The Natural Creative Evolution

Posted by on Jun 29, 2018

Junction Shawl Pattern by Yarns Untangled, yarn by The Blue Brick, lace weight, cobblestone tonal colour way.

If you follow along with my monthly blog, you’ve probably heard me say, more than once, that I started my creative life as a knitter at the age of five. From that moment on, I have made things with my hands ever since. Never stopped. It really is my happy place.

At the age of 27, I enrolled in the three-year Jewellery Art & Design diploma course at George Brown College. When the learning how to make jewellery started, the knitting came to a complete stop. It stayed that way for 28 years! Until last year, when I was diagnosed with West Nile Virus. Because a huge part of the recovery is literally “resting”, I needed something I could do with my hands for either a short or long period of time. Knitting definitely filled that void.

So, I tracked down my old knitting and crochet needles and hooks, got a book from my local library and started reading about knitting techniques that at one time I could do in my sleep, however, now I was struggling to remember exactly how to do many things. For example, I could not remember how to cast on. There are many ways to cast on, but my Mother had taught me a specific way, one that had no name I knew. As I browsed through the book, I thought I would just stumble upon it… such luck. Then one day I thought, “oh, to heck with it, just try to do it and see what happens.”  And you know what? I suddenly remembered – or at least my fingers did. I guess it’s like riding a bike: you never really forget.

Since then, I have been knitting obsessed. And oh man, has the knitting world totally improved; what with the advent of Ravelry (the ultimate online knitting community), all the indie dyers out there, and the really interesting yarn fibre combinations that were NEVER available my last time around.

Need proof?  Just look at that shawl I knit! I had never made a shawl in my life, but the pattern and tonal yarn I chose made for a wonderfully meditative and completely enjoyable knitting project. I am now on my third version of that same shawl pattern. Each time I use a slightly different colour, thickness and yardage of material. It’s my way of figuring little things out each time. So now when I am not linking and making jewellery, you will find me knitting.

Once I was done knitting the shawl, I blocked and finished it (wove the ends in) and then it hit me. How does one wear a shawl anyway???  Having never owned one…

In my pondering and screwing around with the shawl, it occurred to me that it needed “something” like a pin to keep it together. Off I went on another tangent to research shawl pins. What do they look like? How do they work? What do you have to keep in mind so they function properly? To be honest, there was nothing out there that thrilled me, so I decided it was up to me to create something equally beautiful and functional.

This is what I came up with. I think it’s pretty special. And yes, maybe the yarn helped inspire this design. Those colours are magical together.

Sterling silver and copper shawl pin designed for knitted lace weight or fingering weight yarns.

So, now I am knitting another couple of Junction Shawls and will be using them as my “canvas” to display my new line of shawl pins that I am working on this summer, to be ready for the fall/winter season.

This “creating life” of mine is definitely a process, and some would say that “you end up right back where you started”. At this point in my career, considering what I am currently working on, I would wholeheartedly agree with that!

Here’s another shot of the shawl wrapped differently with the shawl pin.

No matter where or how you fasten it, the pin just makes that yarn sing.

Oh, and for all you knitters out there, take a look at how much yarn I had left over when I finished this shawl. Talk about playing #yarnchicken!

Do you live in Toronto and love to knit? Are you yarn obsessed and never have enough yarn stash? If so, and you are available on Saturday, July 14th, I am participating in The Great Toronto Yarn Hop and will be on Team BFL. Interested in being my guest? Email me for a fantastic fibre-filled day of visiting 4 different Toronto yarn shops via the TTC. I only have one extra ticket, so first come, first served.