General Ginger Knits

random thoughts on knitting and the universe

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.

11 Comments:

Blogger caitlyn said...

Hi there,
I think you make an excellent point about the different types of knitting. The aran sweater looks great so far. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

10:15 PM  
Blogger sturdygirl said...

What a thoughtful post. I like the idea of knitting that doesn't lend itself to multitasking. It almost becomes meditative in that you clear your mind of everything else. Maybe I should start an aran too...

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

It's looking great and seems to be moving along pretty quickly, too!

12:25 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Thanks for visiting! Your pup is so cute - what kind is he/she?

5:37 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Wow, I love those open cabled braids that seem so flowing and irregular. So nice to see cables that aren't tight and structured. I'm not much of a patten person (read: single color, no pattern clothing most of the time) but I could definitely go for cables like those!

Keep up the good work.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous aimee said...

thanks for the comment on my socks. when i came to visit your site i was blown away by the cables. ahhh.... someday, it's good to start small. cheers and gorgeous stuff.

2:04 AM  
Anonymous anna said...

great post today. i often think about how knitting is such a great antidote to our 'instant gratification' culture: and what it contributes to the idea that things worth having are worth working for.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Nice cables.....I am knitting a pattern called Red Rocks from Black Water Abbey Yarns. I am just 3 inches from starting the sleeves....so I am excited about that. I love the color you are using and I love those flowers you knit...where did you get the pattern if you dont mind me asking? Thanks and have a great evening!

2:54 PM  
Blogger Vicki Knitorious said...

Woo! Look at you go. I'm so glad you're enjoying it -- it's palpable -- and I love what you wrote about knitting it!

P.S. Was Margene whispering in your ear? ; )

3:32 PM  
Blogger Yarngirl said...

Now, that IS truly beautiful!!! Thanks for looking at my blog (and socks) and I can't wait to see the rest of your aran!

4:53 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

You are awsome. I love what you said about the two kinds of knitting. That sweater is looking great. It will be beautiful.
Have a great week.

11:00 AM  

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