Saturday, May 2, 2009

Embrace Your Inner Fiber Artist

Me, a fiber artist? Not having thought of myself in those terms before, I once had a difficult time seeing myself as an "artist". To me, artist implied some formal training in design and technique. My road to becoming a weaver of fiber with hooks and needles did not bespeak "artiste".

First learning how to knit as a girl at my mother's hands and a teach yourself to knit book, I managed one sad lonely mitten. I went through my Phentex slipper phase marvelling at the ingenious design that made those checkered ribbed wonders. Bravely moving on to sweaters and foolishly ignoring the concept of gauge, I knitted a sweater slightly too small. Have you ever tried knitting from the cast on edge of the cuff to lengthen a sleeve? Don't.

Not easily deterred, I went on to explore the world of crochet and experimented with granny squares I could never make the same size. Try sewing those together into some sort of regular sided shape. The wonders of Phentex never escaped my crochet hook either, as I made lovely pillow shams with huge red roses adorning the center. Crochet a bikini. Why not! Of course, using double crochet was not a good design strategy.

I see those early years as paying my dues. I was learning from poor design decisions and baffling color combinations. Mastering gauge and discovering the wonders of blocking, I have since become an accomplished knitter and crocheter expanding my repertoire with felting. I now confidently create my own pattterns and take inspiration from my fellow fiberites.

Using my skill with fiber and my creativity, I craft objects that are appreciated and bring pleasure to others. Isn't that artistry?

I am a fiber artist.

So, whether you knit ponchos from Phentex or crochet shawls from alpaca, hookers and needlers embrace your inner fiber artist!