Words on Knitting
Last time I was at my local library, I picked up a new book titled Knitting Yarns: Writers On Knitting edited by Ann Hood. It is a collection of essays by various authors talking about the place knitting has in their lives. Not all are knitters and some are “failed” knitters (their words, not mine). Yet they all have these wonderful stories about knitting. Grandmothers, mothers, dogs, and all other people we love are spoke about in the pages.
I want to share a couple of quotes from two writers who have written some of my favorite books.
From “where to begin” by Barbara Kingsolver
It’s all in the growing. From the seed of a pattern, the cotyledons of cast-on, everything rises: xylem and phloem of KP ribs, a trunk of a body and branches of sleeves, the skirt that bells downward daffodilwise. You with your needles are god of this wild botany.
My favorite book written by Barbara Kingsolver is The Poisonwood Bible. But I would recommend all her novels and other writing.
From “how knitting saved my life. twice” by Ann Patchett
Ten years later I am still wearing that scarf, though only on very cold days. It’s enormous, like high Japanese fashion, an entire sheep’s worth of wool. Sometimes I think that I’ll take it apart and make something more practical, two smaller scarves, but then I think about all the people this scarf has to holds – my grandmother, who taught me to knit, and Marti, who I taught to knit, and Lucy and all the things she didn’t get to finish, and Erica, who made sure I got it done, and all of our collective love and hope and disappointment. When I think about it that way, I’m amazed I was able to knit it all in.
My favorite book written by Ann Patchett is Bel Canto, beautiful lyrical book that combines opera, unlikely admirers, a birthday party gone wrong, and idealistic young terrorists.
Finally I want to offer you this quote from Anita Shreve on unfinished projects. It is very wise and true.
We [Anita & her daughter] have an additional realization: there is a reason there are so many orphans in the room. Projects don’t get finished because (1) the sweater one is making goes out of style by the time the garment is finished; (2) the many children who used to be excited when receiving handmade gifts have wised up, and there are no longer recipients for pairs of jacquard-patterned socks, mismatched or otherwise; or (3) no one can sustain, for more than the front and the back of the sweater, the belief that a hot pink and cool blue variegated yarn will look good on anyone.
Somehow, I think we all have projects that fit in these categories lurking in the recesses of our homes. They are indeed orphans.
I really recommend this book to you. It is a fun read and contains all the best reasons that we knit. Crocheters don’t despair, you are represented as well.
Happy Knitting and Reading.