Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Minor Knitting Tragedy -- but we're still celebrating here

Before you start reading today's post, can I ask if you know about my Anniversary contest? Please go leave a comment at the contest post where you have a chance to win a book.

Can you see that? Right where I've drawn those two pink wobbly circles above, there, on the button band of my newly-completed Dollar-and-a-Half Cardigan. No wobbly circles below, but you can probably spot it now you know what to look for.

I was dashing through the checkout at the grocery store and remembered something I had to run back for but caught my sweater on the sharp end of the counter and somehow, horrifyingly, buttons were popping and rips were ripping, and now look what I've done!
It's not as sad a knitting tragedy as this carnage, by a long shot, but it's not happy news, for sure. My plan is to see if Dorothy at my LYS will work some of her magic on it. She sewed up a cabled pullover for me last fall when it had just sat and sat for too long, and I will gladly pay her to work a small miracle on my cardigan. I just haven't the heart at the moment, although if necessary I'll put other more fun projects aside and get to work.

Meanwhile, to lift my spirits, there is a new, dedicated knitter in the world, and she was just getting going this past weekend. My mom had already taught my young niece, Grace, to knit, and I happened to have two skeins of a leftover novelty yarn, lovely and fluffy for a scarf, although a bit tricky to see what you're doing. Yes, there are a few errors, but we decided they can be considered artsy/creative.
So she agreed to ignore the supposed problems and carry on. By the time she left, she was achieving two to three inches problem-free at a time, and I suspect she might be finished a scarf by later this week.
Grace's perseverance reminds me of something I read recently in a BC Bookworld review of Paula Gustafson's third and final volume (Gustafson, a widely-respected supporter of Canadian crafts who wrote, edited, and published copiously, died in 2006) of Craft Perception and Practice which contains essays by numerous artists and theorists. In one of those essays, "Getting Things Done: ON Needlecraft & Free Time," Shannon Stratton, as the reviewer sums her up, suggests "that knitting is a radically subversive activity in an era that emphasizes materialism and speed." As the reviewer summarizes, "public knitters are steadfastly non-efficient reminders that meditative and constructive activities can serve as antidotes to the established socioeconomic order. Then she quotes Stratton directly: "It is important to realize, Stratton writes, "that knitters are, by and large, NOT professional activists or political artists; nor should they have to be . . . Perhaps what makes knitting important is its stubbornness. It refuses to be pinned down. It is neither an economically efficient way to clothe people, nor are knitters overtly challenging oppression and stopping war with fuzzy scarves. But what it does undo, one stitch at a time, is the idea that efficiency is a cultural value."

Now don't forget to leave a comment at my Anniversary Post so you have a chance to win a copy of either Simon Doonan's Eccentric Glamour or David Sedaris' When You are Engulfed in Flames. Don't be shy, and be sure you leave your comment by Friday noon, PST.


  1. Oh no. That is worse carnage. To have something be done and beautiful and THEN have it carnaged. I efel just awful for you!!

    And thank you for that very interesting literary tidbit about the social role of knitting and needlecraft. I think I want to find that book!

  2. I love watching the concentration on young ones faces when they are knitting. My son is just the same.

  3. Miss 376: I know. I think it's one of the best reasons to teach a small person to knit, just to get to see that intense absorption on a face (and for the small person to experience said absorption as well, of course!)

  4. In age age of instant gratification this is a sight for sore eyes ( your niece that is)
    As for the cardie I have lost count of sleeves dipped into Indian Ink, skirts ripped on a rougue staple, tops splashed with Acrylic paint, the list is endeless. But it is so much worse when a labour of love suffers.

  5. Oh the horrors. Of course rips and tears and battle scars are a part of life, but how terribly sad that it happened so soon in the young life of a new creation. I do hope it can be fixed.

    And the photo of the niece is such a joy for all the reasons mentioned above.

  6. Alison/Mardel: I left the cardigan at my LocalYarnStore yesterday, and I'm crossing my fingers that it will be whole again.

  7. oh my, were they able to fix it?
    What a great photo of your niece too.

    I'm curious, have been looking but haven't found it - is the yarn Lavold silky wool?

    And, I just need to say, I adore your island photo. I can get lost in it.

  8. Marji: Don't know yet, but I'm crossing my fingers. You're close at guessing the yarn -- it's actually Garnstudio's Silke Tweed, a great yarn (just amazing yardage!)


I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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