Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Knitting and stitching and healing

Thank you for all the very comforting and revealing comments on my last post. 
Now I want to draw a line under that part of my life..lets call it a blip and hope thats what it is. We'll see.
Unfortunately I am still unable to get on with any meaningful sewing which as I said is rather worrying because this is the year  that the group I belong to are supposed to be exhibiting. I was full of inspiration for this poetry themed work when I returned from Ireland last Spring, but my ideas have fizzled away. They had to be put on hold so I could get on with brooches and tweed things to sell, and now I can't even sit and stitch a little heart or flower.
So I am finding life a bit boring. Thats a terrible admission. Wondering what to do with myself and longing for the urgency of being too busy and gripped by inspiration. 
I managed to kill half of Saturday getting a worm pill down the cats throat. I have played far too much facebook scrabble. I know how to spell words, the meanings of which are a mystery.

This is what I have been doing during my 'dark' time. Just for the sake of something mechanical and repetitive to concentrate on, I took two of my motifs and some felt and some hand threads and this is what I came up with.
I do like the felt with the addition of hand stitch, its quite soothing, but  I don't know what to make of this as a 'piece'.

Its about 10 inches by 6.
The colours are lovely on a small scale.
I like the combination of machine and hand sewn 'spots'.

 And dashes
 But does it have a presence in its own right? Is it worth continuing or is it merely a doodle?

My lovely friend Margaret traipsed into town and then to my house with wool and needles for me to have a bit of knitting on the go. Its been a life saver.
I'm not such a great knitter but I think I can manage 7 stitches a row. This is fun to do and apparently I can get two scarves from one ball. Its called 'rico can-can'. Google it if you want to know more.
Goodness....I'll be signing up for Ravelry next and I don't even know how to count rows.

70 comments:

marigold jam said...

Glad you are feeling a bit better and am sure your mojo will come back in due course. Maybe you just need a bit of a break and then you will come back to it all fresh and revitalised? Having said that I love your recent "piece" if I could achieve that when feeling I had nothing to give I'd be jolly pleased! It's beautiful and can certainly stand on its own - without seeing the whole thing it's hard to make suggestions as to how best to display it or use it.

Good luck with the knitting - 7 stitches sounds a good idea!

Hane

Diane Kelsey said...

Beautiful colours and stitching. Good luck with the knitting!

Lynn said...

Your artistic creations have excited me from the first one I saw and this one is no exception. it's more than beautiful. I love your stitches, colors, fabrics, texture...all of it.
I am so sorry you became depressed and I do hope it is in control now.
Good luck with this. I am a counselor and I see a lot of clients with severe depression. I know how hard this can be. I'm glad you have such a supportive family and so many friends and fans to help lift your spirits. Talk therapy together with medication and be a great help.
Take care and be gentle with yourself. It looks like you are on the mend.

Jan said...

This doodle piece is lovely. It is very soothing to do this kind of work, isn't it. I have been doing something similar and have named them my Dooleybobbers. If you made several of these you could always stitch them together to make a larger piece if larger is what you desire. Or frame them as is. Or put them on something else. Or leave them as is. Your knitting is lovely I shall have to google it as you suggest. I'm not really a knitter either although I know how. Sometimes at night while watching TV I have an urge to have something in my hands to do and thing, "I should knit!" maybe this little project would be just the ticket. You gave me a good laugh, "getting a worm pill down the cats throat" you are so right. Sorry for the lengthy comment. I hope you continue to mend your soul. Maybe it is time for a dog;-)

lilylovekin said...

Your "dark time" work is simply lovely. If there is such color in you there is great hope and beauty. Hang in there the bright days are coming.

Fiona said...

That is such a lovely light and bright doodle. I hope you'll be feeling brighter soon. Spring is around the corner.

Sandy said...

I think that piece is lovely. Can you expand on the idea? Small pieces work too. I like to work small, making lots of little things and seeing if they will go together. The scarf is interesting.

Gina said...

The little piece of stitching is beautiful. I always the love the combination of machine and hand stitch. And it doesn't have to "be" anything.. somethings just are.

vintagerockchick said...

Hi Jackie - that's a lovely piece of handstitching! And I'd be interested to see how the knitting turns out - I bought a ball of similar yarn but I've not tried using it yet.
As for the 'poetry stitching' have you tried reading back over the blogs of your holidays - I remember they were very evocative and the memory of how you felt then may trigger something xx

jinxxxygirl said...

One baby step at a time.........

ju-north said...

Your work is great as always! Pleased you are on the mend - wonder if creativity and "suffering" sometimes go together? You've inspired me to start some knitting! x

Menopausal musing said...

I am with Gina on this........ Maybe it should just remain as it is, ie part of a process. I love the gradation in colour of the "dashes".........

Monica said...

does everything needs to be 'something'... just let it 'be'... it's beautiful.

I'm very envious that even without mojo you can still produce beautiful things!!!

artymess said...

You could just call that piece your recovery piece ........and use it to celebrate you coming back from the edge of the abyss...I have been to that place once and it's not a pretty place.I wish you all the best for your recovery and don't worry the creativity will come in it's own time ....you just need time to heal so don't be harsh on yourself...xx

Victoria said...

Well, I just adore this piece... of course I am a sucker for combining the look of hand and machine. I really love the one stitch that you have done which looks like a "number" symbol, (last picture, left side.) It rocks and I wish I'd thought of it!

As for everything else... I try to look at it like the tide and the seasons... there is an ebb and a flow, a dying off and a rebirth. Sometimes it helps to just think of periods such as these as the winter, with great reassurance and faith, that spring comes next. (And as much as I don't like the winter, a lot of beauty can come from it.)

Barbara said...

I have yet to see a piece of your work that I don't like. Your doodle is lovely, can see it set on something plain-ish, and maybe dark-ish as a piece in its own right. And I agree with the others, it doesn't actually have to be anything - but it IS lovely all the same. Sympathy with how you feel at present, know you will come through.

Iz said...

I love it - as I love all your work, and have often drooled over the laptop looking at the photos of your embroidery! As Gina said, it doesn't have to "be" anything, just itself. It's destiny may become clear at some point. Just enjoy the process!

A Time to Dance said...

Now listen Jackie - if you are feeling the need of something to do I have a pile of ironing and a house to clean...that should keep you busy....joking apart it makes my heart sing to hear you are on the mend...prayers answered....now get knitting....or I will send the ironing round...I know where you are....

Mary Welsh Hubbard said...

I'm glad your are starting to feel better. I like the stitching just as it is = on it's own. Maybe frame it in a shadow box kind of thing. It's very pretty - I like the combination of stitching by hand and machine and the different textures of it.

Sue said...

It is beautiful, but you feel it is lacking something, I think. Could you mount it with a panel of velvet on one side/all sides and work into that as well, even with a very little complementary felt applique?
You might find a sense of balance in doing so...
Hugs xxx

Twiglet said...

So glad you are feeling a bit better. Your little experiment is lovely - it could make a little book cover. I am sure you will soon be back in the swing of things. I am only just getting back to normal after having the bug over Christmas. The first thing that goes is the urge to be creative but today I have been busy and enjoyed every minute. Best wishes - Jo

WendyCarole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kay susan said...

Love that doodle piece. Need more of it!

maggi said...

I do like the piece with the hand stitching. It would look lovely as a mounted piece.

Marion said...

Oh no - please don't give up your embroidery for knitting! lol!
As everyone has said already I love your colour, texture and stitchery.
But I can also relate to your creative block. It will pass, I'm sure, as hopefully will mine.
Sometimes an exhibiting deadline is the impetus to get the creative juices flowing, as I'm sure you're aware.
And having just reread the comments, I'm right there with lilylovekin.

Lyn said...

Take one step at a time Jackie, one day at a time. Doodling is ok too-not everything has to be a finished product.
Take Care
Love
Lyn
xxx

alice c said...

A long time ago I knitted a jumper in a complex pattern and all the sadness of that time was tangled up in the yarn. When I cast off and sewed up that jumper I knew that time of my life had come to an end. Perhaps you will feel that same way about this work, allowing it to absorb the sadness that you have felt and moving on to new projects when you are ready..

Heather said...

I am sure you will find inspiration again Jackie - just give it a bit more time. I love the little piece you have been stitching - the colours are so beautiful. Could it become the front of a bag or perhaps a book cover? It is definitely more than just a doodle. The knitting looks fun. So glad you are beginning the climb back - take it gently.

Penny said...

I think your doodle piece is lovely, Does it matter if it has no reason for being except that you are enjoying doing it? Maybe do more, then inspiration will come, but dont have an end in sight, just do them for the enjoyment of doing them. Sorry that is a bit garbled.

Aileen Clarke Crafts said...

That piece looks like it would make a great wall hanging in it's own right Jackie. Never underestimate what people will hang on their walls! I had a customer hold one of my cuffs up to a wall and tell me she'd love it as a piece of wall art.

As for the can can....I have a wee snippet my Mum gave me to see how it works through the embellisher. Probably scatter into nothing but I'll try it anyway. I think knitting scarves is an excellent way to keep your hand in until inspiration returns : )

Anji* said...

I love your new little experiment - it's art! I would happily buy it to hang on my Mum's (or my, if I couldn't bear to part with it) wall! Or it would look gorgeous as a panel on a cushion cover...

The different colours/textures/stitches are sublime, so beautiful together :)

Corinna Nitschmann said...

Dear Jackie, it makes me glad that you're feeling better. And I like your new piece. Don't cut it into parts! :-)
I'm sure nothing happens accidentally, and in bad times we have a lesson to learn, something to realize. Just let you time enough for healing. And if you're not in the mood for sewing just watch the clouds fly. You will find your way again!
Best regards from Hungary
Corinna

dosfishes said...

I am loving this piece, for whatever it's worth. Blip maybe but you are brave to let us in on what has been going on. Keep soothing and taking care and let your heart guide you. Your talent is so full and rich, whatever you do. xox Corrine

WendyCarole said...

deleted original comment

love your doodle piece and the scarf looks fun

Pam said...

Ooh ooh, you could frame it or put it in a little shadow box Jackie. Sort of a nuts and bolts "journal" of your journey? It's just gorgeous. You're right about the combination of machine and hand stitching. They go so well together! Hope you got my email. x

Julie said...

Lots of people have said it already, this new piece is lovely and works as it is. Maybe if you wanted to do something with it it could decorate a book front? I like to have some handsewing on the go even if I don't know where it's going, it takes me out of myself.

Jodi @ Happy House Quilts said...

Oh dear Jackie ...do be gentle ...i agree with some of the other posts...sometimes it just is....and that is ok :) be well my friend, jodi

Jill said...

So lovely to see your work again, it is always so tactile. That is definitely a few stitches in the right direction.

jude said...

brilliant! i love this. it grows and glows...

Elizabeth said...

Oh Jacky ! I ahve been gone for a bit with lots of birthdays, viruses , christmas etc. I ahve missed stopping by to say hi and I am sorry for that. Many of us out here also deal with depression and it does take a bit of fiddling to get the medication to kick in . I know that it took awhile for me to find the right one. It will balance things out and you ahve a wonderful family to help. I like someones suggestion of perhaps a new canine companion- not sure if you are ready but my little grouchy dog has been a great comfort to me.
Your little stitched piece is GLORIOUS!!!! Don't trap yourself in feeling that it must have a purpose. It already does have a purpose if you do nothing else with it. It has helped to get you through this rough patch and for that reason alone it is worth so very much to you and to all of us!!!
Be very gentle with yourself- don't fret about creating - you will not be able to keep it bottled in for long- it will rise to the surface!!!!!
Big Hugs to you dear Girl!!!
Stitch and KNIT on!!!!!

Rachel said...

Continue to take it easyn and don't make yourself anxious over what you aren't getting to.

I think your felt piece does look interesting and has potential. Perhaps you could have another play while waiting for inspiration to return?

jeanette, mistress of longears said...

I believe you are on the cusp of a great leap forward. Why? BEcause you have done a piece combining techniques in a way I've not seen you do before. And because you have hit a sudden pause in your work. Trust me in this; I have experienced the very same thing, an apparent bored "stuckness" with frustration and then, one day, a tiny inkling that finally turns into a rush of something different.

jennyflower said...

'merely a doodle'- hmm, no such thing- doodles are an art form in their own right as far as I'm concerned. When artists try to infuse their work with messages and meaning I get totally confused, but a doodle, drawn straight from a persons soul- now that really is a thing of beauty. xxx

stitchinglife2 said...

For what it's worth, I agree with some of the others here who suggest that knitting can be very therapeutic. There's something quite mystical about creating a fabcric from one length of yarn that knots and twists around itself. Your scarf yarn is such a glorious colour too.

Anne B said...

1) Put the piece away for a good long time. It will work its way to the top of the pile one day and you'll see it with fresh eyes.
2)Don't let what you love become yet one more burden. I made that mistake and am now trying to turn this around and remember that I DO enjoy making stuff. It's supposed to be enjoyable.

Lorie McCown said...

Dear Jackie.. I'm so happy to read your voice and see your stitches again. I hope the black dog stays in his kennel, and that the white horse (with said prince on board) will carry you off into the creative mojo for you. Knitting or crochet are very soothing. Keep going. Spring is coming. xo Lorie

Joei Rhode Island said...

Without depths we have no heights. But take each day at a time and look up....you feet will follow.
Wish I was closer to pour you tea.

Locket Pocket said...

I'm sure your creativity will come bouncing back with new vigour. I'm beginning to get little flickers of interest here and there. Lucy x

Chriss said...

Doodles are valuable, one just has to wait.

Elise B. said...

your work is gorgeous! stunning in fact! I live in New York (USA)where the sun does not shine often...i usually have very bad bouts of depression (mixed with insomnia and very frightening anxiety/panic "attacks")for long periods every winter..it is really scary when it happens...I have found a great medication that has kept the depression at bay and I have been told that sun lamps are great although I have never tried one...as far as your desire to sew is concerned...try not to let it worry you too much...give it some space...you never know what wants to come about...maybe you are gearing up for another journey...a shift of some kind...i think this is very normal for creative people to experience...and it is scary too! Thank you for sharing...

Rosie said...

It's beautiful, and I do have a suggestion. If you've seen the journalling I do on my blog, then maybe its something you might like to try? Its a very healing and therapeutic activity for me. I can see this making a wonderful cover for your first journal .....?

ArtPropelled said...

Every now and then I experience burn out especially after completing Christmas orders and I can't bear to look at my work. Feeling that I should be doing "meaningful" work just makes it worse. Sometimes playing with ideas on paper will help your enthusiasm to return. (Writing, sketching and moodling in a journal).

Diane said...

Oh, your work is always so cheerful, bright and amazing! It tells me that inside your "little blip" your heart is still true. Those blips can be scary, can't they! *sigh* Been there. And I think it's more difficult for creative people to get through it. You're doing great! These pieces are totally beautiful!
Hugs,
Diane

Jo Valentine said...

Dear Jackie
Firstly, I am relieved you are back - I was getting quite worried about you - and so sorry to hear you have been unwell. I remember suffering from depression when I was younger and it really is indescribable. I eventually learned that for me, it was my soul's way of telling me that I was ignoring something important in my rush and busyness so now I sit up an listen as soon as I get the first symptoms and it never seems to get beyond those now.
Secondly - I love your latest hand stitched piece - it is so gentle and the colours remind me of Spring.
Which brings me to my third (gosh this is turning into war and peace!). I wondered if you would mind very much if I referenced you as one of my designers in my City and guilds Embroidery course? It would mean downloading and printing some of your pictures (I know I could photograph the examples I am lucky enough to have but I would get a better range from your photos). What do you think?
Hope you are continuing to heal
Jo :0)

jackie said...

Best wishes, look after yourself.

Jackie

Campbell said...

The "doodle" piece is beautiful...sometimes we artists just need to take the pressure off of ourselves, and focus on the feeling that creating brings without an end result prepared in advance.

Frame the piece to remind you to "doodle" from time to time...a good reminder to be still and know.

Anna
www.designsbyanna.artfire.com
anna.pamprdchef@gmail.com

silverpebble said...

I think these new samples are just beautiful Jackie - the colour combinations are so soothing. I wonder if you could frame it. It would look lovely on a wall.

Lady Katkin said...

Hi Jackie. I'm sorry you have been depressed, too. It's horrible. The worst for me was not wanting to be what I had come to think of as being me, which is why I haven't been blogging for so long. I have just begun to think of things in terms of how I would blog them, so it was time to come back. I just love that green. And the hand-stitching. I think there's a lot to be said for a sample book. They can look fab. I am now off to follow up on a couple of your commenters, and then have a little look at your shop. Happy day! x

Judah Noah said...

I personally think it's a lovely piece!

sweetypie said...

I think thats lovely I like it better on a backing, I suspect your mojo is peeping round the curtains at you, asking you to come out and play. Chin up girl, we all understand, most of us have been there at one time or another the sun will come out again soon love tina

Herm said...

This is a beautiful piece of embroidered, felted piece. I would suggest to use it as a Journal cover, perfect size!

Amy said...

Hey, i've given you The Stylish Blogger Award, because your blog has really inspired me...

there is more information on my blog,

thanks!
Amy

ruthie said...

Jackie, so good to hear that you are mending. Its all about the little things, the small steps. Its your body & mind's way of recovering. That black hole is a frightening place to be, i lost many months down there, it was the very reason my 5precious things was first born. Being bored is resting too, do enjoy it for a wee while. Even so your creations are so inspiring. ruthie x

Heather said...

Thankyou for your comment Jackie - just what I needed! I'm taking myself in hand today and intend to do something useful if not creative. It is good to hear from you again and do I hope you are continuing to feel better. Thinking of you - take care.

AllyB said...

I am so very glad that I tripped over your blog on Wool Love's blog today. Your work is so beautiful and inspirational. As I'm sitting here contemplating the start of a gift baby quilt, after a long sewing hiatus, it was a great push to get going. Hope you find your mo again soon. Thank you for sharing your talent in a public forum. Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

rhr-ozgrkdn said...

I love your works, for detail ,thanks.Have a nice weekend:)

Kim said...

Thinking of you

melbatoast68 said...

I've just stumbled upon your blog and must tell you how absolutely beautiful your creations are. I absolutely LOVE the combination of materials and colors. They added much beauty to my day. Thank you.

Crochet with Raymond said...

Wow, I just found your blog and what can I say? It is just stunning and your work is beautiful! Thank you for sharing not only your gorgeous art, but also your truth as it is so deeply inspiring to everyone
XXXXX

Bea said...

Miss you - hope all's well.



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