Cushion Crochet Along

I’m so delighted to shout about my first Cushion CAL!!

I have never run a Crochet Along so it’s all very new and exciting. I can assure you it will be fun and I even have prizes at the end!!

Let me first tell you everything about it and how to take part.

Timetable:

The CAL will start on Saturday 5th October and run over 8 weeks.

There are three types of squares in the CAL. A new square will be released every 2 weeks:

5th October – Square 1 – Colourwork

19th October – Square 2 – Popcorn

2nd November – Square 3 – Cable

16th November – Making up and finishing

30th November – Prize draw

Patterns:

The patterns are free and include written instructions, charts and picture tutorials where necessary, I have also created few videos. All the photos will be included in the pattern on the last pages so no need to print them out. There will be links to video whichever are applicable to a pattern.

Please note – Patterns are written using UK terminology with US conversions given in brackets in abbreviation list.

Yarn:

The yarn I have used is West Yorkshire Spinners Colour Lab DK – you can see the shades here – https://www.deramores.com/products/west-yorkshire-spinners-colourlab-dk?variant=21474764718162

The lovely people at Deramores have also created yarn packs with the colours I have used. They yarn is at 10% off at the moment so perfect time to get it. For individual colours see link above. You can find the yarn packs here –  https://www.deramores.com/products/cushion-cal-colour-pack-by-anna-nikipirowicz-in-west-yorkshire-spinners-colourlab

Any DK will be fine, you will use around 150m of each colour.

You will need 3 colours 1 ball of each, if you would like to have squares on both side of cushion instead of fabric you will need 6 balls or approx 300 m of each colour.

Finished size:

Completed cushion measures 50 x 50 cm, however, that is if tension is obtained.  If you would like a smaller or bigger cushion adjust your hook size or yarn thickness.

Hook and additional materials:

4.50mm (US 7) or size needed to obtain tension.

I recommend waiting until all the squares are joined before getting all the additional materials below.

The cushion is lined and backed with fabric. The reason I have backed the cushion is because the popcorn squares have quite big spaces in the corners and I love how the colour of the fabric peeps through. Wait before getting the fabric until the squares are joined, so you can measure it properly and get the right amount.

For my cushions I have used 55 x 55 cm of fabric, that has allowed me 2.50 cm on each side for seam allowance.

If you don’t want to make your own cushion cover, just sew the joined squares onto already made cushion cover.   

41 cm zip or size needed for your cushion cover. Get zip few cm shorter than your cushion cover so it has few cm of space on either side.

55 x 55 cm cushion pad – again, get the cushion pad after you have the exact measurements of finished cover. I get 5 cm large pad as I like the cushion to be nice and plump.

Taking part:

The pattern will be available from 9am BGT

If you sign up to my newsletter the pattern will be emailed a day earlier. You will also get a code for 10% off, I have a 20% promotion on my website as well right now, until 6th October.

To sign up to the newsletter, go to my website – https://moochka.co.uk/

The patterns will be available through:

My website – https://moochka.co.uk/

Ravelry – https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cushion-cal

I have also opened a Ravley group, If you like, please join here – https://www.ravelry.com/groups/anna-nikipirowicz

The group will be a wonderful place to share your progress, chat and ask any questions.

If you prefer you can also share your progress in the comments in this blog,

Or just use my email to ask any questions or show your finished cushion cover on info@moochka.co.uk

To enter the prize draw please post pictures of your finished cushion on the Ravelry group, in comments on this blog or email them to me.

I have talked a bit about the cushion in my podcast, which I host with my friend Annette – Two Peas in a Woolly Pod: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x9ZUYtWAlw&t=174s

Hope you all can take part and I can’t wait to see your squares 🙂

Brick is ready 🙂

Anna x

Tassels – bag charm tutorial

 Autumn is in the air which fills me with joy 🍂

In celebration, I’m getting my warmer dresses out and even treated myself to new one from Lindy Bop. But the best thing about autumn is… I can wear my woolies again!!! Yeeeey!! Shawls, cardigan and jumpers it’s all coming out to play again!!

However, one Summer accessory I’m refusing to give up just yet is my straw bag. I love her, she’s been my constant companion for the past few months and I’m not shutting her in the wardrobe yet. What I’ve decided to do is to jazz her up a bit and make her autumn ready.

The best way to dress up any bag is with a charm. My first thought was pompoms, but I’ve been slightly obsessed with them and now everything is covered in pompoms. The other easily made decoration is tassels, and they have been everywhere this Summer, from earrings to cushions we have been loving tassels.

My favourite ones are the stacked ones with each tassel being different colour, I’ve seen some in gradient effect, and they are just lush. Of course, I wanted to have a go at making them by self. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right colours in my stash to create a gradient effect but nice autumnal ones are just great.

They are quite quick and easy to make; all you need is:

  • Your chosen yarns, the yarn with the lovelies colours I had in my stash was Rowan Cotton Glacé, but any yarn will do
  • Piece of cardboard 5cm wide and 7cm high
  • Sharp scissors
  • Charm holder, I used round bag rings by Prym, but any clip that goes around the handle and can fit your tassels will be just perfect, or just use yarn to tie them
  • Tapestry needle
  • Comp (optional)

I didn’t want my tassels to be too long and settles on approx. 7cm, if you would like them taller just cut the piece of cardboard longer in length.

Steps 1 and 2: Wrap yarn around the longer length of rectangle in the centre until nice and slightly full, don’t wrap too much. Cut the yarn.

Steps 3 and 4: Thread tapestry needle with 25cm of yarn and wrap around once and tie to top of tassel snugly. Remove needle, leaving tie to attach to work.

Steps 5 and 6: Ease the tassel gently from the cardboard.

Steps 7 and 8: Cut another 25 cm of yarn and wrap snugly around tassel once, near the top, tie a knot, then wrap once more and tie a knot, using the tapestry needle bury the ends inside the tassel.

Steps 9 and 10: Cut bottom ends of tassel and trim evenly.

Step 11: Make four more tassels in different colours.

Steps 12 and 13: Choose which colour you would like at the bottom and feed the top end of that tassel through the centre of tassel to be above.

Steps 14 and 15: Repeat with the other end, making sure that both ends come through on either side of the tie on the tassel above. Tie both ends in a knot and trim.

Step 16: Repeat steps 12 to 15 with the other tassels, stacking them on top of each other. When you stack your last tassel, do not cut the ends after tying them in a knot, feed them through tapestry needle and bury them inside the tassel. DO NOT cut the ends of top tassel.

Step 17 and 18 (Optional): I like the tassels to be a bit shaggy and worn, to achieve this just comb your tassels with a comp until they look nicely messy, trim any fluff. If you would like your tassels to stay smooth please omit this step.

Steps 19 and 20: Using the ends of the top tassel make few chains and wrap the ends twice around the ring clip, tie in a knot and weave in the ends down the chains and tassel.

Repeat all steps and make two more charms with two tassels each and attach to ring clip at different lengths.

Voilà, your gorgeous charms are ready 🙂

Anna xx

Little crochet trees


Time for another Chrismassy make.

I have designed these little trees for one of my classes at John Lewis Oxford Street. They are a great little project to try out tapestry crochet, which is very addictive.

Not only are they fun but also very quick to make, once you get into swing of things you will be able to make one in 45 minutes.

They make fantastic decorations for your tree and around the house. You can also make them into cat toys, just omit the stick, start with magic loop and include catnip in stuffing.  

The tutorial on how to work in tapestry crochet is below. I have written the instruction for the colour changes instead of a chart as the project is quite small so it’s not too overwhelming to follow the written instructions. 

Pattern notes 
  • Pattern is written using UK terminology with US conversion given in abbreviation list.

  • The pattern is worked in continues spiral, which means you will not ss to join round or ch 1 at the beginning of rnd, place marker to denote the beginning of rnd. 
  • From rnd 4 you will work in back loop of every st on every rnd. 
 

Materials

Small amounts of 2 colours of DK yarns: colour A – pine, colour B – white

I have used Ricorumi in Fir Green 050 (A) and Cream 002 (B)

3mm crochet hook

Toy stuffing

Piece of garden twig approximately 9 cm in length

1 x lockable marker

Finished size

One finished tree measures approximately 7 cm in height and 12.5 cm around the biggest part.

Tension

5 st and 5 rnds to 2.5 cm square measured over dc worked in back loop of every st.

Abbreviations

Ch – chain

Dc (US sc) – double crochet (US single crochet)

Dc2tog (US sc2tog) – double crochet two stitches together

Rnd(s) – round(s)

RS – right side

Ss – slip stitch

St(s) – stitch(es)

WS – wrong side

Snowy chevron and plain colour

With colour A make 4 ch, ss to first ch to form a ring.

Rnd 1: ch 1, 8 dc in ring, ss to first dc.

Rnd 2: ch 1, 2 dc in every st to end, ss to first dc. (16 sts)

Rnd 3: ch 1, * 2 dc in next st, 1 dc in next st, rep from * to end, ss to first dc. (24 sts)

You will now work in spiral and in the back loop of every stitch only.

Rnds 4 to 6: 1 dc in every st to end.

Rnd 7: [dc2tog, 1 dc in next 3 sts] 4 times, 1 dc in next 4 sts. (20 sts)

Rnd 8: 1 dc in every st to end.

Now you will work using the tapestry technique, join yarn B at the beg of next rnd and carry it with you all the way through a rnd using when needed.

If you are making a one colour tree just work the next two rnds: 1 dc in every st to end.

Rnd 9: with A – 1 dc in next 2 sts, [with B – 1 dc in next st, with A – 1 dc in next 3 sts] 4 times, with B – 1 dc in next st, with A – 1 dc in last st.

Rnd 10: [with A – 1 dc in next st, with B – 1 dc in next 3 sts] 5 times.

Brake off yarn A and continue only in yarn B.

Rnd 11: [dc2tog, 1 dc in next 2 sts] 5 times. (15 sts)

Rnd 12 and 13: 1 dc in every st to end.

Insert the garden stick in the middle of foundation ring (see below), start stuffing the tree around the stick, making sure that the shape is nicely rounded.

Rnd 14: [dc2tog, 1 dc in next st] 5 times. (10 sts)

Stuff the tree a little more, but do not overstuff.

Rnd 15: [dc2tog] 5 times. (5 sts)

Break off yarn, leaving approximately 10 cm tail, using tapestry needle feed the yarn through the stitches of opening, pull tight to close opening.

Weave in all end.

Deep snow

Work as given for snowy chevron to rnd 5.

Rnd 6: [with A – 1 dc in next 11 sts, with B – 1 dc in next st] twice.

Rnd 7: with A – dc2tog, 1 dc in next 3 sts, dc2tog, 1 dc in next 3 sts, with B – dc2 tog, 1 dc in next st, with A – 1 dc in next 2 sts, dc2tog, 1 dc in next 5 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 2 sts. (20 sts)

Rnd 8: with B – 1 dc in next st, with A – 1 dc in next 6 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 4 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 6 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 3 sts.

Rnd 9: with B – 1 dc in next 2 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 4 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 6 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 4 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 4 sts.

Rnd 10: with B – 1 dc in next 3 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 2 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 8 sts, with A – 1 dc in next 2 sts, with B – 1 dc in next 5 sts.

Brake off colour A and continue only in colour B.

Starting with rnd 11, work the rest of rnds as given for snowy chevron. 

Techniques

  • To get a neat colour change we need to change colours one stitch before: For example; if the third stitch needs to be a different colour, change yarns on the second stitch. Work to one stitch before colour change, stop when you have two loops on hook.

  • Drop colour A and finish the stitch with colour B.

  • We need to work one st in colour B and the following sts are in A – work next st in colour B but stop when you have two loops on hook, drop colour B and finish the stitch with colour A.

Continue changing colour as described in the last 3 steps.

Tip – To avoid yarns twisting, make sure you keep your colour B to your right and colour A to your left.

Carrying yarns

Usually when working in tapestry crochet you carry the yarn not in in between the stitch, however when working in the round I prefer to carry it inside the work and catch the yarn every third stitch when not in use.

  • When inserting hook to work dc make sure that the yarn to be stranded is placed on top of the hook at the back of work.

  • Work dc as normal, enclosing the strand in the stitch. Continue repeating the last 2 steps, enclosing the yarn not in use every third stitch.

Stuffing the tree

Insert the garden stick through the foundation ring and stuff the tree around the stick, that way the tree will have a nice rounded shape. 
Happy Crocheting, 

Anna x

Pompom Christmas pudding

Last Monday my lovely friend Karen showed me how to make pompom Christmas puddings and I have been addiceted to making them. They are super simple to make, fun and look great as a garland, gift tags or just hanging on your tree. 
I’ve added a little holly leaves to the top just for added charm but it is not necessary so don’t worry if you can’t crochet, just a pompom pudding will look great. 

To make your pudding, you will need:

  • Pompom maker – I’m using one by Clover which produces 4.5 cm pompom in diamteter. If you do not have a pompom maker just cut one out of cardboard, for tutorial follow the link – https://www.redtedart.com/how-to-make-a-yarn-pom-pom-with-cardboard-discs/
  • Oddments of yarn in cream or light grey or white and burgundy or brown – I’m using Rowan Alpaca Cotton DK as it’s lovely and fluffy and I had remaines of balls left, not enough to make anything else.  
  • Sharp little scissors 
  • Tapestry needle 

For holly leaf:

  • 3 mm crochet hook
  • Oddments of green DK yarn 

Let’s make a pudding

  • Open up one half of the pompom maker and wind the burgundy yarn around, when the half is full, cut off the yarn.
  • Close the half of pompom maker and open up the empty half.
  • Wind the grey yarn around it so that 2/3 of it are filled, cut off the yarn and finish filling up the second half with burgundy yarn, that way the icing of the pudding will cover just the top and not form a full half of the pudding.
  • When filled, cut off yarn and close the second half. 
  • Using scissors cut aroud the wound yarn.
  • Cut approximately 50 cm of yarn and fold in half, tie this length of yarn around the pompom maker, in the ridge, making sure that the knot is in the middle of the icing part, so that the pudding hangs in the right position.
  • Seperate the pompom maker to reveal a gorgeous pompom. 
  • Trim around so it looks neat and even, but DO NOT cut off the lengths of yarn used to tie the pompom together. 
  • Knot the two ends of yarn together to form a loop. 


Leaf 

Please note the pattern is written using UK terminology, US conversions are given in brackets in abbreviation list.

Abbreviations:
dc (US sc) – double crochet (US single crochet)
ch – chain
htr (US hdc) – half treble (US hald double crochet)
picot – ch 2, sl st to first of these ch. 
sl st – slip stitch
st(s) – stitch(es)

Using green yarn make 5 ch. 
Round 1: 1 dc in second ch from hook, [1 htr, picot] all in next st, 1 dc in next st, [2 htr, picot, 1 htr] all in next st, working on the other side of foundation ch, 1 dc in next st, [1 htr, picot] all in next st, 1 dc in last st, sl st to first dc. 
Fasten off, leafing a tail off 15 cm 

  • Join two leaves together by sewing. Weave in the begining tails. 
  • Thread the long end tails of both leaves through the centre of the pompom.
  • Tie them together to secure the leaves in place. 

If you are making just one leaf to go on your pudding, make sure you leave the beginning tail long as well, feed both ends through the centre of pompom and tie to secure.  



 

Voilà!! Your gorgeous pompom pudding is ready. 

I made so many of them to gift on a present and to make into a graland. 
The garland one looks very effective on my shelf. 
To make one – just crochet a long length of chains using the burgundy yarn used for the pudding and 3 mm hook. Feed as many puddings through their loops as you like and hang wherever you wish. 

Happy making, 

Anna xx

Birdie brooch

Last week I had the pleasure of taking over the Lovecrochet Instagram account. It was huge fun and lovely meeting so many new makers. The biggest thank you to LoveCrochet for inviting me.

I created a little bye bye gift to say thank you to all those that said hello and joined me at the LoveCrochet Instagram. I posted pattern for this brooch at the end of my takeover day, but here it is again 🙂
This birdie is to get you ready for warmer days. I love winter, especially the white fluffy stuff but I can’t help and dream of Spring.
The little birdie brooch is perfect little addition to your favourite cardigan or jackets…. Of course, you don’t have to wait until Spring, get crocheting now to wear it as an appliqué or brooch on your hat or scarf.

To make this lovely little bird you will need: two colours of any DK yarn, I have used Paintbox Cotton DK
3.5mm (US E/4) crochet hook
Tapestry needle
Few lengths of thinner yarn in different colours.  
 

Please note I’m using UK terms, US terms are given in brackets in abbreviation list. 
Abbreviations
Ch – chain
Dc (US sc) – double crochet
Htr (US hdc) – half treble
Tr (US dc) –treble
Sl st – slip stitch
St(s) – stitch(es)
Bird
Work 6 dc into adjustable ring, enclosing the tail as you work, sl st to first dc and pull tight on the tail to close up opening.
Round 1: ch 1, 2 dc into ever st to end, join with sl st to first st. (12 sts)
Round 2: ch 1, 1 dc into next 4 st, 2 htr into next st, 1 tr into next st, 2 tr into next st, ch 3, sl st in the base of last tr, 1 dc into next 2 st, [2 htr into next st] twice, ch 2, sl st in top of last htr, join round with sl st to first st. Fasten off
Wing
Make 8 ch.
Row 1: 1 tr into 4th ch from hook, 1 tr in next ch, 1 htr in next ch, 1 dc in next ch. Fasten off.
Attach wing to the middle of bird, so it covers the centre. I have tied few strands of fluffy yarns held together to the tail part, just to add a pit of colour and play. 
Happy crocheting 
Anna xx

Whatcha making kiddo? – Tabula Rasa guest post by Justyna Lorkowska


Today’s guest post on Tabula Rasa comes from the one and only Justyna Lorkowska aka Lete’s Knit.

Justyna is an overall designer extraordinaire, every single one of her shawls is to die for. She excites with her designs, they are stunning with gorgeous colour combinations, they evoke urgency….the need to cast on every single design is unbearable, and if that wasn’t enough, she is also a fellow Pole so you gotta love her. I adore hearing my name in the Polish way, Ania 😊.

I have been admirer of Justyna’s work for a very long time and when I was approached to contribute to her husband’s, Marcin (Martin’s Lab), Stillness Collection, as you can imagine I jumped at the chance. De Anima shawl was my contribution and it was a pleasure working on her using Marcin’s amazing yarns. 

Justyna also released two collections called TabulaRasa Naturals and recently Tabula Rasa Speckles, so who better to talk about the subject……….
Some time ago Ania asked me to write a guest blog post. At that time I was in a shop trying to pick the entrance door and running around my 6-year-old daughter who was sure to hurt herself in a place full of tools, tiles, doors and other building equipment. Ah, the “highlights” of a knitting designer’s life 😉 (To tell you the truth, this life is pretty boring: the same chores as everyone else, with some deadline knitting and almost no knitting just for the sake of it… and taxes to pay just like others). Anyway, I was sort of busy in the shop, but when a friend asks you a favor, you say yes. So I did.
After some time when I was supposed to write the actual post, I had no idea what to say. “Tabula rasa”…. “Tabula rasa”… scratch on the head… Well, I did name my collection like that – after all it sounds inspirational and catchy 😉 Also Ania’s beautiful shawl from “Stillness Collection” is called “De Anima” after the treatise of Aristotle, in which the concept of Tabula Rasa in Western philosophy originated (btw, that’s one of the most gorgeous crochet shawls I’ve seen and I really saw it in person). Finally, I do know what “tabula rasa” means (blank page, right? 😉), but writing a whole blog post explaining if I think we are creative blank pages… oh man.
I was never planning to become a knitting designer – it sort of happened organically. I just really love making things with sticks and string. However, being one of those “knit-in-public” knitters I get asked many questions by lots of people, I mean lots. And it’s not only questions. A lot of “muggles” just chat to me and start talking about their crafting experiences. They mostly describe their failures and end up saying “I could not knit like you”. 
My favorite story dates about 2 years back to a summer holiday I was spending with my kids at my lovely mother-in-law’s. She’s not a knitter or a crafter of any kind, but loves listening to me when I describe what I’m making, when I talk about yarns (she loves caking yarn for me) and she’s super proud when I make something for her. She has a bunch of friends in the neighborhood so almost every time when we looked after the kids in the playground, they would come over to us and chat. I was the youngest in the crowd so whenever they saw me with knitting needles, someone would ask “Whatcha making kiddo?” One day I was ploughing through a cardigan (if I remember correctly I was making Dipped cardigan, which is contiguous) when I heard the “whatcha making” question.
“A cardigan”, I replied. “I know it doesn’t look like it but I assure you it’s a cardi. You start your work at the neck line and then increase in certain spots to shape the sleeves, neck and so on”.
She stared at me as if I was casting some magic spells on her.
“Wow, I could never make something like that. I can only knit and purl.”
“Well… you actually could. I also just knit and purl” I said. “With a few simple increases here and there”.
That sums up perfectly all crafty failures. I taught myself to knit when I was a child, observing my mom and trying to copy her needles’ movements. Then I stopped knitting for many years believing, just like the lady, that I could never make more difficult stuff. So wrong! After many years I took it up again, this time determined to learn and create as much as possible. From simple techniques and easy projects to creating my own designs. I can’t even count the number of times I had to rip the projects and the amount of foul language accompanying it (I’m sure many can relate 😉) until one day I started feeling comfortable enough to let my creativity rule. Was I a blank page or was it inborn? I think a little bit of both. My skills were acquired throughout the many years or ripping and starting again, but my innate stubbornness and drive to create helped too.
I believe none of us are born with skills to knit, sew, crochet and we need to learn and master them. Just like kids learning a language, we need to provide ourselves with creative input – beginning with easy stitches and projects to more advanced ones – until we possess so much data it allows us to freely create. So, Dear Reader, knit, make, create until you feel comfortable and your mind if full of ideas! Thomas Edison once said “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration” and I could not agree with him more. Creativity takes hard work, it takes time and it is something that can be mastered. Every stitch gets you closer to perfection and helps you build the vast knowledge of how and why. You can’t expect to be creative by doing nothing. Just like kids who are kept in silence since their birth can’t use proper language, you need stimuli for your brain and hands to become crafty.  
However, just like with anything that requires both success and failure, a lot of people avoid stepping out of their comfort zone to try new things. They would rather become this lady from the story than experience defeat. Personally, I wouldn’t call the hours of unravelling “ugly projects” being unsuccessful. It’s just a step you’re making in the process of becoming better and more creative. Every small mistake teaches you, so if you are learning from them they are meant to be.
Finally, as a former teacher, I can say there’s nothing that drives me coocoo more than someone whining “I can’t do it” 😉

Justyna xx

Are we born creative? – Tabula Rasa guest post by Jem Weston



We are on day four of guest posts on Tabula Rasa and I hope you are enjoying readying everyone’s thoughts as much as I am. 

Today’s guest post is by Jem Weston, who is a knitter, tutor and a pretty dap hand at sewing…. Oh, and a gardener, no ends to her talents!  Jem is also an author of Cute Comfort Knits and The Knitted Nursery Collection, her books are full of intarsia and toy goodness. 

When Anna asked me to write a blog about Tabula Rasa I thought it sounded like a skin condition! But a quick search showed me that it refers to the idea that we are born with no mental content. Our minds are a blank slate.

My initial feeling was that this is false. I believe that our personalities and behaviours are the result of both nature (our genetic make up) and nurture (learned behaviour).

Reading about Tabula Rasa in more detail, I learned that ‘no mental content’ actually refers to knowledge. And this must be correct because how can we be born with knowledge? But how can we ever prove or disprove that we are not?

This then raises the question of what is learned and what is instinctual? And are our instincts actually an innate knowledge of what we need and what endangers us? Does your head hurt yet?!

A lot of these questions are too big for this blog and for my little brain. So I’m going to focus on pondering the first question that popped into my mind when I read about Tabula Rasa.

Are we born creative?
Creativity comes in many forms but I feel that some people have an insatiable urge to ‘make stuff’. This might be an artist who has to paint, a musician who has to compose or a knitter who has to knit. From a young age I always felt the urge to make stuff and felt like I was going a bit nuts if I didn’t create anything for a few days. I remember planning new projects in my dreams…which I still do now if I have the luxury of enough sleep!

I think this is an urge I was born with, but is that the reason I took the path of a degree in fine art and a career in knitting?

Perhaps our genetics determine our learning style which then influences the paths we follow. I’ve always been a visual learner so it’s natural that I moved in the direction of the visual arts, but I also remember finding maths exciting at school when it was taught in a visual way. Other people may learn best by doing an activity, or simply reading about it – but where do these learning styles come from? My feeling is that they are present from an early age, in the same way that I believe we are predisposed to be good at certain things based on our genes.

It’s human nature to want to do something we do well. While our minds might be clean slates at birth, our genetics may gift us with natural talents such as rhythm, an ability to visualise things or a high IQ. It makes sense to nurture our natural talents – but doing what we’re good at isn’t necessarily what we enjoy. You may be born with a beautiful voice but be content just singing in the shower!

Tabula Rasa says that our minds are a blank slate at birth – but our blank slates are all unique. While our experiences may shape how we think and feel, our physiology, leaning style and genetic make-up all affect how we acquire knowledge and learn behaviours.
I think we all have creativity in us… I hope you are lucky enough to have found yours!

Jem xx