My Creative Space

In the last two years I’ve been away from home for more than six weeks twice. First on a ‘mostly holiday/little bit of work’ trip to Canada and the USA, then on a ‘mostly work/little bit of holiday’ trip to Europe. While the two trips were very different, both times away from home seem to have a mental de-cluttering effect.

A week before we came home it occurred to me that I hadn’t thought about my knitting yarn stash since before I’d left, and that was kind of nice. I hoped I wouldn’t get all caught up in worrying what I’ll use it for when I got home. It sucks up too much of my creative energy. I reckon I spend as much time browsing Ravelry and planning projects as knitting them. Okay, maybe not as much, but more than I should.

I also hadn’t had time to visit the multitudes of blogs I used to spend hours looking at every day, and I saw the bad side of that habit. Not that reading them is a waste of time, but I spend far too much time of each day doing it. It means I spend a lot of time doing ‘research’ and getting inspired, but not much acting on it. Too much reading about making stuff, not enough making of stuff.

The workroom was really dusty by the time I got home. As I set about cleaning it, I kept asking myself: ‘why on earth am I keeping this?’ and ‘do I really want to do this project/craft?’. ‘What do I really want to spend my spare time and creative energy doing?’

I have an answer for that last question: more art, less craft. When I returned from Canada I found I didn’t want my crafting to revolve around knitting as much. Since then I had a fun time trying out new things and going where the inspiration took me. I tried bookbinding, paper craft, book arts, sketching, printing and refashioning. Nearly everything kept nudging me in the direction of making art, so perhaps it’s natural that I now have a desire to focus.

However, I can also see that my workroom has come to favour craft over art since I started using it. The contents divide up to approximately to 40% craft, 40% office/work, 20% art. The way materials are stored and furniture is arranged makes access to crafty things easier and arty things harder. And I really wish I’d insisted on having a sink put in there when we added the room on, too, so I don’t have to head off to the bathroom or laundry just to wash brushes.

I love this room, but it’s just too darn inconvenient to do anything arty in my creative space at the moment. That has to change. So I have been measuring furniture and drawing plans.

On the weekend I plan to start the big reshuffle. When I do, I’m going to rename the workroom ‘the studio’. I’ve always felt ‘studio’ sounded a bit indulgent. But it also sounds more arty. Maybe that’ll rub off on me. And most of my friends refer to this room as ‘Trudi’s studio’ anyway.

I’ll post pics when I’m done.

Travelling Yarn Purchases

Though I knew there’s be little time for crafty stuff while overseas, I was determined that I’d at least get to one yarn store. So during a couple of free days in London we headed to Loop, where I’d been told I could find the much-adored Wollmeise sock yarn. And sure enough, there it was, along with a few other famous sock yarns and one I hadn’t heard of before. So I bought one of each:

From left to right: Dye for Yarn, Rohrspatz & Wollmeise, Madelinetosh and Malabrigo.

Which I then had the shop post home for me. Though I wanted to keep and pat them, I was hauling my suitcase around Europe and, what with the back problems I have, needed it to be as light as possible. I had a sock in progress, which was going so slowly that I knew there was no danger of me running out of knitting to do.

Later, in Germany, I stumbled on a yarn store in a subterranean mall. Though it didn’t stock any much fancier than Regia, the prices were too good to resist. And I like a good sturdy, reliably machine washable yarn to knit men’s socks out of.

Regia and two yarns by Wolle Rodel.

This lot got stuffed inside shoes and a hat, because we’d were going home not long after.

I’m Back

Our plane somehow slipped around the ash cloud on Tuesday morning to deposit us in Melbourne. I’m jet-lagged and exhausted. It was an incredibly hectic book tour. Hard work but a big success, thankfully. Wouldn’t want to work that hard and it not be worthwhile!

No time for blogging, blog-reading, or Ravelry. Only a little bit of knitting and sketching done. A small amount of yarn purchased. I haz Wollmeise.

Must be something about travel, but once again I’m doing a lot of thinking about what I’m trying to achieve, with art, craft and blogging. What I missed. What I didn’t miss. What I get the most satisfaction from. The last two years have been all about going wherever inspiration took me. Now I want a little less fidgeting and a bit more focus. I have a couple of big ideas that’ll require commitment and time. I have to decide if I really want to tackle them – and how.

In the meantime, I’m sure I can make a blog post out of my yarn purchases and sketching from the trip, so, as they say, watch this space.