4.22.2010

Laughing Somewhere near the Middle

  • Last night at the DKC "Dr. Knit" gave a slide presentation on a recent textile tour she took over three weeks in Peru. While she was there she took, among others, a lengthy course on the knitting style used by rural Peruvians for thousands of years, bought a quantity of examples of this craft (which we were all able to fondle and admire after her talk) and further enriched her personal textile library that she acknowledges requires 18 linear running yards of shelving to house.
  • Also at the meeting there were more knitting miracles of dedication presented in Show and Tell and another knitter told me about the extreme challenges she is conquering working one project in reversible knitting and another from a wildly fantastical Nora Gaughn pattern.
  • At the other end of the knitting spectrum this morning I dropped in on a weekly get together over coffee that includes a woman I taught to knit a couple of years ago. She works one project at a time, doesn't stash and has just a couple of sets of needles. When I tell her about opportunities for learning at DKC workshops or classes in the LYS she is uninterested.
  • Now I just finished reading an interesting post at More with Les wherein she reviewed "Sweater Quest" citing some of her favourite passages from the book and referring to quotes by the Yarn Harlot  as they illustrate the motivation to knit and the payoffs that come from it.
It all makes me wonder just how "passionate" I really am about knitting. Where do I fall in the spectrum?

I knit on a daily basis and blog about it and read other knit blogs and I undertake local knitterly outings. I felt  pretty "hard core". But three weeks in Peru? That is hard core!! I've attended a lecture by the Yarn Harlot and for a while followed her blog but I've never cracked one of her books or any kind of knit-related fiction. I doubt I ever will. Am I insufficiently interested in the topic to read about the motivation to knit? If so I'm probably less devoted to the craft than I thought.

On the other hand maybe I just prefer to spend time and money knitting rather than reading about it. If so maybe I'm more devoted than I think.

If skill is simply equal to dedication then maybe its a sliding scale and the closer I get to being able to knit anything I want, well and fast, the more passionate I will be! Like knitting "to" my heart's content rather than "at" it!

I don't know the answer. But its fun to ponder as I enjoy working the Swingy Sweater in mindless rounds of garter stitch. And truly mind"LESS" it is as my hands do all the work. I'm using Continental for the straight rows and English style for the increase rows so the pattern doesn't require the least bit of mental attention. 
Like marvelling at a cheap parlour trick I'm tickled to watch the appearance of a square neckline and neat shoulder shaping from simple paired increases.
I really haven't the time but nonetheless I'm going to try to squeeze in a stop at Passionknit for the longer circular to facilitate the trying-it-on-as-I-go feature of this, my first top down pattern.
Maybe these things indicate I've got a more than significant interest in the this knitting "thing" even if the knitting challenges I set for myself are just that - challenges for me rather than difficult in and of themselves as so many more brave knitters than me are willing to do.

Whatever the case and whether I have a little or a lot of passion for knitting relative to the many knitters I encountered yesterday and so far today, I hope as a knitter to never lose sight of something one of my 7 year old students said yesterday afternoon. Towards the end of class (one in which errors and issues stalled all progress cold and in which she herself lost 3 whole rows to purling on the knit side and vice versa) she giggled that this knitting lesson had been her favourite so far because "everyone was laughing and everyone was together".

Out of the mouths of babes!

Thanks for dropping by to be "together" with me today!

8 comments:

Acorn to Oak said...

I think you're a pretty hard core knitter. More and more of your blog posts are going right over my head. lol I have a LOT of catching up to do. How lucky you are to have these knit events nearby. That's so awesome! I love what youre little knit student said! That's so cool!

Sandra said...

sometimes, a garter stitch scarf can be a challenge. I think that as long as we're doing what we WANT to do (whether it's a learning experience or something mindless), if it's what we WANT, then it's a good thing. Hard Core or not - it's all in what you want it to be.
(I knit a lot, but have never and probably will never knit a Fassett or Starmore. I probably could, just don't want to.)

Rue said...

That blue tweed yarn looks absolutely fantastic in the garter stitch! I'll be it makes great reading knitting.

I think I fall in your camp on the passion-for-knitting spectrum. I'd probably say that I'm passionate about knitting -- the physical act of making things out of yarn. I'm always delighted to learn new techniques and perfect old ones but I have very little desire to immerse myself in all (other) things knitting. And that's good enough for me.

morewithles said...

so glad i "sparked" this post. :)

Lorraine said...

Like anything else, it is all relative. What some knitter's find challenging, others find very easy.

I think your student worded it prefectly. People get caught up in the "politics"- when that shouldn't enter into one's hobbies and pleasures.

elizabeth said...

Aw, that is so sweet! She has the sentiment down pat!

The only thing I'm a little concerned about with knitting, is that it may fall by the wayside someday, as have my other fiber interests. I think that's part of my personality - learn something in depth, devote time to it like an obsessed person, and once it's "mastered," move on. Not that I t think I'll master knitting, and there's always spinning and ... maybe someday ... weaving...

Brenda said...

Your post inspires much thought. I think the motivation changes. What motivated me to pick up my first needles, is not what motivates me today. Nor will today's motivation be tomorrows. Things change.

Stephanie said...

I'm not sure if there's a scale, exactly, but there certainly are complex motivations to take up knitting and keep at it. When I started again a couple of years ago it was to have something to talk about with my then-best friend. Right now, however, I'm a little scared of knitting - of not getting things "perfect" - and therefore I can't say I remember when I last picked up my needles. And I didn't miss it until a day or two ago. So I can go a couple of weeks, I guess, without knitting, which I see a lot of people in the knitblog world can't do. (I also don't have a lot of motivation to update Sunbeam Soapbox right now, which might be part of it...) Although I enjoy the Yarn Harlot's sense of humor I think it's mostly because I find it alien to me, to be so obsessed with one thing for so long.

Something to think about.