Thursday, July 9, 2009


Last week I mentioned my new interest in crochet, particularly amigurumi. I've been playing some more with the idea over while creating my own crocheted creatures. I looked at a couple of patterns and was dumbfounded by all the crochet jargon for the instructions. It left me thinking, 'huh'? What I WAS able to decipher was that amigurumi are made by a spiral. So, I searched on YouTube for how to make a crochet spiral. There were some great videos there about how to start a spiral when making a beanie. She also gave some instructions on how to increase and decrease the amount of stitches. Armed with this, I had a go, and here's what I've come up with...

A bunny. (My sister in-law wants me to make one for her, too)

And a Frilled-Neck Lizard. (He's a little hard to make out, given the camouflage, but I thought it wasn't too bad for an early attempt!)

So, whilst making these, I did a lot of thinking about creativity and my own response to tasks, and what I like to see my students doing. I don't generally like to stick to a set pattern - I usually like to add my own twist. I take the main idea, learn the basic skills and then shape it to suit my own interests. And I like to see my students doing this as well. When I set a task, I don't want to see 30 exact replicas - that only shows me that students can apply the things I teach in the one way that I have suggested, and under my supervision. I want to know that students can apply their learning to their unique situations.

I do realise, however, that sometimes we need to practice the 'traditional' way of doing something before we are ready to bend the rules to make it personal. We need to have the opportunity to learn the essentials before we can play with the non-essentials.

As I approach the next unit of work (Textiles and Design), I'm trying to balance things in my mind in order to provide the required amount of guidance paired with the desirable amount of flexiblility. I need to find a way to teach my students to take the creative approach.

When I was a kid, I wanted to get everything 'right' and if I dropped a stitch, I panicked and couldn't figure out how to resolve the issue. I don't know how or when the shift happened. Somewhere along the way I must have realised that there were times when 'my version of right' was actually valued more by my teachers than the set pattern they put before us. I don't think I've actually let my students in on that secret yet!

How do you bring out your inner creativity? What things enable or disable it? How did you learn to let your creativity shine through? What do you like to create? Please share your thoughts below.

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