Unleashing my creative side...

I've never thought of myself as a very creative person. I've often joked that this was because of the kindergarten teacher in Durham who told me that I coloured wrong because the lines went in more than one direction. Perhaps there is some truth to the idea that my creativity was squelched at that tender age, or perhaps it's just an amusing story. Either way, I was never very artistically inclined, and even though I enjoyed music, I never had an interest in composition the way my orchestra colleagues did in high school.

Then a few years ago when completing my training in Gifted Education, I did a course on creative thinking in the gifted. Our fabulous instructor, Linda Robinson, pushed us to think of creativity as something that exists in every field, not just art. She also challenged the idea that creativity is innate by showing us ways we could promote greater creativity in our students. I began to realize that I was fairly creative as a teacher. In fact, I think it is largely because of Linda's courses that I'm still in teaching--she helped me see the fun side of the job, creating fabulous lessons and finding ways to bring out the best in my students. I'm still not always sure that this is worth the trade-off (annoying parents, sometimes incompetent administrators, hard work with little pay, ungrateful students!), but it's kept me going this far.

Anyway, the point of all this today is that I am starting to stretch my own creativity in a more "artistic" way. Like most new knitters, I have done most of my knitting from someone else's patterns. I may change things up just a little--using a different yarn, doing short row heels instead of a heel flap, doing a different border or an extra repeat of a pattern. But recently I've felt like pushing myself a little more. I think my forays into spinning and dyeing are an example of this--after all, every yarn I make is original and unique! To this end, I have ordered some new fibres and even some "real" dyes to play with. And here is my most recent yarn creation. It is very close to being laceweight, and I'm calling the colour Caribbean Seas (although I'm open to better name suggestions!):
Caribbean Seas Laceweight

I've also decided to push myself to play with designing patterns. My first project in this area was inspired by the lovely ladies of the Angel Yarns forum, who have started a "Pattern-along" for the traditional Cat's Paw lace pattern. We've all been playing around with different ways to reconfigure this pattern. I have finally decided that my first design will be a simple scarf with 2 sets of paw prints--but instead of marching in completely straight lines, my 2 cats will walk back and forth in zig zags. Ideally I'd love to make the cats meander in a non-linear fashion (although I'm not a cat person, I know they aren't very linear creatures!), but I'm going to start simple for now. Here is a swatch of the pattern repeat:
Criss Cross Cat's Paws

On the "non-creative" knitting front, I finished the 2nd Falling Leaves sock, but now I have to knit a 3rd, since the first 2 don't match at all. I guess I also need to update my progress bar, since I'm really only 50% done with a matching pair! ;-) Oh well, the pattern is quite straightforward, so that's not really a problem--and I quite like the way the 2nd sock knitted up:
Proper Falling Leaves sock

And my Swallowtail is progressing once again. I've finished the number of repeats of the bud lace specified in the pattern, but I've decided I want a larger shawl, so I'm doing 5 extra repeats of that now before I progress to the next chart. I'll post pictures when the bud lace section is done, I think. Now back to the knitting & spinning for today...

Comments

Kai said…
yay!! here's to more creative, artistic foray's into the designing world! :)
Jinann said…
We all knew you were creative.....I'm thrilled that you realize it now too! I love the yarn you dyed.....and the name of it is just perfect!
Christina said…
you've been busy. I love the cat's paw design, and the sock too. and nice colours of the yarn you've dyed. good name!!
yarnsnob said…
oh I love the cats paw pattern, its really great!!
I love the yarn you dyed too, very professional....lovely:)
Knitbert said…
I like the idea that creativity can be in every field of life, and that if we only think about it we can find ways to be creative and extend what we do with our work. Thanks for that thought, Lindsey, it comes at a good moment for me! And your Caribbean Sea yarn is really lovely, I like the colours very much.