creativity vs. ennui

Currently, ennui is winning, but hopefully not for much longer. Seen this past week ~

SCAMPER: 

S-ubstitute, C-ombine, A-dapt, M-odify, P-ut, E-liminate, R-everse

As comic relief to weather, world events, and general January doom & gloom I pulled out some old DVDs of comedy-dramas, this last being New Tricks.

The original starred Alun Armstrong (Brian), James Bolam (Jack), Amanda Redman (Sandra, the boss), and Dennis Waterman (Gerry). The men were all retired London police officers, with Sandra the only serving officer.

The group was called UCOS (Unsolved Crimes and Open Case). For details I refer you to the first episode, which explains many of the on-going and humorous references.

I’m explaining this because an episode in the second year’s series (“Creative Problem Solving”) applies to sewing. In the video, its the framework for how the case gets solved.

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We sewers don’t have old criminal cases to solve (I hope !), but we do sometimes have old creative problems to (re)solve: those pesky UFOs (unfinished objects) for one.

I’d also include some (many?) of the items hiding at the back of closets, in the bottom of drawers, and stashed away amongst out-of-season clothes.

(Please tell me I’m not the only one doing this!)

Which brings us to the photos below ~

They illustrate how I’ve just spent several weeks frogging (unwinding) an unused (5± years)  3”-wide looong knitted wool scarf, then  crocheted it into a 6″-wide & much shorter fringed scarf.

See all that crinkly stuff in the first photo? That’s how my loosely wrapped & frogged ball of yarn looked as I started crocheting. When it came time to cut the remainder up for fringe I did get a little worried, and hoped I was remembering correctly that it would all straighten out once washed.

Fearlessly I washed everything. All went well.

(I think I owe this explanation to Felicia but I couldn’t for the life of me find her post, so my apologies. And apologies if it was someone else. Edited to add: It was Felicia – see her comment below.)

Am right chuffed to have re-purposed good wool into a more usable object, whilst also enjoying its softness running through my fingers during the reworking.

(He-he! We are tactile creatures, aren’t we? 😉)

Anyone else care to share a creative solution?!

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15 thoughts on “creativity vs. ennui”

  1. Sorry to be so long answering this. Thank you for your comment! I was rather surprised at the juxtaposition myself, but all the needle arts require a great many skill sets that prove quite useful in other situations.

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  2. Nice analogy. Never thought I’d see a post with a combination of New Tricks and crochet – the beauty of the ‘discover’ page. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. On reflection about the way I learned to knit socks a couple of years ago, I bought a (very ambitious) book, clicked on the first YouTube video I found, and just dived straight in at the deep end! You may find you prefer different videos for each aspect, ie for knitting in the round, cuff-down versus toe-up, turning the heel etc. Don’t let all that put you off though as sock knitting is the most addictive form of knitting I have come across in over forty years!

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  4. Oh! Meant to ask about learning to knit plain socks. Any tutorial you could recommend? I love the thickness of the couple pair of RTW wool socks I own & thought I might try making some. Thanks for your comment & any suggestions! (Your deep turquoise yarn is GAWJUS!!!)

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  5. THANK you for that post and your comment! Have edited my post accordingly.
    In my case the frogging was uneventful, aside from realizing the original yarn had been 2 threads, one thicker and one thinner. Which also made me wonder if they had been originally sort of twisted together.
    Wasn’t until I got to the fringe that I really worried. Six inches or so that crinkled into three was disconcerting. Should I dunk it all, dry it, then fringe?
    I decided to count out & pull each group straight while attaching the fringe and that went fairly well. Didn’t fancy trying to lay out a gazillion short strands to dry.
    Goodness, what some folk will find to recycle!

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  6. As I’ve never knitted a sweater, top down or otherwise, I cannot imagine such a task. Good for you for not binning good yarn. A solution may yet present itself!

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  7. My most recent experience of frogging was not a good one as I started to unravel a cardigan I made but never wore and forgot it was a top down knit. Much cursing, scissor use and many knots later, I put it in a bag to tackle another day – maybe! Thanks for the tip you passed on about washing out the kinks – if I ever get that far, I’ll definitely try it.

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  8. I did post about frogging and washing. In my case I had to wash the yarn before I reknit it because it was too kinky to knit with. Lately I’ve discovered that there are women here who specialize in buying old sweaters from thrift shops, frogging them, and knitting baby wear to donate to hospitals. The things people do …. Your scarf looks nice. I don’t know how to crochet yet.

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  9. Well done on undoing your scarf and remaking, I have to admit I wouldn’t have the patience, it would have gone in the bin, or if it was lucky, the charity shop!! We like watching New Tricks too 🙂

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