27
May
08

Mater Artius Necessitas

Whether attributed to Plato, Persius Flaccus, Jonathan Swift or Victor Hugo, it can truly be said that “Mater artius necessitas” … “necessity is the Mother of Invention”. I have often been asked what inspires me to design. Exactly what, others have inquired, generates my creativity in crochet. Essentially, if I know what I need is lacking, I attempt to fill the void.

Let me explain. Years and years ago, my mother had a pattern for a hooded scarf. Some months before she died, she gave a hooded scarf to a good friend of mine who cherished it because it was just what my friend had been looking for and because it was made by my mother, whom she admired greatly. Some years later, my friend moved from San Francisco to Reno (where her own mother had died). Somewhere between here and there, the moving van carrying all her possessions was hijacked and Toni was left with nothing. Among the items she missed most was that hooded scarf made by my mother.

Fast forward fifteen years. After promising myself over and over again to find someone to teach me to crochet, I finally put nose to grindstone and taught myself. After I felt reasonably comfortable with my abilities, I set about to find a pattern for a hooded scarf. Some of you may remember that I asked the members of one of my online groups regarding such a pattern. I searched the internet. Anything I found just didn’t resemble what my mother had produced. So … Mater artius necessitas … I designed one myself. Trail and error, guess and estimate; I finally was able to produce that hooded scarf I remembered and the first one I made I sent to Toni.

scarf1

Shortly after I offered the pattern for sale, I received a request for a child’s hooded scarf. Well, Miss Scarlett, I don’t know nothin’ ’bout children’s sizes! So I procrastinated, though my requester persisted. Finally, I determined that I could do this and in 24 hours produced a new pattern.

girls4

Similarly, the dearth of men’s patterns has set me about to design a men’s sweater, which after a number of reincarnations, became the Gatsby Sweater and was published last year in the Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch volume by Debbie Stoller.

2227161724_6589688ea0

Many other projects evolved from seeing a need or responding to a request and many many more are the product of my rather eclectic imagination. I have this affinity with the unusual, the untenable, the impossible. But if it can be done, I aim to get it done. Why do I design? Because you have asked me to.

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