Working on new things

  I've only been knitting and crocheting for 2 years at this point.  I'm not really counting the couple of months I had when I was 9, because I couldn't stick to it then.  After taking up the needles and hooks, I have found my art background nudging me quite a bit.  I find myself wanting to design things.  I look at the other designs and patterns, and think, "Well, gee, why can't I figure out how to make this on my own?"
  Part of my issue is a lack of confidence.  I don't think I have enough miles on my needles yet, I suppose.  I have always felt this lack though, even when I was drawing ALL THE TIME (thanks to my Mom, who kept me well supplied in paper, pencils, and whatever else I wanted art-wise).  I always worry what others will think of my art.  Will they like it, hate it, desecrate it (thanks high school *frowny face*), or tell me that my work is remedial and I'll have to begin all over again (thanks college professor who smelled like alcohol and pot).  I have never really handled criticism well, and it colors my faith in my abilities.  It's a hurdle that I will have to overcome, just like every other human being on the planet.  Thank goodness I have a best friend/sister in Shelley, who will tell me if something works or doesn't, in a way that helps me improve.  *hugs Shelley!*
  Another, rather major issue to me, is my inexperience with actually designing things, like clothes, housewares, etc.  It's not something I focused on in college, obviously, since I went for studio art, not fashion design.  After 2 years of following patterns made by other people, I've started to figure out some of the basics.  Yarn weight, needles and hooks, stitch counts and cable needles, are finally, really starting to make sense.  I'm getting ready for the next step, which is a scary jump.
  Yes, I have designed a couple of items on my own, but they were inspired by things I saw in knitting/crochet magazines.  They weren't completely out of my own head, which is what I want to be able to do.  Well, I took a step closer today, by finding a book to help me design.  Knit Notes: Explore, Design, Create is the name of the book, written by Nadine Curtis.  It was simply written (which is good for noobs like me!), and has tons of space for project ideas/sketches/notes.  I've already started a pattern idea for a wrap I want to make. 
  I got this lovely laceweight yarn after my birthday, and had a pattern for a shawl all picked out... and I just couldn't get it to work.  The yarn was right, the needles were correct, but I just couldn't get past the first section.  I started over with a different pattern... same deal.  It's like there was something holding me back from actually creating with this yarn.  (It's really pretty too!)  So, I think it was my Muse sitting there, saying, "Make your OWN pattern with this.  You can do it!"  And then... I find this book at Barnes and Noble, in the craft section I peruse almost every week, hiding in plain sight.  I guess it was serendipity.  :)
  I'm planning on making it a mix of crochet and knit.  I have a really neat idea of creating a central motif in crochet for the back, based on Rose Windows from cathedrals, and then knitting the main body, and ending with smaller versions of the central motif.  Now, just have to do some math, reductions, etc. 
  Oye... what am I getting myself into???  Wish me luck!

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