General Ginger Knits

random thoughts on knitting and the universe

Thursday, June 16, 2005

the art of knitting

I'm glad you folks are enjoying these knitting art treasures. Thank you to everyone for the compliments on my St. Brigid. I've been too busy this week to keep up with the knitting blog world but I'm going to try to catch up next week. In the mean time...

Artist Matt Brown creates woodblock print art with the traditional Japanese hanga method. This one is titled Knitting. There is a sense of motion in this piece that truly delights.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

the art of knitting

What a lovely lady painted by American Impressionist painter and muralist Albert Henry Krehbiel (1873-1945). Painted in 1904, Woman Knitting is an oil on canvas and truly beautiful, don't you agree?

Friday, June 10, 2005

prize & distraction knitting

I love it when unexpected treasures show up in the mailbox. My prize finally arrived from France! Isn't this a delightful set of treasures? I won the chicken naming contest over at the Stitchin' Sheep's blog a couple of weeks ago and look at the goodies she sent me: tasty tinned mints, some soothingly sensational smelling soaps, and a packet of herbs.

I think this prize was partially delayed because it rained all last week. Those of you in the southeast know what I'm talking about. It was highly unusual and put people in mind around here of the great flood of '94. Lucky for us it finally stop raining or rather, it slowed way down to just an hour's worth a day instead of continuously. My mail deliverer doesn't deliver in the rain. Yes, I know they're supposed to, but I almost never see them on my street when its wet outside. This is just one of those inconsistencies in life we must learn to live with.

I've had an odd feeling the last couple of days. Although I've been thoroughly enjoying knitting St. Brigid, my eyes have been inexplicably drawn to my stash. I keep wanting to rip open that Webs box, yank out some Lopi and whip up a groovy felted bag. I've been resisting the temptation because I want all my knitting energy to go towards the aran and it feels like a quick knit would be a distraction. But maybe I need the distraction. Perhaps I need the instant gratification that comes from having completed a project. After all, its been a long time since I've committed to working on such a long term project. I think I will give into this desire over the weekend and knit one up. A change of pace would be refreshing.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

aran continued

You know what's painful? Knitting for an hour and completing exactly one row, then having to rip that row and several other along with it out for a second time. Uhg. Just when I was congratulating myself yesterday that I hadn't made a huge error since that second, fateful row 24 waaay back there. So, naturally, that was when I made my mistake, or rather, when I thought I'd made my mistake.

I glanced (this word can not be emphasized enough) at my row notes when I picked up my knitting to continue after I got home from work. I noticed that I'd made a mistake during my lunchtime knitting by cabling the 8 row cable when I shouldn't have. I ripped back the work and reknit it. Later, I picked up my row notes again and realized that I had indeed knitted it correctly the first time and that it was the rip and repeat without the cable that was the mistake. Did I mention that this was three rows back? Both times? So I had to rip out and reknit what I had already knitted correctly the first time, wrongly the second time, to end up with the correct pattern the third time. Ugh.

On a more positive note I am thoroughly enjoying this pattern. Alice Starmore must have genius in her noodle because this St. Brigid is heaps of fun. Try it, you'll like it.

Monday, June 06, 2005

in progress

What does this aran in progress look like? Here is my work slightly tidied up for camera viewing.

Usually I spread things out a bit more than this. I've included a picture of my notes to myself about which cable line I'm at. I've got three columns right now. The first number is the row of the 24 row cable and the second number is the eight row cable. Notice how they don't stay in line with each other. This makes it nearly impossible for me to memorize the pattern. I find that I can keep track a lot easier if I write out the corresponding rows and then draw a line under the one I just completed.

I didn't have much of a chance to knit this weekend. I've completed about a hundred rows so far.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

zen and the art of aran

Thank you all for your compliments on my new project.

I've noticed quite a few things while knitting this Aran. This sweater requires a level of concentration that I have not applied to my knitting in several years. Let me back up and say that I've knitted off and on for the past 20 years. There was a long hiatus in there where I didn't do any knitting at all. Then a dear friend gave me Weekend Knits in 2003 and continuously suggested that I get back into knitting. I'm eternally grateful for her encouragement because without it I wouldn't have gone back to the craft and I wouldn't have this wonderful creative outlet.

I've dabbled in easy projects these last two years. Nothing complicated, nothing thought provoking. Its embarassing really, how I haven't been able to go beyond my comfort level. Well, actually, that is not entirely true. I did manage to learn to knit socks last year. Knitting with toothpicks is a skill indeed! But for the most part it seems I was stuck in a rut with simple, comfort knitting. Yet there I've hit the similarities between that kind of knitting and the Starmore Aran type.

Both kinds of knitting provide a kind of pleasure. Both kinds of knitting provide comfort. The simple knits allow a kind of contentment by feeling the rhythm of the knitting action and to seeing the item being created. The aran knitting, on the other hand, provides a comfort by causing the knitter to completely emerse herself into the process. It requires focus and does not easily forgive a mind that wonders onto other daily life problems. This kind of focus is rare for me since multitasking has become a way of life. In fact, in our high tech, fast paced world multitasking has become highly prized. How many activities in our every day lives require such focus and critical thinking skills?

I feel like I haven't been able to get enough of this Aran sweater. I look forward all day to the moments that I can have in exquisite concentration working with charts from multiple pages, a cable needle stuck behind my right ear, and two sticks in my hands that make the magic happen.