Thursday, January 15, 2009

I'm a knit-wit

Over the past few years, there has been a general stampede of women returning to their domestic roots. It seems that once the feminist movement had firmly established that we were not required to be domestic to be successful (i.e., limited to domestic skills), we were able to engage in domestic pursuits for enjoyment rather than obligation. Crafting, knitting and sewing have taken off at record levels (apparently), and now more women in their 30s are engaging in those arts than that age group has done for the past 40 years. Don't quote me on the stats (I have very third-hand info), but I think it's interesting to consider it as part of our current sociology.

Anyway, I bring this up because I have joined the stampede and am learning to knit. I took a class to learn the basic skills back in November, and here we are mid-January and I'm nearing completion of my first project! Okay, so it's not the pace I would like, but I'm squeezing it in. I pulled out several attempts at a baby hat before I started a poncho for Ellie, and I know now that I just had the wrong project. The hat involved too much counting, attention to detail and concentration that I lack right now, but the poncho is big, simple and a whole different story! The added benefit is that Ellie really likes watching me knit and she wants to knit too. I gave her a children's knitting set for Christmas, and she has a lot of fun with it. Every day I wind her yarn into a ball and get a project started on her needles, and every day she pulls the project off the needles and unwinds the yarn from the ball, all the while with a look of great concentration and enjoyment as she announces importantly, "I'm doing knitting!" I don't think she has any way to comprehend that the endless rows of pinkish-purplish yarn I'm knitting will eventually be an outer garment she can wear (or probably refuse to wear, if I want to be realistic), but she enjoys it just the same.

When I finished the class, the ladies at the knitting shop told me to try any projects I thought I might like to try. They said they so often see women learn to knit as adults and then limit themselves to the most basic things (and eventually give up) because they want to be perfect and don't think they can move ahead to the next level. They told me the only thing that could limit my skill as a knitter is me. I took their words to heart and already have a dozen projects in mind (okay, more if I'm honest)! Of course, if I apply the reality of my daily life to knitting time, I can't say when any of those projects will be finished...but we won't go there. In terms of time limits, we won't even talk about my taking a sewing class soon too. Dream big and keep it real.

For now, the real question is: Would you like your Christmas/birthday scarf with tassels or not?

1 comment:

meghan said...

Yeah Jennifer! I think this will be a fantastic creative outlet for you! While I love art that hangs on a wall or sits on a shelf there is something amazing about art that can be practical (maybe that's why I did ceramics as my art minor focus). Not only is it a creative outlet but it I hear it also helps you relax the mind, at least with a scarf or a poncho anyway :-)