Thursday, August 3, 2017

67 Yards Of Disappointment

Earlier in July I posted a blog about how I felt that talent could be acquired through persistence rather than randomly bestowed ability. José left a compelling comment pointing out that there are more actions that are needed when creating than just practice. In José's own words, "But how about an eye for detail, and for colour? And how about originality? I wonder if lots of practice alone is enough to come up with original ideas?" Those words tumbled around in my mind for the last two weeks. It's really hard to quantify practice vs. talent because even with practice, people are going to have different original ideas. I can only speak from my own experience, but I still think that practice is what leads to creativity.

I remember a day about 15 years ago when I decided I wanted to be better at drawing and I was going to do that by first observing everything around me. When I would go on walks, I would do my best to pay attention to the details surrounding me: the way a leaf created shadow on the ground, how different people's noses curved differently. Then I'd go and try to draw it all. I remember the great disappointment that my hand just wouldn't draw what my mind had thought up. I suspect most artists, even those advanced in their careers, have days when their brain and hand doesn't match up.

The other thing I observed is that the more work I created, the more ideas I had. There was just something about practicing that lead to more original ideas. Although the ideas sometimes came in cycles. When I was working on practicing a technique, the ideas slowed down, but when I started to master a technique, then the original ideas came. What kinds of experiences have you all had in regards to creativity and originality?

Meanwhile, in my own creative pursuits, I've had a bit of a failure. I decided I wasn't happy with the way the color of my current cuff/heel/toe looked against my Cider House socks, so I decided to spin a different colored 3-ply yarn. I was going for a DK and ended up with an Aran weight yarn. I knit up a cuff with this yarn and it was clear I wasn't going to be able to get away with the thicker yarn. It's pretty disappointing because I don't have anymore dark brown to try with.
67 yards of disappointment

Luckily that was the only spinning disaster I had. The second skein I was working on for Tour de Fleece came out beautifully. I spun up both braids of my Wonderland Dyeworks 80/20 Merino/Tussah Silk roving in the Coral Reef color way and came out with 360 yards of a 2 ply DK weight yarn.

I've also made great progress with Connor's Dude Sweater. After reading a bunch on steeks, I decided to go with a crochet reinforced steek rather than a sewn one. Connor asked to have a zipper rather than the buttons recommended in the pattern. I've decided that I'm going to use a combination of Tech Knitter's faced steek and Kate Davies's Steel Sandwich tutorials to complete the sweater. But first I'm waiting on a shipment from Knitpicks to arrive so I have the right tool to install the zipper.

So with all my other knits in limbo, I've cast on two different socks to make up the difference in my knitting time. On the left is the Denature Socks in my ball of Stray Cat Socks' Silver Star color way. I've carried this ball on many of my vacations, including Florida and Hawaii, but haven't cast on until now. I also have cast on another Primavera sock. I liked how the Cider House socks looked and thought that it would look good in the skein of Madelinetosh Sock in the Shire color way I got while visiting Black Mountain Yarns.

Here's to another week of creating!


Anonymous said...

That second skein you finished spinning is sooo beautiful! And congrats on finishing the cardigan, looking forward to seeing how your steeking goes. The one time I tried a steek I used a crochet reinforcement, which failed horribly. But it was down to the wrong yarn choice (too slippery) rather than the steek itself.

José said...

That skein of Coral reef looks beautiful !

I agree that it's hard to really quantify practice vs talent, but I do hope that your vision is right. That makes a personal challenge for me, too, now - I am going to try if practicing more will give me more/new ideas as well. Thank you for these posts, I like food for thought like that :)

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