Last week Marie Greene, Owner of Olive Knits and Knit Camp, came by the Mill on a planned visit. I showed her around and then we sat for awhile and talked (at a safe distance!). After she left I was filled with a new rush of energy. Talking with another business owner, a maker and creator was enough to give me new ideas and a renewed sense of creativity.
I have heard a lot of friends and customers talk about feeling in a bit of a slump creatively. Let's face it, back in March when Covid was just becoming a reality, a lot of us crafters thought "this is it, this is what I've been planning for." A necessary isolation and all the tools and extra time to focus on our craft. None of those silly distractions of meetings, commitments, and a lot less time spent driving. Am I right? And then it got real. We entered into a true pandemic.
Knitting and handspinning have always been a sort of therapy for the worry. Sit down, get into a rhythm and let my mind ponder it all. But I have found it increasingly hard over the past couple months to focus as injustice, illness and politics have cast a dark shadow on our country. I can say for certain I'm on my phone way too much checking the news and social media just trying to see what other people are doing and feeling. I suppose there is a depression and sadness that accompanies all that is going on and that can certainly zap the urge to create right out of you. So while I should have completed three sweaters given the free time over the last 8 months, it is just not happening.
I was talking to one of my friends and she mentioned that she felt like not having the festivals and group meet-ups was part of the reason she was feeling in a slump. And it makes sense! There is no singular place where I get more energy and inspiration than being surrounded by other makers. The knitting, crochet and spinning groups all have always given us the chance to sit with one another and not only be social, but also to inspire each other with the projects we are working on! And festivals, well don't even get me started. This is where it all comes together. The makers, the products, the wears and of course the energy.
So reality, it doesn't look like any of these events are coming back in the next couple months and even into next year is quite uncertain. In fact this winter is looking like it could be quite dismal as far as the virus goes and our need to be personally vigilant about masks, hand washing and traveling safely if at all. So knowing this is coming up, and trying to prepare ourselves I thought I would give you a list of where I find inspiration these days and a few places I should look to more but just haven't gotten there yet....
1. Get outside! Fresh air, walks, nature. All good things for the brain, body and creativity.
2. Podcasts/Vlogs. I have watched and listened to podcasts a bit but have definitely found more inspiration and connection in them than I have in the past. Some of my favorites are Fruity Knitting, Yarn, Fleece and Harmony and Grocery Girls. (Please share some of yours!)
3. Instagram. Instagram is the one platform I still seem to be able to connect and see what others are working on. I love seeing the pictures! And I definitely get a lot of dye pot ideas from others outdoor adventures. Don't get me wrong, it is also a huge distraction that I am constantly trying to balance out.
4. Zoom meet-ups. There are so many groups doing spinning, knitting and other maker meet-ups on Zoom. I hit this pretty hard early on but haven't been to a virtual meeting in quite awhile. Maybe its time...
5. Online classes. Being stuck at home more doesn't mean we can't keep learning! Between small yarn shops, YouTube, Bluprint, SewIt Academy and on, there are plenty of places to take virtual classes to help you learn a new skill or even a new craft!
6. Knit a longs. Ok seriously I'll admit I have never done a knit-a-long, but I think it is time!
7. Plain old good people. Don't let the bad overshadow some of the amazing good. Good people and actions are out there!
And then there will be the days when we are just zapped and staring at a show on Netflix becomes enough. Be kind to yourself on those days.
I would love to hear from you all about where you are finding inspiration during these more solitary and unsettling times. Please comment below and let us all know whats is keeping you going creatively.
Also a special note. I mentioned the Fruity Knitting podcast above. I find such inspiration in Andrea and Andrew's podcasts and they have recently let viewers know that Andrew has just been diagnosed with in inoperable brain tumor. They are researching and going to try all other available treatments. The podcast is their main source of income and for that reason they have reached out and asked for continued financial support. You can watch their podcast on YouTube, but more importantly is that you go to Patreon and join their group. There are different amounts you can contribute and it is well worth it for the amazing podcasts they put out. Here is a link if you are interested... Fruity Knitting Patreon
Thank you for reading and commenting. I always love to know someone has been here! Stay safe and get the votes in quick now!
I am Kim Biegler, the owner and operator of Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill. I create hand spinning fibers from locally sourced wool and teach others online how to hand spin their own yarn.