Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Knitallurgy. It's a science.

Okay, it's more rocker science than rocket science. Actually, at base, it's pretty damn simple. There are only two stitches: a knit and a purl (which is really a backwards knit). Everything else is a variation on those two stitches. It's easy!

I visited a great little store today called Greenwood Quiltery and am once again wrapped up in my current knitting project. The back of the store is devoted to us knitwits. Yarn spills over the shelves and it's like getting lost in a woolen forest. The quilting section of the store is also scrumptious. I wish I knew how to do that. I've never quilted (would LOVE to someday). My friend, Dan, just gifted my sonshine with his first handmade quilt, the theme of which is nursery rhymes and Dan did quite a beautiful job. Giving and receiving gifts that are handmade is one of my favourite things. Those gifts always seem to mean so much more. One of my older sisters, Colette, crocheted a beautiful blanket. Another friend, Zoe, made blankets for my baby shower. My friend, Kasia, sewed up two pairs of pants, and her husband, Graham, used his architectural prowess to handcarve a stack of blocks with holes in the middle and a holder for them, all made of wood. My twin sister handcrafted all the birds to hang around his room and she made him a mommy owl with her baby owl as stuffed toys. How very lucky my little boy is to have such creative aunts and uncles! Beautiful!

One of the best gifts my mother ever gave me was to teach me how to knit when I was but a wee lass of perhaps 8 years old. Nowadays, I find it is a form of manual yoga. Quite the meditative craft. You get into a rhythm and then your thoughts drift away. Maybe it's the click-clack of wooden needles. Maybe it's the deft digital dancing. Knitting is addictive and quite calming, mesmerizing. A craft of solace. And often, solitude.

This North American mentality in which the majority of Canadians and Americans reside has trouble allowing for moments of reflection. People are far too busy filling the hours of their day with technology, commerce, constant communication. Time alone. Time to oneself. It's a luxury I look forward to when I can grab such moments these days. For instance, lately I am REALLY missing yoga. I have yet to find a regular babysitter and there are no classes I've come across which encourage you to bring your 6-month old. So I exercise my hands, my fingers and enter into a trance-like state via knitting.

Not that you needs must knit alone. There are knitting circles gathering everywhere - look up your local bitch n' stitch or start one yourself! A space and place to tell a yarn, share some yarn. I'm thinking of doing just that once I move in the spring. Switch off having a book club one week and a bitch n' stitch another week. Meet some other crafty mums in my area.

So here's my current knitting project: I am creating a cardigan for my son. This is my first knitting project for him and I need to make sure I finish it in time for Winter Solstice (which is the gift-giving December holiday I celebrate - Yuletide). It will be my first handmade gift to him. I want it to be extra special.

Thus far, I'm only finished the back and almost finished the left front. I've a ways to go yet, but it's shaping up nicely. Are any of you out there knitting up something special? Or crafting any gifts for the upcoming holiday season? I'd love to know I'm not the only knitwit out here in blogland!

Music: She Blinded Me with Science, Thomas Dolby

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