Where does the creative process begin? For me, I find it can come from either a thought, or a thing.
The “Rose Parade” scarf that I recently finished started with thinking about “roses.” I wanted to make a scarf that reminded me of roses. From there, I went to my tubs of yarn, pulled out everything that made me think of roses, edited a bit to select the yarns that worked best together, and there it was. At that point, it was all over except the weaving.
Sometimes creativity starts with a thing. Or things.
One of my favorite scenes from the movie Apollo 13 is when the engineers are presented with a boxes of odds and ends, dumped out on a table, and told this is what they have to work with, find a way to bring our astronauts home safely. In this case, crisis was the mother of creativity.
Without being a life or death situation, my current weaving project started with things. In this case, 10 skeins of blue and white yarn, purchased many years ago on the sale table at Ben Franklin’s. Without any more pressing projects, and the need to add more shawls to my inventory, using this seemed like a good place to start.
So I pulled out my other blue and white yarns, dumped them on the table, and started editing until I had a combination I think will work. There’s white ribbon, and indigo dyed silk, and some pale blue mohair (because I can’t seem to get away from mohair). I’m not saving any lives here, but I may keep someone warm.
Ultimately though, as I reflect on it, this did start with a thought - though it was many years ago. What made me buy this blue mohair/white cotton designer yarn and not the mustard yellow worsted, also on the sale table? And I realized that this yarn reminds of me of blue jeans and a white cotton shirt - a classic combination!
So I have to conclude that every creative process really begins with a thought, idea or feeling. Something entirely in our heads or hearts - but with no form or substance whatsoever, until we bring it into being.
Here’s to hoping that the result of this idea will keep a girl in blue jeans and a white shirt warm on a chilly evening.