Friday, May 23, 2003

The plague spreads...

Now Maxie's sick. He woke up this morning so hot and in so much pain - poor little sore throat. A bit of ibuprophen later he's feeling better, tucked into bed (strategically placed so he can look out the window and watch the BIG machines that are tearing up our street today - could there be anything better for a kid?)

I can't seem to shake this, either - it's moved (as all colds I get) into my chest and looks like it's signed a long-term lease. The weather is SO grey, so cold (Hannah wore TIGHTS today!) and so clammy.

I wanted to work up a few items for the Knitted Shoe Competition that Interweave is having, but I'm just not having any good ideas. Or, once I touch the needles the ideas just fly away. Darn. Maybe I'll play hookey today and just take a break from the designing? I have decided to offer a wire knitting class in my home starting in late June - I'd been pondering this for a while, so I think I'll give it a try!

I've been reading Richard Rutt's A History of Hand Knitting and finding it - well - both dry and juicy at the same time. It's interesting, and I'm enjoying reading it. I like to read a history with opinions for a change. But at times I wonder what those opinions might be masking... Knitters are nothing if they're not opinionated - but in the time since the first publication of this history to today there's been a sea change in the knitting world. Where once it was very common for knitters to cling to the style of knitting they learned as a child at grandma's knee, now they're more open to learning new techniqes to enlarge their knitting reperatoire.

There was a good deal of nonsense on one of the knitting lists a few years ago about the need to "unlearn" a technique to learn a new one - some knitters quailed at the thought of holding the yarn a different way than they were used to. Or - horrors - forming a stitch in a different way (ie, Combination or Eastern Uncrossed) because it would force them to unlearn the way they currently knit!

I think I have more faith in the intelligence of knitters. I find it quite possible to hold several different ways of doing something in my head at the same time without "unlearning" anything. Unlearn indeed. Oy. That's like saying a classically trained singer must 'unlearn' what she knows to belt out some jazz. Jeez.

The tone of some of Bishop Rutt's writing reminds me of the atmosphere of knitting 20 years ago, when I was told quite often that I was knitting "wrong" (as if there could be a 'wrong' way of knitting as long as you get the results you desire.) Ironically, the author is quick to point out the a certain narrow-mindedness in the knitting world of Victorian Times, but I find a general atmosphere of "there is a RIGHT way to knit, and a WRONG way to knit." through his book.

Could it be that I'm just a little sensitive on this issue? Hmmmm, could be..

I do reccomend it - but borrow it from the public library first to see if it's something you want to add to your own knitting library.
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