Monday, October 08, 2007

Some inspiration, please!

For the past several years (maybe ten years, actually?), I feel like I’ve gotten away from my creative side and much more into my analytical side. Both are “good” sides, I think, but it’s been interesting to look back and see how they haven’t really been working in concert as much as one-or-the-other. The creative side definitely overpowered anything else for the first twenty-five or so years of my life, but gave way, I suppose, for a need to have a job with a 401(k), benefits (hello...two knee surgeries in one year ain’t cheap, y’all), etc. My art buddies gave me a lot of flack about this, as you can imagine (who needs a 401(k) when you’re young and your soul is hungry?), but in recent months, many of them have confessed that they’d sell those souls for some retirement stability. However...

I’m feeling a need to feed my creative side these days. I’m not sure what or how this happened, but I’ve been feeling a little restless lately. Maybe it’s travel that inspired this, or maybe it’s been my recent bout of frenzied knitting in as a desperate need to unwind and de-stress, but the creative sparks are starting to come out of hibernation.

I’m sure my old art buddies back home will be thrilled (and gosh, it’s a hard question to answer all the time, “So, what are you doing creatively, though?).

So, what am I doing, creatively? Well, I’ve been knitting and thinking and dreaming and designing. When I first started knitting, I was about six years old. Knitting was dorky, and it was even dorkier when I was a teenager. I would knit on and off throughout my teens and twenties, but the patterns were nothing if not dorky—well, we call it retro now.

Then this big knitting emergence/renaissance thing came, and I refused to join in—hell, I already WAS a knitter, and I didn’t need to prove how “cool” I thought it was by naming myself something edgy, I guess, and I just kinda stood back and watched for a while. Yowza.

But I can say that I was delighted at the fantastic, modern, and exciting patterns coming out of this rennaisance. Then I started a blog that I never kept up with, then I joined a couple of email lists (not specically about knitting), and then ...well, I started talking and meeting other knitters and I discovered that you can buy yarn –really cool, gorgeous yarn—and it didn’t have to come from a mass-chain retailer or a knitting shop that had inventory from the ‘70s. Wooohoo!

Then I started noticing how all this women who started knitting, like, ten minutes ago were designing really cool, wonderful stuff, and well, why couldn’t I? I guess it never occurred to me in all the more than 25 years of knitting that these patterns didn’t just land on earth somehow, that someone had to actually create them. So, why not me?

It’s strange, because I think that once you open the door, the flood just starts pouring in. My head is full of ideas, my brain is soaking up techniques, my hands are knitting furiously. It’s almost as if there’s too much going on (well, with school, work, teaching Pilates, and now, knitting, there is just way too much going on!), but that’s not really the problem—the problem is how to get it all down—how to start without forgetting. How to knit the patterns I want to knit and at the same time create the stuff I want to create, and frankly, how to get my brain to control the scroll bar on the computer so I can read blogs and knit at the same time (I’m trying now, but it’s a little awkward, LOL!).

So, here I am with my little knitting blog, joining a few groups, and trying desperately to find out certain things, such as:

It’s a “blogosphere,” not “blogland”

What the heck “frogging” is (I now know, but can’t tell you how dumb I feel in retrospect, thinking it was some technical knitting term)

What the heck “Ravelry” is (and now I know that, too, and just signed up for my invitation, Lord only knows how long?)

How to do a KAL, and how to sign up

How to take really great photos of my stuff (obviously, the fact that we’re now moving to winter isn’t helping with actual daylight)


Gina said...

Anna this resonants(!) so strongly with me. I really feel the need for my work life -- and life outside of work -- to be a good balance of reason and creativity. Otherwise, I feel that I'm trapped. Sadly, too many jobs are either one or the other.

Anna said...

True, except that I've also had to find balance with jobs that do tap into my creativity. It's not fun anymore when your fun, creative side also becomes your work. You sort of get "forced" into creating, and lose that edge.

I was a dessert chef in college, and after a while, felt that if I ever looked at another dessert, cake, pie, or mousse again, I would puke.