How I Learn
My brother was telling me about a book he read about da Vinci and creativity (I think it was this one: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day
) and how he cultivated his creativity with curiosity. I had never made that connection before, and it made so much sense to me. I love to know how things work and learning how to do new things, and when I am really engaged with learning something new I am usually also at my most creative. When I decide I want to learn how to do something, I tend to immerse myself completely in that subject.
When I wanted to learn to be a better cook I read cookbooks and made new and different recipes every week. Eventually I saw how ingredients went together, what seasonings worked well together and what techniques would result in what outcomes. Once I had experience with a lot of different recipes I felt confident enough to try my own combination of ingredients and created my own dishes.
I wanted to be able to work on my computer, rather than paying some Geek Squad member $60 an hour to replace a video card or add memory. So I talked to some experts I knew (like my brother and the support guys at work) and learned how to open up a computer case and change out the components myself. A couple years ago, with the help of my brother, I felt confident enough to build a computer from different components. It's still going strong today, and cost about half as much as one with the same specs was going for at the time. I'm still quite proud of that accomplishment.
Knitting has taken me a little longer to master. Almost everything I've knit has come from strictly following an existing pattern. But then I got some Noro Kureyon sock yarn, and I knew I wanted to make some simple socks to show off the yarn, but not so boring as just plain stockinette. I also have the big feet issue, which you know far more about than you probably want to if you've been reading my blog for the past year, so I decided to just have a go at creating my own pattern. They aren't anything revolutionary, and I really just included ribbing and heel and toe styles that I've done before and like, but I'm really liking how they came out. I'm feeling just that much more confident in my knitting abilities now, and really want to come up with some original patterns.
A few words about Noro yarn: I always think that I don't like variegated yarns, but Noro is something different. It's a yarn that lends itself to the process of knitting as much as the final product. It's not dyed in all those beautiful colors, but rather the yarn is spun from different fleece colors blended together. My first sock practically flew off the needles, because I just couldn't wait to see what the next color was going to be. Unfortunately, the second sock wasn't as quick because a cat found my skein unattended for mere moments. He didn't do too much damage, but I did have to re-roll the yarn, so I got a preview of the color transitions, and the suspense just wasn't there, driving me on.
As I was knitting I wasn't too sure I would really like actually wearing these socks because the yarn seemed a little scratchy, but they feel just fine, not scratchy at all when on my feet. I also decided from the beginning that I wasn't going to try and make them match, and I think they're quite fun in their dissonance. I also realized as I was taking the above picture that I could probably win the award for most feet self-portraits on a blog if such an award existed. I just got some new boots, so there will probably be even more feet pictures in the near future. Just letting you know.