--Lewis Carroll, from Alice in Wonderland
Sometimes in life, things fall together just the right way.
I have been doing some creativity work with Kim, and as you all know, she is the master of creativity. As part of my work with her, I stopped designing so many patterns. I'm sitting back, and playing with ideas, rather than forging ahead with new designs. I'm revisiting some of my older patterns to improve them, and I am rephotographing them with new colors and a new vision. In short, I'm finding my "visual voice."
I admit I have chided Kim from time to time for the elaborate projects she undertakes--but now I am feeling that it is time for me to do the same.
And as I said in my last blog post, I have stopped knitting to a deadline. If I feel like it, I do it. If not, I let it go. It has been liberating.
I haven't stopped designing. But rather, I've been slowing down. I want to start making my designs more complex--or at the least, even more like my visions. I've been sketching ideas, but not really producing anything, which has been lovely--and completely out of character for me. I've even been thinking about working on smaller needles.
When I have produced a new pattern, it's been for something that felt completely inspired and exciting. Like this hat, modeled by this cute little guy:
I have worked only on these small sorts of things, so that I could continue to mull the big.
A few weeks ago on Facebook, quilt and fabric designer Mark Lipinski asked a question: Did anyone know a person who had many knitting projects going all the time, and who possibly designed too?
I had three projects just in my purse, and www.reallyclear.com.
Mark asked me to call him, and when I did, he started explaining that he was going to start a slow-stitching movement based on the slow-cooking movement. He gave me an overview of why he thought it was important, and I resonated with every word. Then he asked me if I would be willing to be interviewed on a podcast.
Well, sure. Why not?
Want to listen to it? Go to www.slowstitching.com, click on the Podcast box, and you'll find the interview. I also encourage you to sign up for his webinar. I'm sure it's going to be interesting. (And no, I'm not on it!)
So join the slow-stitching movement. Take your time. There's no rush. Even if you're making a little project, you can stitch slowly. Enjoy your process, whether you are making a small thing or a big thing, a simple thing or a complex thing. Be completely in the moment with your work. Stop being afraid to give it your all. Use good quality materials: Support local shops, the way you would a local farmer's market. Think of all the creativity that emanates from local!
Watch how beautiful your hands are as they glide with the needles or move fabric through the sewing machine. Relax and lower your shoulders as you work. Take a few breaths before you begin, and even more breaths as you work. Convince yourself that you're capable of anything that you want to do--because you are.
Slow stitching will give you the time to get better with practice and to learn new skills that take you to the next level.
Let your spirit guide your yarn and fabric choices. When you do that, the love you are showing for your craft will come through, and you will find that you have a coherent, beautiful process, which will lead to a coherent, beautiful project.
As I said in the interview, the most important thing of all is that slow work gives time for the love to come through--and that is why we are doing our craft in the first place: love.