Admirable Artists, Creative Crafts

“Music To Knit To”


My Musings to Musos

Dear Musician,

I’m enjoying your set. I’m enjoying listening to live music in the tent on the green, which is slightly overwarm and stuffy. I choose to sit here despite the lack of breeze so that I can see you more clearly. When I look up I can see how the sweat is beginning to build on your face, the result of your effort to work the crowd, produce the perfect tune and withstand the heat of the lights. You’re rocking it!

When you look up you see a middle-aged woman with her knitting. You might think I’m not listening and am distracted – and you would be very wrong. Let me explain…

I love crafting. It sets me free and lets my soul fly. It’s the ultimate expression of creativity, of creating something from nothing. Like music. Music produces sound from silence. Great music fills the air with care and attention, setting love free. This is what you’re doing, Musician, and you can tell the audience is appreciative by their robust applause.

Crafting – be it knitting, embroidery, longstitch, weaving or another form of tactile creation – is an exercise in mindfulness, that newfangled word for the old fashioned concept of living in and for the moment. It’s expressive production in the moments of peace, when I can think a little more clearly, breathe a little more deeply, because I’m not rushing. When I’m creating new items to live music, I’m value-adding to my art by weaving in the texture of your tunes… and the results – on the fabric in my hands and on the fabric of my life – are far greater than the individual components. The effect on my wellbeing is indefinably positive, and I want you to know that my art and my mood are infinitely better for being able to craft to the songs which you have laboured over. I thank you for that!

You may not be cognisant of it but we are building shared experiences that fill my heart, mind and soul with the warm memories that I can consciously conjure up on the cold days, when I need to step back to reset my frame of mind. We have been doing this since my 20s.

So when you look out into your audience and see the face framed in increasingly-greying hair with knitting needles in her hands, or an embroidery needle and thread building a picture on a canvas, realise that she – like you – is building beauty from raw materials, integrating beauty on a deeper level through stitching your notes into her craftwork. For me, combining two core loves is synergistic and the product is far more than the sum of its parts.

Take it as a compliment that I am gracing you with my creativity, in my style. You’re playing music to knit to.

This blog is dedicated to all the singer-songwriters whose music I have crafted to, at the folk festivals that move me with their wonder, intimate performances and friendships.

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