Fine Finishing: Dar la Luz

Filed in Uncategorized by on September 10, 2010 1 Comment

In Spanish, the term for giving birth is “dar la luz,” translated as “give the light” or more loosely, “bringing to the light.” I love that concept, whether it be referring to the birth of a child or the process of creating art.

I found the comparison of teachers in Gwen’s last post very interesting. I’m glad I was brought into the light of this world with more curiosity than ambition, and also that I simply love the act of teaching and helping people like to knit. I like to be a light source for them to figure out their own knitting. Anything else that might come along is just gravy. I know I can say that, while we do have different opinions on the teaching of certain techniques, Gwen and are firmly on the same side of the stitch as far as what kind of teachers we want to be.

I began teaching a new class at my LYS last night and felt completely inspired by the students. In connection with said class, I just finished a new sample and have some thoughts to share. The class is Top-Down Raglan Design. For my sample, I was going for a vintage bed-jacket sort of look-slightly cropped, with a simple neckline and a bit of lace. For the most part, it looks like my sketches, it has the feel I intended, and is not unattractive. The problem is that I just don’t like several specific things about it.

The good news is that I now know exactly what it needs to be more successful, and now that I can see the potential, I have the desire to make it work. It might only take a bit of tweaking, it might require ripping and re-making. But don’t worry. It’s kinda cool when you think about it, because one way or another, this experience will add to my global knitting knowledge and will help me to continue to define my style and design priorities. I think sometimes because of the effort involved in one knitted piece, we tend to think of moments like this, when the results don’t clearly shine in our eyes, as failures, but they need not be. The effort is not wasted if it leads to a continuation of creativity and successful problem-solving.

Something I once learned in the pages of my beloved photographic inspiration, National Geographic Magazine, helped me take a huge step forward in my own work. I learned that, on average, for every photo published in NG, something like 50 ROLLS of film were shot. That means 1 out of a minimum of 600 images was good enough for publication. Now, in the digital age, that number can be in the thousands. That was when I learned the difference between taking pictures and making photographs. Someone who takes pictures wants to push a button and have it work the first time, every time. Someone who makes photographs works with the light, the subject and the camera, brings out their best qualities in that moment and creates an image. On the way to that image, the artist has to leave themselves a margin to accept and then reject (or let go of) the failures so that the best image can be seen. I learned that I wanted to make photographs and was willing to put in the time to do it.

As I grow as a professional knitter, I’m learning to have this same kind of patience and willingness to put in the time for this art, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes to light.

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