...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Honoring Your Craft

The following article excerpt is taken from Sally Melville's knitting series Book 2: The Pearl Stitch/Becoming Intuitive.  Seeing that I'm knitting gift socks (this pair for instance is for my mother-in-law's birthday.  Shhh, don't tell her you've already seen them) and seeing that the prospect of offering handmade gifts--whether knitted or otherwise--swirls around in many folks' heads this time of year, I figured it an appropriate time to share her words of wisdom:

A survey done on Canadian radio posed the question, "What is the most dreaded Christmas present?" 
The answer was not the heavy-as-a-brick fruit cake...It was a handknit sweater!
I'm not sure what this says about our craft. Perhaps it harkens back to a childhood in which one desperately wanted a Red Ryder BB gun but was given a brown and orange, ill-fitting but practical handknit sweater.
Whatever this was about, we can all make it our personal mission to override such a dreadful stereotype...by learning all that we can to be the best knitters we can and by raising public consciousness about the knitting community.  Here are my suggestions:

  • Knit in public. (You'll answer questions, meet other knitters, learn a trick or two, and perhaps even teach a new knitter.)
  • Access your knitting community.(...visit shops, bookstores, Web sites...to which you can connect and from which you can learn.)
  • When you knit for others, make sure it works for them! (This may mean knitting something you don't like--in a style you don't like, in a stitch pattern you don't like, in a color you don't like.  It may also mean ripping and re-knitting to make it fit.  But they get what they want--which does much for knitting--and you'll learn from the experience.)
  • When you find yourself excusing a mistake ("a blind man on a galloping horse will never see it"), you need to fix it...or repeat it.  If done three or more times, it becomes a design feature.
  • Notice--and compliment--the knitting you see. (If I see someone wearing what I think is a handknit sweater, I ask, "Is that a handknit sweater?"  If the answer is "Yes," I then ask, "Did you make it yourself?" If the answer is again "Yes," we start a conversation and perhaps bond for life.  If the answer is "No," I then say, "Someone loves you very much.")
 Happy gifting!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely beautiful socks. I think anyone would love to get them for a gift. You can knit girl! And you made some very good points.

    Cindy Bee