Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Moving Out Into The World

I mostly think of the projects that I make as singular: I make one, move on and make something else.

Sometimes, though, the process of making includes writing up the pattern, and in those cases, the projects move out into the world and can show up again. I'm always surprised, and very pleased, when someone likes what I have done enough to make one of their own.

Several months ago, on Ravelry, I saw a photo of this bag:
donna's first bag

I did a double take. My first impression was that someone had altered a photo of the colors of my bag from Woven Treasures:

1st bag

But no! This was Donna's bag. She wove it from the instructions, changing the colors, adding her own embellishments. It was so nice to see how the design and instructions had made their way out into the wide world :).

Then Donna wove several more bags, changing the colors and some of the construction.
donna's pickup tote

My bag colors:
pick up tote

Donna also used her own design for the soumak bagfaces:
donna's soumak bag front

donna's soumak bag back


Pinwheel back

It's gratifying and exciting to get independent corroboration that the instructions work, and work well enough that Donna could alter them to suit her own design and color choices!

Then the other day at knitting, Dee held up a bag and asked if I recognized it? No, I said, but I wanted it:

dee's bag

dee's bag back

She then told me it was a variation on my design for the New Homespun Handknit:

homespun handknit bag

The color choices change things so very much! There are a few construction details that each of these women changed, too, which is one of the best parts of this whole process: they are not following a pattern, but they are using the instructions or charts and making something new.

Last, also on Ravelry, I saw another version of the Lace-up Mittens from Homespun Handknit:
Jen's mittens

Jen's in her handspun Spirit Trail cashmere.

Everyone who uses handspun yarns in a pattern knows the next person who makes the project will change it somehow: handspun is necessarily individual. This was a very fun pattern for me to make up, and to knit, but I am jealous I did not think of using cashmere yarns: I may just have to make up another pair..... :)

There are at least two kinds of creators: those who wish to keep all of the details of creation to themselves, making their projects unique in the world, and those who send out the patterns for others to use, make things with, make personal, and change. I've been both, at different times and for different projects.

For me, now, the pleasure of seeing how things evolve is far greater than the pride in having made something one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated. The pleasure of the shared community, the shared effort, and the common goal: the work of our hands, to keep us warm, to keep us entertained, to make things that are useful and ours and yet are part of the greater community, all of this is very gratifying.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I'm knitting another version of your Lace-Up Mittens in Great Northern Yarns mink/cashmere ... except I think they're going to be Lace-Up Fingerless Mitts instead :-D

12:37 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow. I love that soumak bag!!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

How fun to see the personal applications. I didn't know there's a new Homespun Handknit coming out. I must have a copy for my bookshelf - I'm sure there's room for one more book.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Thanks for sharing all those various iterations. More spring boards! I'm so glad you put your stuff out into the world. Thank you.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Deanna said...

How gratifying it must be to see your creativity flow out into the world and have it be so deeply appreciated and then get to see it reflected. :-) Thank you for all you do, and for being willing to share it!

6:55 AM  
Blogger DEEP END OF THE LOOM said...

My boys just gave me your book for Mother's day, I too will have a variation of your file folio as a jump off point to a bible cover for my son. I'm grateful that you took the time to write, explain, re-write, edit and take the beautiful pictures you did for the book. I know that the process for getting a book publish is more exhaustive than any creative venture.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Birdsong said...

Kind of like sending children out into the world without having to send money along too! I loved seeing all of these examples:)

7:28 AM  

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