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A messy creative workspace with sketchbook, laptop, knitting, red yarn, a camera and coffee

Get exclusive behind-the-scenes updates in the Workshop blog series

Intriguing behind-the-scenes updates will share more about the creative process at The Crimson Stitchery, in a new monthly series on this blog.

As a creative, it can be tempting to keep hush about all the work that goes on behind-the-scenes and just spring out at the end with a glorious finished project. Like Cinderella being transformed in a moment from rags to ballgown, that Ta-dah! moment is difficult to resist.

The unexpected slowness of creativity

But the thing about creative work – really good, satisfying work – is that it often requires a process of refinement and revision. This process can be incredibly slow and repetitive, or it might simply involve a very gradual accumulation of progress which doesn’t occur in a linear manner.

Mistakes get made and solutions must be dreamt up or engineered. The in-between stage of designing and making is typically messy, takes place late at night, and is not especially photogenic!

Additionally, in collaborative projects when other people are involved – like working with yarn companies, dyers or publications – sometimes you’re required to keep work secret until the release date. As these collaborations often have a long lead time, from several months to over a year, it can sometimes feel like an anti-climax when that release date finally rolls around.

Because of these reasons, I previously tended to wait until design projects are completely finished before sharing them with you in my vlogs. But this can make it a lonely process – and I’d really like to share and document my creative work more fully.

Sharing process and creating community

I absolutely love sharing my creative work. That’s how The Crimson Stitchery first started, after all – with a YouTube vlog (AKA knitting podcast) where I chat informally about what I’m making, mending and thinking!

Anushka, host of YouTube knitting podcast The Crimson Stitchery
The Crimson Stitchery at its core: sitting on a cosy couch with a basket of knitting to share

Sharing my creativity has led to growing an amazing, generous and lively community online. The Internet can be an unpredictable and frankly scary place, and The Crimson Stitchery has always been a respite to that. It’s a comforting place to ask questions, and experiment, and frankly challenge the status quo through the medium of craft!

Yet even as our community has grown, as I’ve moved towards doing more designing, and working on larger projects, I’ve had to be quieter about what I share publicly. It’s been a bit of a double-bind to navigate. The solution has been Patreon.

Over on Patreon, supporters get exclusive behind-the-scenes updates through monthly blog posts. And through chatting on our community Discord server (our private forum), I’m able to share much more of what’s going on with my designs, projects and plans.

This year, I’m relocating these behind-the-scenes updates to this blog.

Workshop: a monthly blog series

I’ll be approaching the new behind-the-scenes series as a simple writing exercise.

Each month, I’ll take a photo of what’s on my desk, and then write about it. That’s it! Through that, you’ll get to see much more of my creative process.

Things you might see include: swatches, sketchbooks, new yarns, plans and postcards, exhibition pamphlets and other ephemera…everything that goes into making The Crimson Stitchery happen.

Red yarn and knitting next to a sketchbook and an empty coffeecup with yarn inside
Yes…that is a piece of yarn at the bottom of my coffee cup. No idea how that got there…

The two types of creative workshop

I’m using the term ‘workshop’ in its double-meaning. A workshop is a place where skilled craftspeople make and repair things. This workshop is the workplace of a carpenter or a mechanic; a basket-maker, weaver or puppet-maker.

Workshop is also a process of refinement, an opportunity to develop work with others: a try-out, a testing-ground. This kind of workshop is from theatre: workshopping a play.

And so, my written Workshop series will show the objects that I am working on or with; and it will discuss what’s going on with them, why and how I’m making things, and what I’m hoping they will be.

Reading the behind-the-scenes updates

You’ll be able to read these posts if you’re a current Patreon supporter. You will be directed to log into your account, then you will be able to read the blog post in full. Simple!

The reason that this series is kept exclusive to Patreon supporters is because it gives me the ability to share projects more freely. I won’t need to worry about things like publication schedules or content planning – I’ll just chat openly about what I’ve been working on.

If you’re not a Patreon supporter, would you consider becoming one? It really makes a big contribution to my work running The Crimson Stitchery, and allows me to continue developing projects and designs, make tutorials, and share them online.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading

Thanks for following along with me and my creative adventures!

-Anushka

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