Monday, June 6, 2016

The Left vs Right Creative Challenge

I don’t often talk about my personal life, but this is something that has made me so happy, I want to yell it from the rooftops!  I have fallen in love! 

This new love doesn’t argue like my ex-boyfriend, and I didn’t have to go online dating to find this one.  However online is where I found my new relationship … through an amazing artisan on The CraftStar.  As it was pretty much love at first sight, I went in search for more information and fell deeper and deeper along the way!

I’d like to introduce you to my new love … 

As a life-long crafter, I’ve tried many projects … some work out, some don’t.  No matter how many times my mom has tried to teach me, I can’t knit or crochet to save my life.  While I would LOVE to make a summer weight shawl like this:

... in the gorgeous bright pink yarn I bought a heap of, I usually end up flinging the needles across the room in frustration.  I have learned to accept knitting and crochet needles and I just don’t go together. 

When it comes to “making things”, I have the patience and attention span of a mini mouse.  A great thing about being in the creative zone is your mind wanders.  A really bad thing about being in the creative zone is your mind wanders. 

I will be half way through a project when either I spot something sparkly across the room (often) and HAVE to start creating something with that RIGHT NOW, or, I’ll be making, say, a leather wrap bracelet and think “those lilac stone beads would look awesome on brown leather” so I drop the pretty crystal and black one I’m currently doing, to start on that.  I can’t count how many bracelets, necklaces, canvases, attempts at drawing, etc, are half-finished around my home.  I feel like I'm two-timing my handmade work.

So falling in love with weaving was a perfect way to play with the yarns and textures I ooh and aah over, and a HUGE plus about only having one loom is you can’t cheat on it!  You have to finish the piece you’re working on (unless you want to dump it) before you go on to the next.  (this really is starting to sound like my ex-boyfriend)  Bingo, I’ve finally found my perfect match!

Only, so far, this relationship isn’t as successful as I had dreamed.  I’m already stuck in a rut.  I want to make something like this:

 or this 
Bonnie from Going Home To Roost
(can you believe that's her FIRST attempt at weaving?!!  It's GORGEOUS!)

But I end up with this: 

My latest weaving - I call it "Cinco de Mayo"

and these earlier attempts:

I can’t break out of the symmetrical zone.  I want my pieces to look fabulously creative and “fluffy” like Kristen's and Bonnie's above, but I end up with it looking too organized, too samey-samey.  

The left side of my brain over-rides the right every time. 

Last week on The CraftStar LIVE show (if you missed it, you can catch it here:, Kristen from A Bit of Ewe Craft Emporium (and the creative genius behind the first beautiful weaving above) was our guest, celebrating the publication of her fabulous art yarn in the latest issue of The Knitter Magazine!

Through her fun (and funny) stories of how she creates her beauties, literally from shearing sheep to dying and spinning, I was raring to go for another attempt.

After the show, I emailed her a picture of my latest weaving, explaining my left vs right frustration with it, and she really kindly offered to sketch out a design that would challenge my creativity, and will put together a package of her fabulous goodies to send to me.  How sweet is that?

She even created a video to show us how she works:

The minute the design and goodies arrive, off I'll go!  

In the meantime, I'm going to try a self-challenge.  These are the elements I have to work with (I based the colors on the strip of material at the top left of the pic): 


(I just noticed how the colors totally match the rug!)

Will catch you up next week to see if my right was able to conquer my left!

The Left Brained Crafter ~ Bethan

PS.  If you have any tips and tricks for beginning weavers ... please share them in the comments!

PPS.  If you love color and texture as much as I do, check out Kristen's amazing array of art yarn and indie dyed longwool (these are some of my faves:)

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