The amazing Ine from A Picture Book Mind nominated me to take part in a creative blog hop that is going around. I think I answered some questions pretty similar to these a few months ago, but we’ll give it another try. Maybe my feelings about certain things have changed with the time… so here we go.

What am I working on? Unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of creative projects going on at the same time (mildly controlled chaos). Right now, my primary focus is on finishing up a few Christmas gifts for my family. I also have my go-to travel project, a pair of socks, on the needles. And sitting in a little mini hibernation until holiday knitting is finished, are two new sweaters for myself: Yane and the Telluride Aran.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? This question is hard. It really makes me stop and think, because I’m not entirely sure what my genre is. Here is how I would define myself: I am a knitter. I like modern designs and shapes. I love using traditional knitting techniques, like stranded knitting, intarsia, and guernsey, to create modern shapes and patterns. I make everyday, wearable items. I’m not sure how I stand out from other knitters who would similarly classify themselves, but I do know what inspires me in my craft. I often find myself greatly inspired by color. I love playing with colors – working with different, new color combinations, incorporating color in unexpected ways, and using modern colors in combination with older, more traditional knitting styles. I am also inspired by texture, like cables and guernsey, and love when these older techniques are used in ways that create modern shapes and designs. I strive to learn to use these traditional knitting techniques in different, unexpected ways to help build my knitting skill set and my confidence.

Why do I create what I do? Fiber art has been in my life for many years now. When I was younger, I crocheted, worked cross-stitch, and embroidery. Later in life, I took up crochet again and also taught myself to knit. I have a need for creative expression, but I was not really skilled in more artsy-fartsy techniques, like painting or drawing, and I’m not exactly musically inclined, either. So my creative outlet became writing and, more recently, crochet and knitting. I especially enjoy knitting because it provides me with a challenge, one that distracts me from my everyday stresses, but still pushes me mentally. I also really enjoy creating something that is useful in every day life. Finishing a unique sweater one day and being able to wear it the next makes me feel accomplished (and I definitely don’t mind when my work is admired when I wear it). For me, knitting is a very satisfying and rewarding creative outlet.

How does my creative process work? I would say about 70% of the time, I come across a pattern or design that I love and I will seek out a yarn that works with it. It’s with the yarn that I can try to put my own “Brandy” spin on it. About 25% of the time, I find a yarn that I just love and I will save it until I find a project inspires me, bringing about that miraculous, “I have the perfect yarn for this amazing pattern” moment that I love. The remaining 5% of the time, I have an idea of a technique I want to use in a project and I will seek out a pattern and a yarn to accomplish what I want. It’s that small 5% sliver that may be growing slowly as I gain more knitting experience as I’d like to someday make my own personal designs. Right now, I don’t feel entirely confident in my knitting to create my own designs and patterns, but every now and then, I am trying to find a pattern with a specific technique used in a specific way and just cannot find anything. It’s then that I briefly think to myself, “I would design this hat/sweater/sock myself, you know, and get exactly what I want.” But then I chicken out and keep searching. Someday I will get there, but not today.

I nominate Kylie, Steph, and Marina, three fellow knitters I love watching grow and create. You can look forward to seeing their responses within the next two weeks.

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