Hey Knitter—You’re Being Creative, Too

A while back, I asked my Instagram community some questions about creativity. I was curious about knitters’ self perceptions and their relationship to their craft.  See, I’d gotten a sense that some people thought knitting from a pattern and being creative were mutually exclusive. The responses were surprising.

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I’ll be honest: I was surprised that number was quite so high. Maybe I shouldn’t have been. If I think back to how I thought about my own making a decade ago, I probably would have told you the same thing. What really intrigued me, though, was the next question and its responses.

For those who already thought of themselves as creative, knitting generally helped them feel more creative. But it also helped those who didn’t already think of themselves as creative. Knitting is a tool that helps unlock creativity. I confess, I got pretty excited when I saw that.

Why Care About Creativity in the First Place?

When I left my law practice several years ago, I was in a pretty dark place. Wrapped up in all of that was a deep, unspoken fear that I wasn’t actually good at anything, that I didn’t have much to contribute to the world, that I was just taking up space. One of the many things that helped me turn that feeling around was actively, intentionally cultivating my creativity. In talking to others, I found creativity often helped them feel empowered and worthy, too.

The Disconnect

I asked a follow-up question at the end of this series of slides. I posted a little question box that asked, “If you don’t think of yourself as creative, why not?" Every knitter who responded said that the reason they aren’t creative is that they’re just following a pattern.

Reframing the Conversation

Now here’s where it gets interesting. It turns out every single one of the knitters I talked to chooses their own yarn, makes little modifications to patterns to better fit their needs, and adjusts things to account for their unique gauge. If that’s not being creative, I don’t know what is.

You Don't Have to Do Everything From Scratch

Everything I do as a designer builds on stuff others have done before me. That’s the nature of the creative process.  Ina Garten taught us all better than that, friends. Store-bought is fine. It doesn’t diminish your skill as a cook. It's okay to use a pattern.

Are you passionate about fostering creativity, too? Click on through for tutorials, free patterns, technique tips, and more.

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