Saturday 1 November 2008

Useful or just 'artsy'?

I read this quote from Delighted Hands and it resonated so loudly with me:
it has to be useful--one of my problems with things artsy-what is it for?!!!!

Back in the mid-90s I had a burning desire to create something new from scratch. I knitted, crocheted, embroidered and did folk art. All crafty, all using someone else's patterns. I wanted something original. A trip to Broken Hill and a brief chat with Kym Hart [son of Kevin 'Pro' Hart] just fuelled my desire so I enrolled in painting classes. My first teacher, God bless her, only painted in oils; I'm allergic to turps so I painted in acrylics. I nearly quit but we got a new teacher - he was very encouraging and I developed quite quickly under his tutelage so much so that I did a Fine Arts course at TAFE.

I went back to work and my painting dried up. Then I discovered scrap-booking. This satisfied my artistic side - working with colour [my passion] and design. But I taught scrap-booking for a while and had to to produce pages to specification and my love turned to hate. I admire Carol's work but just can't bring myself to get out the papers, the glue, the photos and the embellishments again! It's so messy and requires so much work space.

But knitting continues because knitting is clean, portable, sociable [if one is not knitting lace!] and useful [to come back to my opening quote from Cynthia]. But does knitting satisfy my 'creative' urge? Mostly yes, because I knit from my head; I invent shapes and colour combinations that please me and sometimes challenge me. However, sometimes there comes a longing to be original; perhaps to take knitting in a direction it's never been before - but where that is I don't know!!


  1. I feel the same way especially when money is an issue. I love knitting. The needle felting I'm working on is with the school wool and dye, so it's not costing me anything. Well, I bought my own needle felt needles.

    I've tagged you. If you feel like joining in, details are on my last post.

  2. The urge is an excellent place to start! I love knitting because I can be creative when the need hits, but I can also be completely dependent on a pattern, or do something mindless in stockinette (hello, baby blanket). An art that fits my whim :)

  3. Oh yes. Nice post. I have many of these same conversations going on in my head. My years of writing, embroidery and other forms of expression are testament to this.

    I gave embroidery because i wanted to make something useful - I figured that was the working class girl in me speaking- I need to create AND be practical. That's why knitting AND crochet still speak t me. They can be both.

  4. I think that's one of the reasons I like to knit - I'm creating something useful. But sometimes, it's good to have things just "for" - because they are beautiful or interesting to look at, or because they inspire you - but I guess that means they have a use, as well.

  5. I always blamed it on my New England roots but maybe not......I think beauty and utilitarian are a wonderful marriage-color takes the sting out of the drudgery or mundane of everyday chores--knitting certainly fulfills this on so many levels-glad we agree!

  6. Yes knitting is portable and useful so the end product is something you can take such pride in.

    As for the scrapbooking, I just never got into the paper/glue/scissors type. That's why digital scrapbooking is oh so much more fun - neat, clean, mistakes can just be deleted, and best of all NO MESS!! Just tired eyes! LOL

  7. I am desperate to create at the moment - I feel like using my creativity is like an antidote for all the negative bits of being a full time parent. I have even considered doing fine arts at tafe, would be very interested in hearing of your experience!

  8. Seeing some of your knitted creativity, it is fascinating how you do it.

    Me: I am a need a pattern type person.

  9. Hi me again, I given you an Award
    check out my blog for details. :)

  10. It's jsut the making with your own hands which I find deply satisfying - pottery, cooking, sewing and of course knitting - crochet and spinning still await me...

  11. I've been thinking along these lines too lately. Specifically I've been trying to mentally crochet a rug. It may sound odd, but unless it happens mentally first for me, it never happens at all. I have visions as I go through the girls clothing, pulling out the stained, ripped and too small. :)


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