The Path of Inspiration

I used to wonder how painters and composers came up with their ideas. I finally figured out that it came to them in bits and pieces and that there is no magical "aha"moment in which the whole composition appears in its entirety.

I thought I would share with you how I came up with my next project - which is still in my head and on the carder.

A week ago, I went into a store has has gorgeous clothes - ranging from simple Mexican style dresses in cotton to elaborate ball gowns. What caught my eye as I walked in was a burgundy/black corset hanging on the rack right at the front door. If it had not been REALLY expensive, I would have bought it on the spot. Never mind the fact that I don't think I would have the nerve to wear it. It is certainly not appropriate for ranch life and my social life, sad to say, is extremely limited! Anyhow, the corset sat in the back of my mind as a very interesting piece of wearable art.
Last night I went to Barnes and Nobles and was talking to my friend, Judy, about ideas for a scarf that I am working on. We decided to hit the magazines and then go to a fabric shop. My idea was to buy a pattern that I could knit to in order to have the scarf fit a certain size.
I have found the knitting magazines to be stifling - always the same styles and yarns, so I check out art, quilt, and altered clothing magazines for ideas on new and different ways to use my fiber. The corset idea was still in my head, so my eye was caught by the current Belle Armoire magazine. They had issued a corset design challenge and there were some stunning corsets featured. Talk about serendipity! There was a knitted one - only OK - one with a crochet corsage on a black background (my favorite) and then a few really funky ones with quilting and surface embellishment. I really needed to hit the fabric store for patterns!
Flipping through pattern books, we were looking for the scarf/collar idea I had (never found the pattern for that) and hit upon some really interesting corset patterns - the one in Simplicity is designed as a "green" pattern, white the ones in Butterwick were based on historical themes. If you look closely at the photo above, you will be able to see the ones that I bought. I instantly had an image in my head on how I can design yarns that will give the effect of the ruffles and edges very simply. I also saw them in natural classic colors, which is why - as soon as I got home - I started carding black kid mohair. It is actually a shade of charcoal, since there is no such thing as black mohair. By the first shearing at six months the kids, who are born with pure black hair have to shades of gray. The carder photo below has a first fleece on it. I am experimenting with adding a pure black Merino to it to see if I can capture the shade that I see in my head.
I will keep you posted on my progress. I have to finish my southwestern freeform vest, while I am spinning for a corset!
As an after thought, looking at one of the patterns that I bought, I came up with an idea that will solve my scarf problem. The beads were purchased as the final embellishment on a felted landscape. Can you see them as the flowers of an ocotillo?