Monday, October 16, 2006

Another knitting perk: there's always something new to learn.

One of the best things about knitting is that it's known to keep our minds sharp. So not only do we get to make beautiful, durable, useful things using lovely fibers, but we stay mentally agile as we do it!!! Someone posted a comment today in reference to a previous post I wrote on right-side seaming. I had been lamenting on how long it had taken me to see the mattress-stitch "light" and he or she replied that sometimes we just need to trust directions and do what books say, even though we can't imagine the authors know what they're talking about. I have to say I agree 100%.

That comment got me thinking about how so often we learn something like a craft and then think we know everything and we stop learning. Why do we limit ourselves? Why do we so often get into a comfort zone thinking there couldn't be a better way? We need to always remember to think outside the box, grow as knitters, learn from those experts who have honed their skills over the years. Just today, in my Shrug class, a knitter mentioned how her mother had knit when she was little, and her mother's mother before her, and how glad she was to have inherited some of their knitting gadgets. I was reminded of a story my late grandmother used to tell me about knitting a blue dress under the watchful eye of her German grandmother - how hard she'd worked, how much she'd learned, the skill her grandmother had used when gently fixing her mistakes, and how proud they'd both been of the finished garment. What a wealth of knowledge exists out there, all gleaned from love of craft!!

Thank you, Anonymous, for that thought-provoking comment!! Keep the ideas coming!!

Yours in knitting,
Claire

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts here. The world surely knows no greater wisdom than that tender patient guidance passed down to us through the loving teachings of a dear grandmother. I remember how mine lamented so often. Still, it seems lamenting played an important role in problem solving for her (and me). So I think it should hold a distinguished place in this world somewhat equal with trust. Trust, important in its own right no doubt, is oft easily led down the path of blind trust for which we may pay a steep price at some future date. Experts are what they are, but how often are they my grandmother in print? In the absence of a willingness to trust, I sometimes find a lament a comforting traveling companion to share the hours with while I knit and seek out the truth in some matter. Surely if lamenting was not an honorable past-time an entire book of the Bible would not have been woven around it, would it?

Perhaps it is not so important that a comment provokes a thought, nor even that the lamentation ruminates over some troubling aspects of the thought tugging at the fibers of our very being for endless hours, days, weeks or longer.

Perhaps it is more important to understand that the lament loosely stitches together the rough borders of the fabric of our lives and builds us a comfortable place to rest our weary hands and heart. For me, lamenting brings the borders of my comfort zone into sharp contrast with my world of unknowns. It is there I may choose how and if to bind their eternal borders. And while it is true I must eventually 'see the light' of truth in a matter isn't also important to remember a bright light turned on in the black of night is harsh, bearing too much light, too fast shown, for the eye to bear? My laments bring with them warm glows of understanding I can relate to in your blog. Thank you.

All just ramblings of an anonymous poster. But, what the matter.

With a keystroke I return to what is truly the fabric of my life, whether it be comfort zone or lament, a quilt, knitted with love shall come to pass and, perhaps, will pass on some day to the grandkids...

Perhaps.

linda said...

How sad to forget to trust -- but sometimes we become jaded because of the total glut of "untested" internet information out there. I think we have to trust a pattern most of the time, but keep watchful eyes for the things that don't make sense. To just blindly knit whatever is thrown at us would also be a waste of time. Pretty much like life in general, I guess! You are so right to say we should continue to learn from our craft.