It is October. First Saturday in October 2020, and time for my next monthly blog post. September has been busy with a lot of personal stuff, partially because it happened to be so this year, and partially, perhaps, to keep busy through what is usually the most difficult month of my year, emotionally.
September usually means new beginnings, which come with some stress until things settle down again. Not sure why, but coincidentally, i usually start new jobs around this time of year, or various courses, and with this excitement of the new thing, also comes the slight stress of not knowing what i am doing yet.
Today, i have no huge announcement about a finished project, nor any big news to report. Today I would like to look at the calming process of crochet, the rhythm and repetition of it and what it can do my everyday peacefulness.
Perhaps this is exactly what is needed to cure my September blues…
Pictured in this post are small handmade items. Both crocheted and knitted. The process of making these is pretty automated to me now. I do not have to think about stitches or patterns when I make these. Every time I finish one, I tend to think it was the last one. Then I start another one some time later..
Making them is indeed needed.
I need them as much as the cute creatures which are usually made for others to appreciate, and which i love making, when the mood takes me or a request is made. See HERE for past examples.
I need them and as much as my boisterous blankets which help keep my busy brain problem solving small stitchy problems, one loop at a time. Those giant blankets keep me going, they keep me making, they keep me looking and finding a use for previously made stack of sample squares, or working out a new way to do an old stitch. See HERE for the various ways i work when it comes to blankets…
The small squares i am talking about today fulfill a different need…
I need them differently to the above two uses of my creativity. These small squares are unassuming, but very important:
I make flannels/ dishcloths sometimes, exactly BECAUSE they do not have to BE anything. They are what they are, and the process of making them is worth engaging in because of the calming effect it has on my mind. Plus you end up with a useful item, modest, yet vital when it comes to kitchen cleanliness or personal hygiene…
I love making granny squares, and whenever i have a chance to make a square to fit a purpose i will, and so it was with the crochet cotton top being made in the video below:
I have recently managed to set up my camera in such a way so that i am able to record videos of my creative process (ABOVE and BELOW), finally being able to share what i see, when i crochet/ knit, which is part of the thing that yarns me calm.
I will be interested to know whether they have the same effect on You watching them, as they have on me making them… There is something so very relaxing about this vista: a handmade item being made. The process of crocheting or knitting, in general, and in particular the process of making these small squares for no other purpose than being immersed in the middle of it. I keep going back to it, engage in it, for no other reason than to be present in it…
Watch on my YOUTUBE channel HERE and do let me know if watching crochet squares being made online is as relaxing/ appealing to you as making them in real time is to me. I have always found it part of the rhythmic calming effect crochet and knitting have on me..
About a hundred years ago, whilst i was at Salford university studying for my BA Hons Visual Arts, i did a lot of photocopying of crochet items, using the photocopied images for collage and all sorts of other art work ideas.
I still really really like how crochet texture shows through when photocopied. Sometimes, black and white photocopies can offer some extra dimension, some feeling of nostalgia, which for me is ever present in crochet..
Crochet is kind of an archaic craft, for me personally, because of how i learnt it and how i have used it in the past. Crochet highlights the connections between generations of women, their histories written in stitches. The treasures made using this old technique of crochet have a poignant quality to them.
The inner quality of delicate soft items created to make a house a home, well that appeals to me, and when you take that quality and translate it into a two-dimensional image by photocopying your crochet creations, you can use the images in a variety of new ways… Over and over, whilst preserving the original crochet object.
Crochet is also the only craft that cannot be automated, as I have recently found out. I am assuming, there needs to be a person guiding the crochet hook, because of the complexity of stitches and the advance decision making needed for the process to be successful. This is something i have not yet fully processed, but it gives crochet an extra appeal as a craft truly only ever able to be made by a person’s hand.
Similarly to the use of photocopied images of my crochet creations, the idea of using detailed photos of my crochet printed onto fabrics has been on my mind. I cannot claim this as my idea. I own a pair (or three) of leggings printed with crochet squares, which I have purchased in 2019 from SNAPDRAGONBRAND after admiring them for a long time.
Printing and transferring crochet images onto fabric to then use them in a different ways has been one of those ideas in my creative work that comes and goes, now and again, but seemingly often comes back. So most recently, i have been retaking photos of my finished crochet pieces with this further use of the crochet imagery in mind.
I am still very much unsure how, if or when this may be a thing for my work, but keep your eyes peeled (love that expression) for i feel myself get excited about this possible development of my work, as a possible way to share my crochet blankets at the same time as being able to keep them….
I know, right?!
Bagsoflove offer a wide range of printing options for your images to adorn most things fabric you can think of, and i was very excited to receive my star dust blanket images printed onto a hoodie to WEAR!
There are improvements to be made, and i need to consider a lot of different ways that i can proceed with this line of my work, and of course there is the funding of this to figure out, but fear not, my lovely reader and crochet enthusiast, i will do my best for this to develop further.
Once my mood lifts after winter, and i am again in a full unstoppable creative ideas abundance mode, i expect things to fall into place then.
Until such time, square yourself calm by either watching me crochet/ knit in the videos above, or by crocheting/ knitting your own creations.
And feel free to say hello and share your ideas on SOCIAL MEDIA, for others to admire.
Thank You for reading!