I just started a program with The Knitting Guild Association to become a master knitter. It is the strangest sensation to be doing this, and also the most comforting thing I have ever embarked on. Unfortunately, I do not trust myself. I know how I am, how I get really into something and then later get bored and move on. And really this is only the beginning of one step. Oddly I have tried everything all the way through to the last part of the program, and yet here in the trenches, starting fresh and new, I am learning somethings. Like how to capture stitches before you rip out to a mistake. (As you knit so shall you rip).
I have been reading, already, about the history of fiber arts, and about world textiles. I am absolutely fascinated by the first archeological record of fiber, woven fabrics, knitted string skirts, embroidered and knitted things found in various digs. I am curious about the way indigenous people create their traditional arts, like Navajo blanket weaving, Mayan (Guatemalan) blackstrap weaving, Thai story cloth, mud bark paintings from India and parts of Africa, String” fabric from Myanmar and Tapa cloth from Hawaii. I am, and always have been, fascinated by traditional patterning and motifs, going deeper than Fair Isle and looking at the Sammi people.
I was interrupted in my knitting fever, and now am fully in remission. I went through a phase where I knitted all the time. I don’t want to always go back to the giant rift in my life, but it had such a significant impact on my life I don’t know what else to talk about. While I was putting my ex through graduate school, I added 20 hours a week of waitressing to my full time teaching job. The only thing left that I could do creatively was knit. And knit I did, I designed several sweaters, failed at a few too. And I think my ex was disdainful of it, like hanging laundry on a clothesline, I think he viewed my knitting as something loser country people do. Maybe that is why he left me? I will never know.
When he left though I mostly stopped and didn’t knit for 8 or 9 years. There was a brief layover period where a friend and I knitted purses and sold them, and I started a blanket as a wedding gift for a friend I lost in the divorce, I was heartbroken when I wasn’t invited. And I never finished the afghan.
I did buy a spinning wheel, and I love using it, the rhythm of the wheel, is soothing and calming. But it is not something that ever drew my interest deeply. I adore and love weaving, but a large and complicated loom necessary for intricate patterns hold no interest for me. Warping my little rigid heddle is hours of work and pain in my lower back, makes it hard. Knitting however has jumped back into my hands, knowing you will never be an expert weaver at this late stage, leaves a prohibitive feeling in you as you work it.
One could say that perhaps I should return to painting, and perhaps I should, in time I might with the same vengeance I am embarking on with knitting. I have many ideas swarming in my mind.