 AM as I write this).

Planned Creativity

Flat i-Cord

Flat i-Cord

But that doesn’t mean my creative process is haphazard. I’m actually the organized sort, after all I am a Virgo and started my career as a CPA.  The creative aspect of this business is the most fun and the most addictive. If I were to allow myself to invent new things all the time, they’d never get on paper, photographed and onto the website. And so I give myself periods of creativity as a gift. A few days, maybe a week, when my job is not to write web pages or proof patterns but to let my brain spin.

I usually start with some simple but serious knitting time to warm up the brain, then move to other areas of creativity to get things going; some math brain teasers to get the logic flowing, landscape photography to see the big picture, a little writing and even baking or house redecorating. My family can easily spot these times: yarn balls, swatches and projects are everywhere, rooms get reorganized, packages start arriving from Amazon and their favorite  – the smell of delicious (gluten-free, sugar-free) cookies fill the kitchen.

UFO Taunts Me!

UFO Taunts Me!

I spend my day with one project or concept in mind; a shawl design or a new way to use an existing Nuance for example, and then I sleep on it, tossing ideas around as I settle down for the night. The thing that amazes me is what pops out the next day (there’s always something, just not necessarily a really good something).

Sometimes I think of a solution for the problem at hand, but just as often, a completely different idea or one I hadn’t thought of in ages is what becomes clear. Sometimes the easiest of ideas comes months after a complex design, and I always have ‘duh, why didn’t I think of that earlier’ moments. Not all designs are cooperative, the Crown Hat to the right has a few construction issues. It’s been a year, but still no clarity on how to simplify, I remain hopeful.

I had the opportunity to listen to a speaker last year who really helped me understand and define my creative process. He wrote a book titled How to Think Like Leonardo De Vinci. It’s an interesting read if you’d like to get a handle on your creativity and in the mean time you’ll learn a lot about one of the most amazing men in history.

CC_Vortex1

Back From My Break

This process is even more important when I am rebounding from a toxic exposure (we have chemical allergies). During these times I lose the ability to knit, which is hard enough, but I also lose any sense of creativity. This was the most difficult part until I realized, that when I come out of my creative fog there is always some insight, a leap of concept that was not there before. It is, apparently, a (much) longer version of sleeping on an idea. This time was no different and  involved a much easier way to add contrasting colors to the Vortex Hat. Just look how pretty the hat top is when there are two colors! There’s also that lacy chevron I hinted at last post and a new way of using the Showy Decrease with garter stitch.

CC_Vortex_TopAnd now, since I’m just crawling back from my unwanted 2 month knitting break, I’m off to document some of these ideas. There are  fun techniques and small projects perfect for summer time knitting on the way.

I you have any routines you use for enhancing your creativity, I’d love to hear about them and give them a try too!

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This entry was posted on June 12, 2015 by in General, Nuances and tagged .
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