Finding Inspiration


Katniss Shawl

(Tiffani Velez)


Misty Winter Forest

(Tiffani Velez)

I long ago discovered that yarn colors and textures are beautiful because they remind us the beauty we see in other areas of our lives. The crumbled inside of a firey red autumn leaf, the faded brown of an old barn…These colors inspire something in us and make us feel something, so they end up in yarn shops.


Drought at the Lake

(Tiffani Velez)


Lakeside Throw

(Tiffani Velez)

I often find that, when I’m stuck in a certain area of my writing, I pull out a crochet hook or a set of knitting needles and some sort of yarn that inspires me, and I start working away at that puzzle while the puzzle I’m trying to piece together on the keyboard is still all knotted up.

I read somewhere once that Einstein, when stuck on an equation or some sort of complex scientific question, would pick up his violin and start playing Mozart. Many times, he said, the answer he needed was found when he began to play.

I’ve been a writer for many years. I’ve written for newspapers and magazines, I’ve had a few books published. Generally, I’m not at a loss for stories or plots, but sometimes, I get stuck and there’s something about creating complex knots in knitting or crocheting that unravel the knots in writing or even in life. Sometimes, I pray better when I’m knitting a scarf of repeating patterns out on my porch swing.

Irish Cable Crochet.jpg

Irish Cable Crochet

(Tiffani Velez)


Knots and Twists

(Tiffani Velez)

I’m sure there’s a brain connection to this. I hold a bachelors degree in Cognitive Studies, so I know that when the hands are busy, for many people, the brain is clear to look for objectively at difficult matters, whether they be math problems, plotting issues, or relationship conflicts.


Yarn colors add a whole new layer to this gift; they can actually breathe fresh life into your stale week. You can have the problem you’re working out, but then you have this fresh garden green Irish silk yarn on your lap, and you’re not just working out whatever problem you’re having, you’re reminded that nothing lasts forever, not even winter. This is why I often tell new crocheters or knitters that it’s important to think about the things they love in life–

the color of the house where they care for their children,


Old Door On House in Bethlehem, PA

(Tiffani Velez)

the way the late afternoon sun falls  in calming swaths of green light across  the pine tree grove on their grandmother’s farm,

Grove of Pines

(Tiffani Velez)IMG_20160905_180206.jpg

Juniper Berries

(Tiffani Velez)

the smoothness of the fallen tree branch that sits at the edge of the lake where they spend summer evenings with friends and how it makes them think of reading Moby Dick,


Fallen Log at Lake

(Tiffani Velez)


and use those inspirations, those reminders of the beautiful things and moments in their lives, to find colors for the projects they’re working.


Rose Garden Shawl

(Tiffani Velez)


It’s the working of your hands, the freeing of your mind, and the connection to everyday beauty that makes needle arts, and of the arts, trigger joy in our lives. So, look for these things, My Dear Readers, and your next project will inspire peace in you and others for years to come.


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