Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Art of the Knit

Well I seem to have stumbled upon a huge secret world... well, secret to me until I stumbled upon it, at which point I realised it is a BIG thing - yes, knitting. It's *massive*. Lots of people knit. Really ugly stuff. Some people knit cool stuff. I wanna be one of those people.

So yes, I recently taught myself how to knit, again (about the third time...) and am currently making a magic red hat for my little sweet thing Indigo to wear when it's freezing outside. This is my first ever proper knitting project. When it is finished and I can call myself an accomplished knitter, I intend to widen my creative horizons and make more interesting stuff, like toys and creatures and other cute things. There is actually a Japanese thing called Amigurumi (don'tchya love the Japanese?!) which are tiny little super cute creatures, usually crocheted but often knitted, and yes, they are tiny, and yes, they are super cute, here have a look...


Seee? I wanna make a cute little Amigurumi pear! Or three!





And a mushroom with a cutey little face...




And a little teensy weensy cyclops... every little girl needs her own teensy weensy liddle cyclops to cuddle...


So yes, I am enjoying this new phase of creativity in my life. It's nice.

I'm also quite impressed with knitting itself, knitting as an art form, knitting as a craft. I'm quite impressed that anyone ever came up with it. If everyone in history was as lazy as I am, we would all be sitting around under trees shivering, trying to wrap leaves or bark around us to keep warm. It amazes me that someone actually took some wool (OK it amazes me that the wool was ever taken OFF the sheep and then stretched and spun into yarn... I mean, it's really quite cheeky when you think of it, stealing a sheep's wool, but quite ingenious!), OK so they take the wool, the yarn, and then they take these two sticks, and figure out how to wrap and weave the yarn around these two here sticks, and keep wrapping and weaving and wrapping and weaving, until they end up with a jumper! Freaky! Coz it's really quite complicated in a super simple kind of way. What I mean is, once you know how to knit it's quite simple, but to have actually come up with the whole thing, well that just seems mightily impressive to me.

So as I knit away I feel connected to this amazing group of women who have not only developed but have passed on this wonderful technology from generation to generation, and it feels good, it feels good on a really deep level, to be doing this. What seems so wonderful to me is that it involves so many connected things - it's creativity, it's technical brilliance, but it's also about nurturing, yourself and others. When you make someone something they can wear, you're helping them be warm, you're helping them be well. Especially back in the time when you couldn't just pop down to Sportsgirl to pick up a jumper, back when if you wanted a jumper you had to bloomin' well knit yourself a jumper - the art of knitting was developed as a nurturing technology. Like cooking, another of my deepest joys. Both are fields that engage you on deeply creative levels, and which enable those around you to live richly, to be well. I don't think it's a coincidence that this new activity of mine mirrors one of my all time favourite of things to do. I think it says a lot about who I am, and what I like to do.

6 comments:

Juniper said...

Oh I agree! I love how knitting makes you feel connected to all the other knitters throughout history! I just wish I could be a better knitter and knit something practical! Show pix of your knitting!

Nalin said...

OK, when the magic red hat is done I'll post a photo - it looks great in my head, but knowing me the reality won't quite match up!

cramstankin said...

oh good for you nalin!! i tried too. well actually have tried a few times through the years and just dont *get it*. it takes way too long for me - i need the buzz of starting and finishing something in the same day, this is why i sew.
i'd love to see your lovely red hat too please :P sure it's going to be beautiful!

Mary said...

Oooh, I want a teensy weensy cyclops!! (But I'm afraid I have no inclination to learn to knit. :P )

Anonymous said...

Nalin, great to read, that post. I too knit (crochet more these days).
Its so relaxing and there is that connection to others which you put into words so well.
How is the red hat coming along?
Angie.

Angie said...

PS: pics?