TYING THE KNOT / by Elizabeth Leese

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it certainly built designer. My fashion design mentor (and boss) has told me over and over a contributor to her success and creativity is that she never stops asking questions. 

My first question-- how did you tie that knot? I can still remember leaning over my granny's shoulder as she beaded a pillow donned with my name in mauve embroidery thread. She showed me step-by-step how to thread a needle and tie off the end. It was the day I first picked up a needle and learned to sew. I was so frustrated the first time I pulled my needle through the loop of what should have been a knot and watched the thread straighten out, perfectly knotless. I tried until I got it right and then I never stopped. I then proceeded to bead every surface possible from my pants to the toilet-lid cover. I took apart garments and learned their mechanics. I boldly cut up my clothes and put them back together with flare. All it took to light a fire under me was learning how to tie that knot.

Flash forward and I now have a fashion degree and work in the custom department of a high-end company as an assistant to the head designer. One day while instructing me on how to place embellishment, I watched as my boss tied a knot in one fluid motion of her left hand. How in the world, I thought to myself. Curiosity took over and a few months later I noticed I was mindlessly tying knots with my left hand trying to master a skill I thought I already possessed. 

Although, yes, knots aren't the most fascinating discovery curiosity has led me to make, they have great significance. A knot holds everything together, but whats more, it's your stamp of approval. It's the last thing you do when you finish a garment. Much like marriage, tying the knot means seeing something through until the end. I learned early on by watching my beads dive off my embroidered pillow one by one that if I fail to see a task through until the end, it all falls apart. Which is why I believe curiosity and creativity don't just stop  at brilliant ideas, it's after the follow-through that you make real discoveries.  

-E

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