Jun 9

I was asked by Cindie Kitchin of Eweniquely Ewe to participate in a blog hop to answer certain questions the on creative/art/writing practices of my blog. She is third in line of this (from what I can tell) and I will be the forth.

Question One: “What am I working on?” Currently, I am working on the last four patterns for the series of sequential art socks I have slowly been releasing. Each pattern includes a story that develops as you knit the socks. Two have been released, two more are supposed to be released sometime in June and the last four as they are done.

Trip-Up-the-Nile-photo-web

Also, I am working on getting the math worked out for mittens, gloves, scarves and hats to go with each of the eight sock patterns. I have the scarf pattern for Trip Up The Nile already written, but I need to test knit it to make sure it looks as good in real life as it does on paper. At this time, the thought is that only the sock patterns will be released prior to them all being complied into a book. I’m still thinking on that though.

Question Two: “How does my work differ from others of its genre?” I have written stories and books since I was a kid and am currently a script writer for the long-running superhero series “Johnny Saturn.” Seeing my story come to life get turned into art by my husband, Scott Story, has been really interesting, but I wanted to give it a go myself. The problem is that I am no artist as far as what Scott does. So, I was playing around in Excel one day and realized how easy it was to create images using the “fill color” tool. I started messing around in it until I came up with the pattern that eventually became Trip Up The Nile. I have been a sock knitter for several years, so I did some math and test knit a sock using the pattern I came up with.

The first sock I did was way too tight, so I redid the math and tried again and BINGO! I had it. Then I came up with the idea of creating stories with my sock patterns. The one for Trip Up The Nile was pretty simplistic, so when it came to do a second pattern, I actually sat down and wrote a story before designing the sock pattern. That became Walking Through China.

WalkthroughChinared

So how does my work differ? Each sock is a bit of story art – sequential art like in comics but with no word balloons. All of the rest of the patterns are based on stories I have written specifically for this series and using historical designs for a particular country or ethnic group. Doing the research into the historical images and patterns has been very interesting and has taught me a lot about different cultures through-out time.

Question Three: “Why do I write/create what I do?” Part of this was answered in question two, but I will add that I love telling stories and I love how history and people and art have come down to us through time. I guess putting together different elements of what I love into something as unique as these patterns is just fulfilling on so many levels. My day-job is working as a bookkeeper in a commercial real estate management company, which entertains the left half of my brain pretty well, but the right side gets pretty bored with it all. I am lucky enough to be one of those people who is well-balanced between the left and right sides of my brain, so I get to explore each side’s strengths. I do know that if I do not let the right side of my brain get any exercise that it really affects what the left side of my brain is doing. I can’t type, I transpose numbers, reports don’t balance, etc. As long as both sides get sufficient challenges, then my entire life is more productive and fun.

I supposed I could do just about anything creative (and I have tried lots and lots of areas), but right now the story-art patterns are giving me plenty of scope for my creativity. Never have I had the chance to combine so many disciplines into one effort before (writing, art, color, texture, designs based on real history, etc.) and I am having a blast doing them. And it is giving the right side of my brain lots and lots of exercise to balance up with what the left side of my brain does the rest of the time.

Question Four: “How does my writing/creative process work?” That is a hard one. Something creative is going on in my head all of the time, whether it be comic book stories, knitting or weaving patterns, color blends, designs, or anything else that pops in there. I am always creating something even while using Excel spreadsheets for their intended purpose. I do spend a lot of evenings and weekends putting ideas to paper (or computer) and I have notes, scribbles and such on wee pieces of paper all over the place. And I get feedback from friends when I do come up with something, just depending on what area it is. I sure don’t approach fiber friends with comic book ideas, but then my writing friends really don’t get my love for knitting and spinning either.

Basically, it is rare that I am not thinking about my creative interests. Even when I am reading novels, ideas will pop into my head. I am always seeing something, hearing something, reading or watching something that will give me an idea. 75% of those ideas are horrid. 15% start off as something but peter out. 9% develop into something interesting but keep changing as they go, and about 1% actually becomes something I can show off. That other 99% isn’t wasted because I have to get through all of it in order to find that 1% that is worth keeping. Like the sequential art patterns I am doing. I have thrown out more ideas than I have kept (doing a sock based on the Bayou Tapestry and limiting yourself to two colors per row was not the best idea I’ve ever had, but it still rears its head once in a while and I may come up with something yet). And even if I throw an idea out for one project, it stays in my ideas bank to be used on something else. “Nothing learned is ever wasted” is one of my favorite quotes from the Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters. Boy! Is that true!