Monday, April 26, 2010

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers..

I was having a conversation recently, on crafting - be it spinning, knitting, sewing, quilting or whatever floats your boat. The question was asked as to whether I am more about the 'process' of creating something, or whether I am more about the 'product' that you get at the end. I've been thinking about that.

Initially I figured I was more about the product - because generally speaking if the end result is not something useful, in some form or another, I am hesitant to make it at all. And then I thought that perhaps I was more about the process - being a monogamous knitter I like to devote all my attention to the process of creating a single thing.

I've since realised that for me at least, the answer is neither. I'm more about the potential and the possibility. I am a pretty tactile person. Self confessed yarn sniffer, fabric toucher and fibre feeler. I'm an evil horrible mother who is making my children share a room so that I can have a studio. On one hand, this is necessary for the business. On the other hand I freely admit that I enjoy having a place I can go to sit and just be surrounded by pretty things, hold them in my hands and let them whisper to me about what they would like to become when they grow up. The intricate designs in fabric, cotton and cool to the touch that feel weighty in my hands. Soft, fluffy, barely there fibre in beautiful colours - some bright and vibrant, some natural and earthy. Subtle switches in colour along the length of a skein of yarn that remind me of a present you have to unwrap - you never ever know just how those colours will move while you are knitting them - until you do. I like to plonk myself down on the floor of my studio and just - touch things. Consider their possibilities, the best way to unlock their potential. It's all so pretty and so inspiring and I always walk out of there fired up about what I want to create.

This is the reason though, that I am a mostly monogamous crafter. When I start something I like to see it through to the end, to give it the attention it deserves, and that it needs. I also tend to attach feeling to random inanimate things, so if I have numerous projects on the go, I imagine they are lonely. Then I feel guilty and stressed. LOL! I also let things marinate in the stash a long while sometimes, because sometimes it takes a while for them to tell me what they want to be. I'll go through various ideas rejecting each one till I settle on the right one.

So here is my weekends fruit, spins from two fibres that have been marinating within the stash for about a year, both of them.
The first was fibre picked out by Master Mayhem when he requested I knit him a 'Bright Green Beanie' for winter this year. It's a 3 ply, fingering weight yarn, and 286 metres in it. Machine washable Merino that was custom dyed for me by Mandie at Ewe Give Me The Knits as part of the 'birthday custom' program she ran last year :)
Peas, No Carrots
There is too much there for just a beanie, so he might be lucky enough to get socks out of it too :)

The second is some steel grey natural Gotland Lamb. It has been marinating a while, because I just could not figure out what it wanted to be. I've been warned or clued in to the fact that Gotland loooves to felt. Recently I spied the pattern for some felted slippers, and I knew it had found its calling.
Worsted-ish weight, single spun and 241 metres
Gotland Lamb

That's all from me today. I've got loads of stuff to do today, but I am enjoying the much cooler weather.
I'd love to hear what anyone else has to say about the process, the product or the possibilities though! Which part floats your boat the most? And why?


catsmum said...

me - all of it - but you knew that, right ?

woolie wombat said...

For me its the making of the item once its finished it loses its appeal I'm all for the challenge of the next item to be knitted/spun I tend to like to push my boundaries in knitting - still need to conquer entrelac yikes! -woolie

Ascasewwen said...

I'm equal parts product knitter and, like you, a lover of the potential.

I'll force my way through knitting things I hate because the finished product is worth it (like the bobbles on knitted Daleks). I get stressed with too many things on the needles and frustrated with projects that seem to never end when I just want to wear them.

And I can spend hours looking for the perfect pattern for the yarn and it's my favourite part of getting new yarn. Yarn marinates in my stash until it tells me what it wants to be, and if I can't find the perfect project for it I let it marinate longer. Once I've decided what it will be, the expectation of knitting that is enough to push me to finish whatever I'm working on.