Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I am not a sweatshop

I don't have enough progress on anything to flash it to you. But that's okay. I might put up some pictures of my puppies (10 & 12 year old puppies that is) tonight... because they're really adorable when they nap. Which is most of the time.

I do have some thoughts on my knitting though, I'm having a bit of ennui and I think I've found the culprit. Naturally, it's all in my head.

Knitting is not a race.

I am not knitting to have finished projects.

Handling beautiful yarn is its own reward.

These are my new mantras. I feel like I haven’t been enjoying my knitting enough. Not that I don’t love doing it, because I do. It’s more that I feel like I’ve been trying to win some sort of speed competition when that’s not why I took it up in the first place.

A year and a half ago, when I learned how to knit I didn’t learn because there was anything in particular I wanted to make. I spent probably a month just knitting swatches (garter, stockinette, ribbed, seed) because I really just enjoyed the *idea* of the craft rather than any particular end.

My skills have increased. I would describe myself as a confident intermediate knitter. 90% self taught at that, not to brag. I enjoy the challenge of new things, socks, sweaters, intarsia, lace. I want to try it all, and I’m working on that. I also want to knit for other people, to give them the joy of a lovingly crafted gift. I have, I believe, knit more finished objects for other people than myself.

Gifts: 1 blanket, 1 scarf, 1 fetching, 2 hats, 2 socks, 1 gloves, 1 bag
Myself: 1 scarf, 1 fetching, 1 socks, 1 hat, 1 gloves

Yup, I’m a giver.

Currently I am working on Phoebe (for me) and the felted flower bag (for me) and the twisted flower sock (for me) so that should make it even(ish). Of course I have a long list of gift knits to do this year as well. Not to mention Dulaan.

But here’s the thing, I’m working on my current projects like I’m going to win a prize when I’m done. This would be great if I had an enormous stash I need to whittle down, or if I was going to win a prize. But I don’t, and I won’t.

I’m going to slow down and enjoy this moment, right now, with my knitting. I was about to type that I’m going to cherish every stitch… but that’s a little flowery and stupid for my taste. I’m going to enjoy each stage of each project for what it is.

For example, Phoebe:
* Ribbing: Creates support, structure, holds everything together and clamps it down. Simple, powerful.
* Stockinette in the round: A tube! A beautiful perfect tube. Look at how even my tension is, I can even knit with my eyes closed
* Complicated twisted stitch pattern: Beautiful! Fun to watch, fun to do, zen, I can even talk to myself without guilt (purl, left twist, right twist, left twist, right twist, purl and so on)
* Saddle Shoulders: A new skill! I can’t wait to watch my sweater come together, front and back attached with a simple k2tog, 4 letters, one number, one sweater.
* Collar: The end! The closing bell, the finale, the fat lady sings. The. Best. Part.
* Grafting the underarms: Oh kitchener bliss… every time I successfully execute you, I feel like a magician.

So rather than performing each task eagerly awaiting the next, and eventually the finished sweater, I vow to perform each task for its own sake. Because I can. Because each part of this thing has a purpose in it’s making, not just in it’s wearing. Yes I will end up with a sweater, but more importantly I will end up with a sweater I have spent hours of quality time lovingly preparing, as opposed to rushing through to the end product.

I am not a sweatshop.

1 comment:

dragon knitter said...

does this mean that you, monkey helper girl, are not in the l&v marathon?

just kidding, lol.

me, i tend to go full tilt at everything. just my way of doing things. i don't spin slow either