First of all, many thanks to Gertie for letting me join the conversation! I'm a long-time reader of the blog, so I am delighted to share my thoughts on the idea of left/right brain approaches and
Though my education was in the humanities, I have always considered myself more left-brained than right-brained. Both statistics and geometry fascinated me in school and I soon grew to appreciate geometry more as I delved deeply into knitting and sewing. I saw the structures and mathematical basis for socks, for example, in the excellent book Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy, as a framework for
Some crafting people have the talent of looking at a picture of a finished project, finding inspiration, and improvising their way to a similar object. They don't rely on someone else's clear, detailed directions to tell them how to make it. I have no such luck! While thinking about Gertie's post, I realized that 90% of the projects I decided to wing (instead of following a pattern) ended up either unfinished or taken apart. Personally, I prefer to let someone else do the initial design legwork, whether it's the pattern writing team at Vogue or an indie designer I've found on Ravelry. I may not be working from scratch or my very own brilliant idea, but I still have creative leeway in choosing colors, materials, and sometimes deviating in a small way from the directions. Even as I see my own left-brain-leaning approaches -- basing artistic decisions on established, analytical constructs and thoroughly reviewed data -- I am unconvinced that being left-brained makes me inevitably less creative or even that left/right tendencies have to be either/or. Still, I do wonder whether others consider relying on someone else's designs to be less impressive than designing projects out of pure brainstorming.
Essentially, I take joy in the architecture that underpins the design and supports the more nebulous creative aspect of handicrafts. I'd love to hear more thoughts from folks who consider themselves left-brained or who are somewhat disinclined to deviate too far from instructions. Can or should we draw value assumptions on following directions versus venturing into uncharted crafting territory?
A resident of Atlanta, Caroline enjoys Buffy the Vampire Slayer, reading too many books, and knitting Aran sweaters during the summer. You can follow her on Twitter and her blog.