Tag Archives: Edmund de Waal

Creativity and Knitted Pigs

Sometimes I get obsessively fixed on a ‘thing’ and can’t let it go until it has worked itself out. It’s a WONDERFUL feeling! There have been the doodle weaves, (actually loads of different sorts of doodling), and the machine embroidered crazy patchwork, mandala making, knitted wigs, and daisies to name but a few …..

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I am in the delicious grip of another obsession right now. AND I have felt a low level of inner critic muttering away at me, saying that these obsessions are somehow wrong – like an addiction and should be avoided or at least kept under control. Where has that inner critic come from? Was it school? Or was it in my childhood? Being the eldest of 4, I was expected to help, not sit in my room all day reading or drawing – getting lost in a story or the endless variations one could create with a Spirograph – my most treasured Christmas present, and first experience of a creative obsession.

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I am currently obsessed by knitting little cream coloured pigs – ??/@*! – I know!

I went to a friend’s for lunch and she showed me some cute pottery pigs made by a local artist, Rose Swann, who, by the way also runs a delightful looking B+B.

My friend likes all things white (or cream) – her house is a sunlit haven of whiteness – she also loves cuteness. We sometimes give each other silly presents at Christmas, so …. could I knit a couple of little pigs to join her Rose Swann collection …..

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My toes curl at the horrendous commercialisation of the Winter Holidays and as I knitted the 8th little pig – I was trying to get the pattern right –  I had the idea to give each of my 8 grandchildren (aged 1 – 6) a little white pig for Christmas. My thought is that as the years go by,  I will make the same thing for each of the 8, every Christmas. This will link them together, link them to me and link each year. I hope to take a picture of them all together with the gifts so there is a record all those weird presents Granny gave them!

Because I am lucky enough to have so many grandchildren, each item will have to be quite small and quick to make – little white pigs fit the bill – (well we are a farming family, does that make it any less weird, probably not!).

The validity of this obsession grows as the next little pig lines up on the table. As I subtly adjust the pattern, each pig is subtly different, it has its own little character.

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And then I watched a programme about Edmund de Waal.

He makes thousands and thousands of simple straight sided porcelain pots – mainly in white. It might seem a bit ridiculous to relate little knitted pigs to de Waal’s pots but the creative process is definitely related. I feel a kinship in the creative process – hurray!!! Repetition allows for a meditative atmosphere to develop, and in that rich ground other ideas creep in and grow and become – well poetic and meaningful and to me, beautiful!

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Have I gone too far!!?? No! we creatives must celebrate the process and enjoy the fact that other people think we are crazy!

“He who can not hear the music, thinks the dancer is mad”

If you too would like to make some cute little pigs, I’ve put the pattern, with photos to help along the way, in my Etsy shop. £1 for an instant download PDF. (I’d love to see some pictures if you make one)

Are you too in the grip of any creative obsessions?