A tour of Bergere de France
Help me out with the name game

Inspirational thinking and memory

What inspires you to create something? 

With me, it can be so many things that I carry a notebook with me all the time - if I don't I inevitably ended up having an idea and drawing on a scrap of paper or even a ball band - plus I have a section on the Evernote app to gather images that inspire me.

Sometimes it is a view or something else I see that gets the creative juices going, or a shape or a texture. Sometimes I look at a skein of yarn and it tells me what it is going to be. But I am also heavily influenced by memory and familiar sights and images. Or they combine as for this scarf created when a skein of yarn reminded me of beech trees in Belfast when I was younger.

Barnet park Collage

Recently memory and childhood have been strong influences on a series of shawls, wraps and scarf I've been designing.

As a youngster I spent a great deal of time on the north west Irish coast (an area that now forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way route). It is an area of rich shape and colour and beautiful and stupendous views.

Sea shoe sky CollageThese images stick in my mind with the result is I have been playing with textures and stitch patterns to reproduce the the shapes and textures of the landscape - as well as spotting yarns that evoke memories of these places.

Sea shoe sky Collage 2

Some influences will be clearer than others - for example bright turquoise may not seem a fit until you understand this was the colour of the salmon fishermen's ropes and nets.

There is some writing up and some photography to go but soon I will share this very personal project. If for not other reason than I need to at least take pause in this obsession. So I'm setting myself a summer deadline to complete this set.

But that's not to say that other patterns and ideas aren't crowding my head and my notebooks. On a recent return to the north west coast I saw these tulips and then this decor on the dusty entrance to a famous house (with some particular childhood connections) in quick succession - they are now gelling into a plan for some vibrant skeins of nordic yarn that have been the subject of a half-formed idea for a couple of months. 

Sligo tulip Collage

And so the cycle of inspiration continues.