I was pleasantly surprised this week to discover that there is at least 1 person that reads my posts and actually enjoys them, always an ego boost. They even went so far as to recommend my blog as part of a blog hop, so I’d like to say a big thank you to sonkitsome and I’m more than happy to answer the questions posed in the blog hop around my creative processes.
1. What am I working on?
As I have been housebound with Crafty Toddler for the last 5 days (short explanation – bad back, inconsiderate bus driver, long wait for physio appointment) I’ve had a fair bit of time between mothering duties to do some knitting. Sadly my wrists can’t keep up with my desire to knit so I keep having to put it down for a while so I don’t end up with RSI. On the needles currently are;
A colourwork yoke sweater – or at least it will be when I get to that part.
A pair of socks for my younger brother – a start on the Christmas knitting to do list.
Both of the patterns are improvised which I know is rather unhelpful to other knitters who are always on the look out for interesting new patterns but I am writing them down as I go they may at least appear on here at some point in the future.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Firstly, I try not to get swept up in the hype about a new pattern, I watch quite a few podcasts and inevitably they seem to go through phases of all knitting the same things whether they are socks, shawls or sweaters. I admit I’ve added several things to my queue this way but apart from a sockhead hat and a hitchhiker scarf I haven’t fallen down that particular rabbit hole too badly.
Secondly, I have never used the recommended yarn for a pattern, and I mean EVER! This is mostly about me being on a budget a lot of the time or not having access to interesting wool shops other than via internet shopping depending on where I was living at the time. Given that this is the case it is probably quite surprising that it took me until last year to realise the value of swatching. After my first swatch all those “not quite right” knits suddenly began to make sense.
Thirdly, I make up a lot of patterns as I go along, especially when it some to crochet. When I get an idea about what I want to make its usually quite specific and often easier to figure it out myself rather than try and find an existing pattern that matches.
Finally, I think this story from my holiday last year illustrates how I differ quite well. I’d taken some knitting with me and was working away on it when my BIL asked what I was making. I showed him the pattern in the book but then added “BUT…I’m lengthening the body, shortening the sleeves, adding waist shaping and changing the neckline”, to which he replied “so a completely different jumper then?”
3. Why do I write/ create what I do?
I started a blog about 3 years ago when I was thinking about setting up a crafting business from home whilst working part time. Eventually realised that this was a lot harder than it looked and not really what I wanted to do (certainly not in the world of quilting which is the craft I was focussing on at the time) so I stopped writing for a while until I thought about keeping a blog just for fun.
When Crafty Toddler was born I found that my usual outlet for knitting related chatter was much reduced (mostly because I couldn’t attend as many knit and natter sessions as I had pre-baby)I made more of an effort to post on the blog about what I had been working on, wool/ fibre I’d bought or patterns that I liked. Essentially casting this information in to the ether was cathartic for me and enabled me to chat about things that I enjoyed without boring my real life/ facebook friends who consider anything to do with knitting/ spinning or keeping an allotment to be the pursuits of a slightly bonkers old lady not something that a sensible 30 odd year old woman should admit to let alone boast about. I could have just stuck to telling my OH about what I was doing but as he insists on deliberately confusing knitting and crochet with the sole purpose of winding me up it is probably better for our relationship if I just stick to showing him the finished objects and not discussing them in detail.
As for why I create what I do I am very much a project knitter, I craft things because I want the finished object. The processes only come in to it for me when I am thinking about making sure my end product turns out exactly like I want it to. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning new techniques but I would much rather do it as a step along to line to a finished object rather than just knocking up a test knit or swatch to see how something works/ looks but without any real view on how I’m going to use it.
4. How does my writing/ creating process work?
Well that question makes it sound far grander and more thought out than it actually is. When it comes to writing I essentially open my brain and the words tumble out on to the screen via the keyboard. I did start with the best intentions of writing a rough draft of all the things I wanted to cover in each post and trying to insert a logical order into things but when I had to start doing it around when I could trick Crafty Toddler in to sleeping for long enough to write anything it seemed easier to just wing it when I got the chance. I find that this approach also sounds more like the normal everyday me than the structured “work voice Nadine” that came out when I planned it more thoroughly.
I have a similar approach to my creating processes most of the year I swap and change between the types of crafts I am working on, I can go for weeks just working on crochet or spinning and then all of a sudden turn back to more time consuming knitted pieces. Partly this is due to my attention span but it is mostly dependent on Crafty Toddler’s development milestones and general behaviour. Sometimes I need projects that I can pick up and put down in a hurry other times she is a little angel and I can comfortably get a large piece of knitting out and begin work on it knowing that I’m not going to have to put it down after 5 stitches because she has decided to wrestle the cat or pile all her toys up to make a staircase to help her reach all things precious/ breakable/ dangerous.
Speaking of tricking her sleep, it sounds like she is about to wake up so I’d better stop here and hopefully I’ll find time next week to share some more project progress with you.