When it doesn’t flow

As mentioned before I was having a hard time during May, lots of work and not enough time. I was spending evenings and free time sat at my computer rather than making.

Its only natural that life and business will have peaks and troughs and I am very accepting of them and am learning to be kind to myself and give myself permission to take some time off or let some things slide a little bit.

I think this time I really realised what a difficult time I have being creative and doing creative problem solving when I am in these ruts. Not just not having enough time to do it but when I try I hit a brick wall.

This pretty swatch has been taunting and giving me grief for about a fortnight.

problem swatch


the swatch itself was pretty easy to pin down and get the basic pattern just so. It is utterly charming and will make a very pretty element in my planned shawl but it came with some complications:

– I wanted a complementary but plainer pattern to pair with it.

– Both have to be reversible – different but equally beautiful on rightside and wrongside.

– I then want it to segue into a small amount of lace edging.

– It is worked over a 7stitches plus 1 and is a four row repeat and needs to be increased evenly.

– It is not the easiest pattern to chart so playing around with it on paper was tricky too.

Of course, these complications are entirely of my own making. I find and adapt a pretty pattern and I could just apply that to a straight scarf but I had a very strong vision for the piece in my head and anything less felt like a bad compromise.

I fought and fought with the pattern on and off through the period of intense work and made no progress. After two days rest? Yep, you guessed it; I cracked it first time. It took about 4 hours work to pin down how to make it work but it was all progress and felt fun and interesting rather than frustrating and painful as it had before.

The moral of the story? Creative problem solving is a big part of my work and I cannot do it when I am tired and run down. If I want to produce my best work I need to be kind to myself.

This shawl will probably end up being one of my favourites and I hope when I wear it, it will remind me of this. Be kind to yourself.



This post was inspired in part by discussions with Kate of  aplayfulday.com and links into her discussions on #creative_identity


  1. says

    I love that! I know what you mean about getting that flash of insight after getting away, getting rest, fresh air and all the good things out brains need. Thanks for sharing ;)

  2. says

    Well said. I have my best ideas when I’m rested, well fed and calm. Problem solving is easier and ideas flow. It never works when I push it. Gorgeous swatch. Plus, that colour is so you xxx