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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Knitting Life

I've been thinking about this phrase -- "What feeds your knitting life." And I wonder if it's not what feeds my knitting so much as that knitting helps feed my life in general.

Patons outback mohair -- yummy -- I want a shawl first and then a sweater.

Sustenance. Comfort. Creation. Pattern. Success. Release. Tactile, emotional, rational. And capable of being reworked with little penalty and no shame.

Here is the Misty garden Scarf I did as a lark -- saw it; knit it; loved it. A total impulse!

Cowl neck sweater with bell sleeves from IK. This is an acrylic, because I hadn't found the Paton's mohair and wanted a non-scratchy sweater. I'm just ready to start the decrasing rounds.

Others have mentioned anxiety and stress and "feeding" their knitting life. While knitting does help me take care of these emotions, the emotions don't actually add to the quality of my knitting enjoyment. They can provide energy -- but it is just that - an exchange of energy from negative to positive. But I don't see these exchanges as 'feeding' my knitting. For me it is the difference between continuation and growth. Negative emotions may provide energy for continuation. But growth finds its power elsewhere.

The number of color variations surprised me!

What contributes to the growth of my knitting life? Chat, pictures, textures, tactile sensations (I LOVE playing with yarn!) smells, photos in magazines, fun, fancy, group energy and anticipation. My own determination to get the pattern to work out properly.

Misty Garden -- more a misty lake in these colors -- but I love the results.

All these things push me toward new techniques, new fibers, ideas and imaginings that make my fingers twitch for the feel of yarn and grope for needles to begin the process of forming fabrics.

On the other side of this equation, rest the contributions knitting has made to my life. It often "feeds" my life with the joy and power of creating, the pleasure of getting attention and compliments for what I've made or am making, the feeling of doing something special.

I find it far too easy to identify my "failures" in life. Choices that have lead to bad patches, procrastination that frustrates everyone involved, (even me!), periods of depression which not only eat up chunks or years of my life, but then require additional time, resources, energy and anxiety to remedy. It is easy to feel a failure.

But in the midst of one session of "climbing back out of the pit" someone pointed out to me that as long as I'm not dead, I can't have failed -- I'm not done yet. This thought did a good job of getting my attention rationally at the time. But I don't know that I felt it emotionally until just recently.

I just frogged a complicated piece of lace I'm making for my mother. This is the fourth frogging, and in-between there have been many many sessions of unknitting multiple rows to sort out a problem.

Just before frogging. The shading is a little bright, but I love the pattern definition.

Oddly enough (for me) I do not feel I am failing at this. With each re-start, I become more confident in the sections I've worked before and get farther into the pattern.

I'd gotten this far without realizing I was 14 stitches off in placing the center.

I've had to alternate skeins as the alpaca becomes to soft/fuzzy to make the crisp forms needed for the outer edging, but the frogged yard will work well for the less articulated center section of the shawl. It is not at all ruined, only moved to another position in the whole.

Better idea of the mist blue-grey of the alpaca.

As long as I do not give up, I cannot fail. And the garment becomes richer with each attempt -- more full of emotion and that earnest little-girl need to get the present for Mommy just right. If I wake to find glue or construction paper in my hair, I won't be surprised.

Perhaps this is the image of myself -- for meditation or for simple reflection -- that will be the most productive for me. I am knitting life -- sometimes I can choose my materials; sometimes I must knit with what is at had. I can re-work, re-form, frog, and re-start, put in safety lines, count and recount, alternate needle sizes, and continue to play with pattern, form, and the fascinating play of color, texture, design, and accident. Knitting life is a verb/object combination for me, rather than the adjective-noun combo that the KR topic presumed. I feel I have so many fragments to knit up, ends to weave in. But there are techniques for this; it is a known and expected element of knitting, rather than an indication of poor choices or workmanship. Yes. Knitting life is what I want to do. I've done plenty of frogging. Now I must get back to casting on and picking up stitches!

1 comment:

KnitNana said...

Welcome back! I missed your posts-but this was worth the wait...your thinking on knitting a life is lyrical, so meaningful to my own! Thank you...don't wait so long next time...