Week 0: 1-3 January 2016
1 January 2016, Friday
I had an earlier conversation with my Mom’s friend E about the possibility of replicating my beloved machine knitted black coat. My Mom looks to E for knitting supervision and considers her a guru of the knitting realm. E is a childhood friend of my Mom’s and someone I have grown up knowing. My Mom reminded me that when I was 10 years old E corn-rowed my hair for one of the Amity School graduations. Last year E attended both of the Amity Arts CreativeCore retreat sessions that I offered and I began to know her better.
I had hoped I might be able to persuade E to take on the commission of my jumper reconstruction. However, in response to my question about replicating my jumper E brought her knitting ‘learner kit’ to the feast that always follows the annual New Year’s Day hike my parents attend.
I was unaware of her fervent crusade to spread the joy of knitting around the land…until now. She explained that she wanted me to not only learn to knit but to ‘love knitting!’. Up until that moment I had not considered taking up knitting. I had learned knitting in Amity School at about age 7, but never got beyond casting on and knitting little swatches (I am not sure I even did the casting off myself).
I have fond memories of my fellow classmates helping me to knit swatches that we then sewed together into a little throw blanket to give to my Dad. He kept that ‘blanket’ – really not much larger than a scarf – for many years. That was the only knitting I ever really managed.
I showed E what I remembered about knitting and she was quick to correct almost everything about my technique…She also introduced a slightly ‘unorthodox’ entry of the needle and stressed the wrapping of the leading yearn around the pinky and index fingers of the left hand to feed the needles. Both of these aspects were completely new to me.
She stressed that the wrapping of the yarn on the left hand like this was the key to efficient knitting.
She kept telling me to breath and relax, although I was unaware that I was feeling tense in any way and thought I was breathing quite naturally anyway.
I tried to articulate both my reluctance to take up knitting and my willingness to try to incorporate knitting into my daily life at the same time…
My reluctance being connected to not wanting to take on any more things in my life that I enjoy doing but do not have time to really engage with.
My willingness being connected to wanting to find another way of being – where I had time to do things that I enjoy.