Week 1 – 6 January 2016 / Wednesday
12cm x 14.25 cm – knit (size 8 plastic then metal)
A light, creamy yellow yarn from my Mom’s office collection. Again limited by a small quantity of it, however did not use it completely. A similar thickness to the mustard yellow of the day before – also a similar quality of fiber – synthetic I think. The two yarns sit well together.
Brought my knitting to Mom’s office where I saw E again. I was eager to show her my first Time piece in progress and tell her about my interest that she had ignited.
She looked over my knitting and commented on the tightness of the stitching as just bordering on too tight. She also watched me knit and had to correct my technique. The subtle thing she was trying to show me about how to insert the needle from behind in a particular way had been lost to me and confused me. She told me to forget that part and re-showed me how to do it. She also reinforced and repeated the benefits of learning to thread the yarn with my left fingers.
While I was showing her my technique I snapped the left plastic knitting needle that I was holding in my right hand. E commented that it was ‘stress’…or ‘tension’ something obvious that could be read on a couple of different levels and could hardly be argued with given the fact I had snapped the needle….’performance anxiety’ would be a good term I think.
I went back to her house with her to spend the afternoon discussing knitting related things and looking at her yarns. She was able to give me a set of metal needles (size 8 like the plastic ones I had been using) and also gave me a pair of wooden ‘circular’ needles attached together with a transparent plastic, thin cord. She told me how much she enjoyed using them, not just for socks and tubular projects but just generally. She showed me a wonderful set with many interchangeable pairs of different sizes. She gave me a pair that was basically a size 8 too.
Over the course of the afternoon she pulled out several storage containers full of yarn and invited me to pick ones I might want. Some she was able to part with and others not. I was still fixated on finding a green in particular and other colours along my rainbow spectrum. I found a few but not so many considering how much yarn she had on offer. Again many of natural shades. She also had many of the same yarn, obviously connected to projects she had worked on in the past.
While I looked through the bins, E brought out examples of things she had knitted (and sewed) for herself. I had already seen some wonderful examples in the clothing she had been wearing in previous encounters with her during my trip home.
She also pulled out many books. We spent much time talking about Kaffe Fassett as we had the F connection in common and I had just been to Nepenthe. She gave me an extra copy that she had of ‘Glorious Colour’, which I was eager to accept.
In addition to books she showed me, she gave me several references to other books she thought I might like. There was much in the conversation to reflect on and note which I hope to return to. I would also like to ask E if she would be interested in feeding back to me what she found interesting about our talk since she stated that she enjoyed our discussion. She said we discussed aspects of knitting that she rarely had a chance to talk to with anybody else.
I asked her lots and lots of questions not just about knitting in general but also I was very interested in her relationship to knitting and her ‘knitting practice’.
Most significantly I tried to articulate a question around a psycho-symbolic interest I have in the act of knitting…she had no idea what I was getting at and neither did I enough for it to really develop into a conversation. I will need to keep reflecting on it.
She showed me several books on Fair Isle knitting and I realized there was so much more to consider about knitting besides just colour and texture – and even these aspects offer so many different options and avenues that I had barely thought about. In addition there is also the whole synthetic and natural fibers continuum, stitching and various patterns, the combination of colour pattern and stitching pattern and then shape of garment and how all these factors come together around the human form.
The other exciting thing I discovered during that session was that it is possible to knit with more than one thread at a time. This seemed to be a very very useful bit of information to help me reflect my colour-coding process more accurately. While it may take me a month to introduce it, it means that I can show continuity for each month while still focusing on the individual daily colours. Aesthetically it will give it more cohesion and ‘calmness’ I think. It will also help to demarcate the start of a new month, especially when it occurs within the week. (January 2016 happens to end on a Sunday so it is not an issue until the end of February 2016).