Sasha Torres published a piece titled “Taxonomy of Knitters” in her blog, Knitting Utopias which got me thinking a bit about the transformative power of knitting.
There are so many reasons why we knit; so many reasons why we start and then continue but it is the meditative aspect of knitting which I find most compelling: it seems to me to be the vaulting canopy that covers us all. People come to knitting for different reasons — because they are makers, or because they have to do something with their hands, or perhaps to make a gift, or to join their friends who like to knit — but I think that people STAY with knitting because knitting is so utterly transformative.
Beyond the obvious (miraculous!) thing of taking a string and giving it a shape and a form which then gives us warmth and beauty, knitting transforms pain, fear, anger, and impatience into something else. I don’t think I have ever seen a piece of finished knitting that divulged the emotional state in which it was knit (oh yes, I have seen abandoned knitting and the knitting that went fine for awhile and then this terrible thing happened, but there are still all those rows and stitches which follow one another so peacefully, so rhythmically and purposefully.) My theory is that knitting absorbs our emotions as it quietly changes them, elevating them into something purposeful, useful, and beautiful. And as the knitting changes our emotions, it changes us, the knitter. The change is temporary of course: we have to return to our knitting!
The more people knit, the more they knit with peace and love and joy; the more often we pick up our knitting, the faster, each time, our knitting moves us from discomfort to comfort. Knitting saved my life and I know I am not alone.
So we continue to knit, and we knit ourselves from one category to another, but without the Meditation, most of us would not knit at all.
February 3rd, 2013
Marin was an elementary school student of mine in days of yore, and she often comes to see me when she is in town — I think as a touchstone, to help her keep the pathways open to the untrained artist that she was before she ‘grew up.’
This one visit, I got out all the color pencils and we drew at the kitchen table — Marin, my husband Stephen, our daughter Liliana, and I.
After Marin left, I went outside and in my preferred medium made this colorway.
I love it — for what we all are, for what we once were, and for how we keep those pieces connected.
Marin’s Pencils, BFL
January 10th, 2013
Wool that is already prepared for spinning can be found either carded (roving) or combed (combed top.) To complicate things, these words are often used interchangeably. So what do those words mean and how can you tell the difference between roving and combed top?
Let me give a short, easy answer. Real roving — carded wool — looks fluffy, puffy, and wooly. Combed top, which is now often referred to as roving is sleek, perfect, and uniform.
- Merino Combed Top
November 22nd, 2012
I took an art history class this morning on Pinterest. I LOVE my new board. I found out, again, that I am fascinated by dynamic neutrals.
November 19th, 2012
Brushed Mohair Shawl with Tassels
Approximate size: 54 inches wide, 38 inches long at longest point (measurements do not include tassel)
2 skeins of Three Waters Farm Brushed Mohair yarn, 250 skeins each.
Size 11 needle
CO 4 stitches.
Row 1: Knit 2, yarn over, knit to end of row.
Row 2: Knit 2, yarn over, knit to end of row.
Continue in this manner until you have knit one skein. Before beginning second skein, make 3 tassels and set aside. Attach new leader, and continue knitting as before, knitting until shawl is approximately 54 inches wide.
Bind off loosely. (It is helpful to bind off with a larger needle to keep it loose. We used a size 15 needle.)
May 2nd, 2012
Brushed Mohair Boucle Shawl/Scarf
Approximately 14 inches wide and 70 inches long
One skein Three Waters Farm Brushed Mohair Boucle, 250 yards
One skein Three Waters Farm Brushed Mohair, 250 yards
Size 11 needle
CO 34 stitches with the Brushed Mohair Boucle.
Knit 2 rows.
Switch to Brushed Mohair yarn.
*Knit 1 row, double wrapping each stitch
Knit 1 row, knitting into one wrap and letting the other wrap drop.
Switch back to Brushed Mohair Boucle yarn.
Knit 2 rows.*
Repeat from * to * until shawl/scarf is your desired length.
Knit two rows Boucle; bind off in Boucle
May 2nd, 2012
SUPERLONG SCARF WRAP
Materials: One Three Waters Farm Superfluity Kit
Size 15 circular needle (24 inch or longer)
Every row is a knit row. (Garter stitch)
Loosely CO 100 stitches with the worsted weight yarn or the Thick n’ Thin yarn. Knit one row. At beginning of next row, cut the old yarn, leaving an 8 inch tail. Tie new yarn (whichever color/type you prefer) to old yarn and snug the knot. Knit one row.
Use yarns interchangeably until you reach your desired size, keeping in mind that, due to the difference in yardage between the yarns, you will need to use some yarns more sparingly than others.
Continue in this way, changing yarn every row until the scarf/wrap is the width you want. Bind off loosely. Behold!
May 1st, 2012
This mother was not at all pleased that we plucked her little lamb out of the flock for an extra look-over. You can see her in the far left of the frame, giving Stephen the evil eye, while her lamb gives her the “please save me” look. The moment Stephen put this guy on the ground, they headed in the opposite direction.
April 1st, 2012
BRUSHED MOHAIR RUFFLE SHAWL
3 SKEINS THREE WATERS FARM BRUSHED MOHAIR
SIZE 10 needles
Final size: Center panel without ruffles, 54 inches long, 21 inches wide. Ruffles are 4” wide.
kfb = increase by knitting in the front and the back of the stitch.
C/O 72 sts on size 10 needles. Work in stockinette for 266 rows. Put sts on holder.
With right side facing, pick up & knit 233 sts along one long side (7 sts for every 8 rows).
Row 1 and all odd rows: purl.
Row 2: k2, *kfb, k6, repeat from * to end.
Row 4: k2, *kfb, k7, repeat from * to end.
Row 6: k2, *kfb, k8, repeat from * to end.
Row 8: k2, *kfb, k9, repeat from * to end.
Row 10: k2, *kfb, k10, repeat from * to end.
Row 12: k2, *kfb, k11, repeat from * to end.
Row 14: k2, *kfb, k12, repeat from * to end.
Row 16: k2, *kfb, k13, repeat from * to end.
Row 18: k2, *kfb, k14, repeat from * to end.
Row 20: Bind off.
Repeat for other long side.
Return sts from holder to needle, and with right side facing knit 1 row. Work Rows 1-20 as above.
On other short end, with right side facing, pick up & knit 72 sts. Work Rows 1-20 as above.
Sew edges of ruffles together at corners. Weave in ends.
May 2nd, 2011
The Bradford Pear is in full bloom today. All week, I’ve watched this tree mull over its options. We’ve had cool days and freezing nights, enough to induce a spring bloomer to reconsider its position. In spite of this, every day this heedless tree was a little more brazen and showing a little more bling than the day before. Yesterday, it simply threw caution to the wind and blossomed entirely. I enjoy the Bradford Pear, but I find it a little unrestrained.
I am partial to the Deciduous Magnolia, from its compelling pussy-willow like buds to its stately rose and pink blossoms. It typically demonstrates more prudence than the Bradford Pear. I like that, being in want of a little more prudence myself. I noticed a few timid buds opening this week, but the effect was more bashful-child-peering-through-the-fence-at-the-party than Baby-I’ve-got-something-outrageous-to-show-you. But with things in the neighborhood heating up the way they are, the Deciduous Magnolia decided to join in.
Our young Keifer pear trees are showing some adolescent derring-do, but I am hoping that they reconsider. After all, if we get a freeze hard enough to shut down the whole blooming party, the Keifer’s will lose more than just their blossoms, they will lose their fruit.
March 13th, 2011