May 2, 2012

A perfect piece

You know I'm always exhorting you to build your creativity and confidence. One of the ways I try to do that is to seek inspiration as many places as possible. That's just the way my mind works - I see something and immediately think of other places I could plug it in elsewhere. This is probably an extension of my inherently laziness, but it works for me.

So, I was delighted to find today's title on one of my favorite blogs, I take a lot of inspiration from knitting - but not for the reason you think. Ellen, who writes the blog, is an amazing knitter, but an even more amazing person - she is patient, kind, and has a broad philosophy that welcomes everyone into her shop...even people who knit like I do.

You must understand my love/hate relationship with knitting - I am not very good at it. And you know why - I don't practice. I expect, since it looks so easy, that I should be able to sit and just produce incredible beauty and utility. And besides, loads of my friends (especially my harp friends) do it, so I should obviously be able to do it too. Does any of this sound familiar?  Do you ever think this way when you are practicing or out playing in a group?

But like playing the harp, knitting takes work, dedication, interest, and a willingness to learn, to practice the less exciting bits to get to the beauty that is hidden in the middle of the ball of yarn.  If you want to be a good knitter, or a good harper, you must tend to the small things (like hand position, exercises, careful learning, repetition, etc.) so that you have the capacity to tend to the big things (like musicality, expression, depth, phrasing, etc.).  And there are no shortcuts. 

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