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Maker Spotlight on CeCe

Written by Olga Paskalenko

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Posted on June 03 2022

One of the most rewarding things that we've been lucky enough to experience in our journey as Thread & Maple, is connecting with so many talented makers in the fiber arts community. There is nothing like seeing our creations play a supporting role in all the beautiful needlecraft projects in the hands of knitwear designers, indie dyers, test knitters, teachers and fiber enthusiasts all over the world. We feel deeply grateful for the opportunity to be part of your creative process, your commitment to self-care, your artistic expression.

While perusing all the beautiful photos that you've all shared using our items while creating, we had this concept of a "Maker Spotlight". The idea is to connect with a maker who really inspires us and share their story with the community.

The first person who came to mind is CeCe @stitch.witch.craft, who has taken our Needle Binder along on her crafting journey in the recent debut of her video series "Letters".

This is a small excerpt of her absolutely stunning videography and storytelling.

 

 

 

She has mastered the art of communicating the calm, connection and appreciation that stems from the creative process. Take a look for yourself on her YouTube channel Stitch Witch Craft


We will be featuring CeCe’s selected works throughout the month of June, along with a Q&A where she will share her story.

During the month of June, we will be sharing CeCe’s answers to some questions on her creative process to provide some advice and inspiration for fellow makers in the fiber arts community :)


Q1: What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out on a new project or creative endeavour?

“Focus on what you need and on how you want the creative process to feel.

I often have a specific creative mood I want to dig into (ex. romantic, bold, comforting) and I use that feeling to guide what I cast on. For example, what does a project that feels “romantic” look like? What kind of drape does the fabric have and what kind of yarn do I need to achieve it? Am I looking for the project to feel challenging and engaging as I work through it or do I need something slow and meditative? 

Asking “how do I want it to feel” when I wear a piece and as I make it helps align my creative drive with the project I am working on. It prevents me from feeling as if I am forcing a WIP that isn’t working for me. Be inspired by our broader knitting community but don’t knit something just because it’s new or trendy - knit what you need. “

Q2: What tools are indispensable for you in the art of making?

“To be indispensable (for me) means that a tool minimizes barriers to my creative process. My big three tools are my needles, needle binder, and my yarn swift/winder. Together they decenter feelings like frustration or overwhelm and free up space for joy. 

I knew I needed an upgrade when I realized that most of the knitting frustration I experienced was me fighting my needles - poor quality cords and unreliable connectors took so much joy from the process. I found a set that worked for me and I’ve never looked back. My needle binder is part of why I’ve been able to do that - great needles don’t help much when you can’t keep track of them. My binder keeps everything organized and it is versatile enough that I can pull a page out to take my craft with me wherever I go. I love the confidence it gives me.

Finally, someone once told me I should buy back time where I could afford to and that advice has been pivotal throughout my life. Having a swift and winder helps to protect my limited crafting time. I want to invest my energy in what fulfills me most. Between these three I worry less about “do I have enough time,” “where is that cord I need,” “is my needle disconnecting again” and more about “is this project fulfilling?” Crafting isn’t meant to be easy or perfect but I want my challenges to come from tackling a new technique or design - not my tools.  “

Q3: Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have a favourite trick or hack when brainstorming or ideating your next creative project?

“Nature, always. I love how it is such a contradiction - delicate and strong, subtle and flashy, nurturing and challenging. I want to be as surrounded by nature as I can be and that’s where a lot of my creative drive comes from. 

I’ll watch the sunrise through the trees and think “it’d be so awesome to be wrapped up in this color” or see a fern and then end up at home looking up at lace patterns trying to find one that captures that look. I love the idea that even when I’m stuck indoors I can carry that connection to nature with me. 

But I am also trying to learn to respect the process. My biggest “trick” may seem a bit counterintuitive - but respect the ebbs and flows. With creativity or inspiration to craft - it’s natural that there be lulls at times. The worst thing I’ve found is applying pressure or guilt when you feel like you’re in a rut. We’re not meant to be endless sources of production or art. Let go. Rest periods are normal - and feeling like you’re in a rut is a signal that right now your job isn’t to produce art but to maybe…rest? That inspiration and creativity will come back, I promise. So respect the ebbs and flows.  “

We are deeply touched and thankful for CeCe and all of you who have invited us into your home, your creative nook, your comfort space. ❤️ Thank you and stay tuned for next month's edition of Maker Spotlight!

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