Pumpkin Spice Sweater Knitting

I have no doubt where you live now, You are already deep into the crisp fall weather. Here in Raleigh, It all started this week.

Flip the switch on the gas fireplace and cue pumpkin spice everything. Thank you baby Jebuz, it is finally sweater weather.

If I had been a productive and smart cookie, I would have a stack of new hand knits to unwrap. But alas, I was a total slacker on filling out the wardrobe over the summer. Argh!! I had this idea that over the years I would stop buying commercially made sweaters and began replacing my fading wardrobe with hand knits. HA!! All I seem to have is a fading wardrobe. It is not that I don’t have a long list of sweater WIPS, I just get bored with the the drudgery of the follow through. I know many of you know exactly what I mean. Startitis is actually a thing. And so is the class of patterns called quick knits, with the intentions of shortening that drudgery middle part of making something.

Here’s the thing, the magic of creative ideas are often born during the drudgery of doing the work. Doing the work simple requires you to show up. And fiberista, I have not been showing up for my own knit work. I don’t know about you but the start of fall always feels like a fiber arts new year to me. It renews my knitting love and calls me to remember why I love what I do.

So today firbeista, I am sharing my creative plan not for the greater good of adding my visual language to the conversation. I am straight up wanting some new clothes. So here is what my knitting season is going to look like.

I am not going to start anything new. No, really…nothing new. I have 24+ WIPs. 

I am, however, willing to frog stuff. Because sometime it is better to abandon the project and save the yarn than to soldier through and end up with a sweater you will not wear.

I am going to show up at least 3x a week. Here is a crazy truth…I have always had a hard time wrapping my brain around art time as real work. Yep, this professional artist feels guilty for doing the work that makes me an artist. It is a very deep rooted issue I will always struggle with. But, it is also always something I overcome thanks to lots of practice. Wash rinse repeat. So yeah, routines are pretty vital.

I am also stopping there with the guidelines. Any more rules or promises to myself will overcomplicate this. I am hoping to get at least 2 new sweaters out of this, but 3 would be amazing. And it would also be amazing if I promised to vlog about it, but that might be more than I am ready to bite off right now.

What are you working on? Leave me some comment love below.


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Vlog 10.08.2017: A peek inside my art tools bag

I See You: a love letter to artists facing self doubt

Nothing will kill art faster than self doubt.

And unless you are certifiable narcissist, every single artist goes through periods of self doubt. It is normal. Overcoming it makes us better artists.

But, today fiberista, I want to acknowledge and validate your self doubt with loving tenderness. It is real and it is your right to process through all those feelings no matter what triggered it, what life experiences formed it, and how long you will carry it. I also want to see you move through self doubt, gathering all the gifts (yes, gifts) that it has waiting for you.

Art is important. It is your visual language, and your voice is important.

Art is a gift not just to the artist but to those who have the honor of seeing their work whether they resonate that piece or hate it.

Art sparks inspiration in other artists. I don’t mean idea stealing kind of inspiration, Art inspires others to find their own voice.

Self doubt calls you to push through it by finding new directions and inspirations. It asks us to change our art until our heart skips a beat and we bravely stand behind our work.

Self doubt also calls us to give up on art. It asks us if we really have the passion to continue. What would you do if you were not creating? Are you brave enough to try new ideas, fail, get back up and try again?

Self doubt is a fucking bully.

Fiberista, no matter where you are in your journey, you are exactly where you are meant to be. You are an artist despite your doubts, because you participate in finding that voice.

I see you.

I see your bravery. And I can’t wait to see your evolution.

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Creative ADD

Years ago, before my fiber art obsession, when I was a graphic designer, I loved to take art classes. I took so many community art classes. Batik, Metalsmithing, Raku, Lampwork. I loved to dive into learning ways to create. Despite creating all day for commercial purposes…no…probably because I created all day for someone else…I would carve out precious time to learn new methods of making stuff. Most of the mediums were not something I found pursuing too far beyond the classes. But I don’t think I ever hated any of the techniques I learned in any of those classes. Often It was simply I did not have the space or resources to pursue the mediums outside of class. Like ceramic required dropping  a couple hundred a month for share in a studio, or a few thousand on major equipment. And finding homes with studio space at that time was just not a priority.

I would also go to art openings. I had such admiration for those artists. I wished that I, too, was in that place of selling my art (well…outside of logos, ads and brochures) After bemoaning my longing to be like them to a dear friend, she pointed out that my creative ADD was not doing me any favors. And she was right… I was not diving deeper into a body of work. I needed to pick one. At that time, I had just learned how to knit. That was the  beginning of becoming a fiber artist. All because I was able and ready to dive deeper into growing that medium. And it is true, the way to really grow a body of work and a style is to make a whole lot of the same thing each time changing what isn’t working, adding new ideas in slow baby steps.

But sometimes that linear focus can lead to some serious creative blocks. There have been times when I feel I have reached a dead end in the direction of my work. It happens to all artists at some point. I believe this is where crafting ADD is a good thing.

Here’s the thing, your creative voice is a constant. You subconscious sometimes needs a different medium to get the flow going again. And I do not mean you need to go who hog and decide you are now a metalsmith or sculptor. It can be as simple as art journaling (my personal fave) or maybe adding some clay headers to your weaving. Or maybe it is taking you favorite sweater and creating an abstract painting of it. What this does is jog you brain in a new direction. You do not need to make a masterpiece. You just need to create a few new neuro pathways.

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Letting go of WIP guilt

Fiberista, I have a feeling you can relate. You are not loving any of the projects you have on hand. It doesn’t matter how many WIPs you have, everyone has a threshold of WIPS that is too embarrassing. For some, they will only work one at a time (Rare I know, how in the hell do they do it) or like me it can be  much higher…like 24.

Here’s the thing… that guilt can totally kill your creative mojo. If that guilt is keeping you from actually doing the creative work, then it is not serving you AT ALL. Feeling meh about a project might actually be your right brain telling you you are on the wrong path. Not all projects are meant to be finished. If you are not loving working on something…chances are you will not wear it either so all that time and material will be wasted.

So, today fiberista… I give you permission to let go of what you are on the fence about. If starting a new project means you keep making art the HELL YES… lean into the startitis and get clearer on what you’ve.

Wanna see some of the WIPs I let go of…there are a lot of them…

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About UrbanGypZ

Fiber artist Stacey Budge-Kamison AKA UrbanGypZ lives and works in Cary NC. She can also be found knitting in public, hammering out her latest e-course at local cafés and spinning yarns in her booth at her favorite arts festivals. A designer at heart, Stacey has decided that her mission is to help fellow knitters, crocheters, weavers and felters embrace their own style and creativity by exploring fiber art as it is a part of their everyday life and helping them embrace the title of artist no matter where they are in their journey.

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