What a crocheting a cushion taught me about creativity

2014 was a year of exploring and experimenting. Particularly in the last few months, I seem to have started a lot of things.

I started a few different crochet projects. I started Sarah K Peck’s Writers Workshop. I attended a sock making workshop and started knitting a pair of socks. I started work on defining my style. I acquired a keyboard with the intention of learning to play. I’ve put aside a dress I need to alter. I have dozens of half read books on my kindle or piled on the table next to my bed.

What I haven’t been very good at is finishing anything. So for the next few months I’ll be getting shit done: finishing projects, refining my focus and reflecting on what I’ve learnt.

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First thing I’ve finished this month is a crochet cushion that I’ve been working on for as long as I remember – according to Instagram, I was working on it in December 2013. It wasn’t always a cushion: I started it to teach myself how to do a chevron pattern and use up some left over yarn.

This left me with a rectangular piece of crochet that I didn’t know what to do with. So I left it draped over the arm of my sofa for a few months. However, it occurred to me a few weeks back that it might make a nice cushion cover. I added some more rows until it was long enough to wrap round a cushion pad, then I stitched in the ends, folded it over the cushion and started sewing up the edges.

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I wasn’t able to get the edges looking neat, so I decided to make a feature of them with a row of sparkly purple shells. It’s a bit psychedelic, but I’m very happy with the result.

What have a learnt? That it’s okay to play, to do something because it’s interesting and fun and not have an idea where something is going. Or, to quote Paul Jarvis again:

“The process is where the magic happens. Enjoy the beauty of creating, inventing, exploring.”

I love projects that evolve, force you to think more deeply about them and turn into something more beautiful than you could have imagined. And if it doesn’t work, then at least you’ve enjoyed the process. Doing something for the end result just sucks all the fun out of it, as I wrote about here.

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