The Spirit of Creativity

Taking pictures of things I have made is not something natural to me. I am not an archivist by nature. Everyone in my family will say that I have little tolerance for hanging on to stuff. They always accuse me of giving their (unused) treasures away if they can’t find something. At the office, I used to have regular clean up days where we disposed of outdated files and documents. I used to love to say, “This isn’t the Library of Congress.” That probably bugged a lot of people who don’t share my proclivities.

However, visual recordings of things I have made are often revelatory. I will look at a picture and say to myself, “I made that?” I won’t recall making the item, but very often (and I don’t meant to sound boastful), I will be surprised at the creativity involved in what I have made.

I felt that way today when I put on a sweater which I hadn’t worn all winter. Needless to say I have a lot of sweaters and with the mild weather, this very warm sweater hadn’t had a turn. I love this particular sweater for several reasons. First off, I love the color and the texture of the yarn. It is a warm fuchsia color and, because the yarn is Manos, the color and the thickness of the yarn are a bit uneven. It looks very warm and a little rustic, but just a little. The pattern I used to make the sweater is from Elizabeth Zimmerman. It is her Bog Jacket.

Anyone who has read or knit from Elizabeth knows that her instructions are a bit intuitive and she offers lots of suggestions for modifications. The Bog Jacket is a bit boxy and one of the modifications I made was to tailor the waist so that the jacket fits with more style. Another alteration I made is to fold back large cuffs at the sleeve. I chose to knit an attached i-cord all around the edges, up and down the front, around the bottom of the jacket and at the folded back sleeves. The i-cord is a lovely navy blue from the same yarn. I really like the contrast of the deep pink with the dark navy. Finally, I chose to make the front closing from i-cord which loops on each side of a frog closing.

Putting on the sweater was a bit like looking at a photo, I was intrigued and amazed that I had created what I had made. This made me think about creativity. When am I most creative and when do I feel like I have nothing imaginative to give? A big part of it has to do with stimulation. The more outside stimuli I take in, the more ideas I seem to have. It doesn’t necessarily have to be related to knitting or crafting. It is the stimulation of having any kind of idea or inspiration. It just seems to get the neurons firing and Bang! Pow! New ideas keep flooding into my head. These ideas may be business ideas, they may be ideas about what to cook and, very often, they are ideas for something I want to make or some new way to do something I have done before in an innovative way.

Creativity is a state where I feel alive and energized and my mind is working overtime. It is a state of excitement and fulfillment. It feeds on itself. Feeling a lack of creativity is a dead zone. It is self-inflicted because it means that I have not put myself into contact with experiences which challenge me and expose me to new ideas.

The Bog Jacket in Manos

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One Comment to “The Spirit of Creativity”

  1. Reading you blogs make me want to take up knitting again. The jacket is beautiful 🙂
    Dawn

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