My friend Raya is intensely, incredibly creative. She astounds me with her proficiency, range, imagination and sheer output. Those are all great qualities for a fiction writer, but that’s not her passion.
Raya’s an expert knitter.
She has started her own business, Blissful Knits & Dyeworks. Anybody interested in starting their own company, or working from home on a creative endeavor, could learn from Raya’s success. She loves what she does. She works hard. Really, really hard. And whenever she has an idea, she doesn’t worry about how it might turn out. She just does it.
For instance, I remember one day she mentioned off-hand that she wanted to see what it was like to dye yarn. She bought yarn. She bought dye. And she tried. Even her first efforts were gorgeous, but my point is that she took the desire to learn a new skill to the next level and is now a successful indie dyer. Her colorways are incredibly luscious, really eye-catching and saturated with the love she’s put into her craft.
When she’s not dying, Raya knits like crazy, whipping out baby longies, hats, vests and sweaters with seemingly effortless skill. Her latest venture has been writing her own patterns. As a knitter, I’m a religious pattern-follower; Raya is a pattern-maker. That’s how she likes to knit, by making it up, by letting her hands and mind work in synch to build a pattern as she goes along. Now she’s started recording her own designs so others can do them. In fact, her pattern Cascade is now up in the winter 2010 Petite Purls, a wonderful online knitting magazine featuring patterns for kids. She also has seven patterns on Ravelry, where her username is Photuris. If you’re a knitter, check her work out. And feel free to say wow out loud, even if nobody’s around to hear you.
Raya fully embraces any project she starts. And she’s fearless in trying new things. She doesn’t bog herself down with worrying about how something might turn out. She just knits it. Or dyes it. Or writes the pattern.
We can all learn from that kind of creative courage.