Creativity - Not just a job. It's an adventure. Or -It's not all about the destination, it's the journey that's important!

Yes, I know, cliches are so cheesy! But in this case they are both so true.

Creativity has to be a constant companion if you want to stay inspired. When you get an idea for some new project, whatever your media may be, write it down! Sketch it out! Keep a file or notebook of these ideas. If you are looking through a catalog and see a picture that causes you to think of using certain colors together or implement some new shapes or patterns, then cut out the picture or page and put it in your notebook (provided that it is your own catalog!). Be creative to capture these fleeting ideas of inspiration so that you can use them in the future!

I have a file folder, or two or three, that I keep ideas in. I also have a notebook that I put all the scraps of paper that I sketch and scribble on, in clear plastic sheet protectors. I like organizing all these bits of information so that I can find them when I need to. It's like getting inspired all over again every time I look through these notebooks and file folders.

Now, I have to be realistic and know that every idea that I have for a new design or project won't actually be 'born'. Some ideas that people have should have stayed in their notebook! I know you can remember one of those interesting knit sweater designs in a magazine or book that made you wonder what the designer was thinking!?

Well, being creative as a job can be difficult. It is hard to consistently come up with good, viable ideas without copying other ideas. There are not that many different ways to create a standard sweater, for instance. You can get creative with the texture or colors used, or how you combine the shapes of the sweater. Since we are talking about knitting here, what I use for inspiration for knitted garments, for example, are stitch pattern books like the Harmony guides and Nicky Epstein's books. For inspiration on using colors in designs, I sometimes use Deb Menz Color Works book, art books, and one book I recommend for combining colors as well as different textures of yarns is the Yarn Stash Workbook from Laura Bryant. I used this last book for a class I taught on working with colors in knitting and crochet.

There are many ways to get inspired to creativity. The important thing to remember is to stay open to new ideas, collect them, but don't just stop there. Next time, we'll look into how to go beyond the idea stage into the actual creative process.