Thursday, March 30, 2006
Garter Stitch, that staple of knitters everywhere, makes a lovely piece of fabric. Except that it's mind-numbingly boring to do!! I'm working on a garter-stitch vest. You slip the first stitch of every row as if you're purling and then you knit. And knit. And knit. The panels for the vest are 36" each. There are two. Then you pick up the stitches for the bottom band. I'm using Wool-Ease (Lion Brand) in an oatmeal and a mushroom color. They will make up a nice vest that I can wear with anything. But it's mind-numbingly boring! This is my first "real" knitting project...my first project that will get me out of "scarf school" and promote me from a "facecloth freshman" to a "sweater sophomore." So I keep at it. Why does a person knit? Well, aside from its current popularity in the Hollywood set, I knit because it is very meditative. Kind of like a rosary but using yarn. It requires a certain level of concentration, much like yoga. And like yoga, once you find your rhythym, you breathe into the knitting. I can lose myself in needlework. Then, when the project is completed, I have a wonderful piece of something I have created myself. Whether for my home or for others, it's a tangible part of me that I have created - it can't be purchased, at least how I've created it. Lately, it seems like everything is available to us. Everything but time. TIME spent in the needlearts is time given back to yourself. It's a gift. It's a gift you give even if you don't give the project away. Because you've invested the time. I'm watching Farenheit 451. It's a scary movie about a "future" society that has banned books. The characters live sterile lives in a society that seems uninterested in personal accomplishment or artistry. In our increasingly connected, yet oddly disconnected world, knitting and other needlearts connect me to the women who taught me. They connect me, via the Internet, to other members of the "Secret Society of Fiber Fondlers" (you can see us at any craft store, petting the yarn or stroking the embroidery floss). They even connect me to people "live and in person" when I pull out my knitting in public. Invariably, someone asks if it's hard. I tell them no. And they watch me. And maybe, they get the idea that they can do it. And maybe they do. But even if they don't, they can still see the art is being practiced.