Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bag It!

My knitting project list keeps growing by leaps and bounds! Not only have I still not knitted a single thing for myself -- except the cabled wrist warmers from -- but I'm now on a self-imposed deadline to finish half the projects I've got started.
1. Sam's blue striped socks. I've got one and a half socks finished. Still have the foot and toe to do on Sock Number 2.
2. Sam's corset. Not even started yet, but I have the needles, yarn, and pattern.
3. Mom's sweater. Got the book, yarn, and needles.
4. Sarah's baby blanket. I suspect that the baby has been born by now, and the blanket is less then 3/4 of the way finished.
5. The shawl. It's about 2/3 of the way finished and is probably the closest thing on the list to being completed.
6. THE BLASTED BAGS! I just ordered the yarn... at mom's urging. IN ALL AUTUMN COLORS, which by winter will probably look like florescent putrescence.
In early December there's a craft show. I decided that, should we decide to participate this year, I'd like to take something other than soap, lip balm, and hand lotion. Silly me. Am I really capable of knitting five of the French Market bags, felting them, and making them suitable for presentation to potential buyers at a craft show? I'd better be.
It's recently been suggested that, rather than continue to knit things for people, I suggest that perhaps it might be a good thing for them to learn how to do; for the most part, people who aren't crafty seem not to realize how much work is actually involved in knitting a pair of socks, let alone a sweater. They might appreciate the end result, but they never see you struggling with dropped stitches or laddered corners, or the neckline that turns out to be too small to go over your head and needs to be frogged and redone.
Well, I've taught mom the basics. She continues to struggle on a daily basis with the pattern for a two-needle watch cap: basic hat, knitted on two needles, ribbed brim and garter stitch body, some sewing involved. Easy? Maybe I flatter myself in thinking that once I've mastered the basics I can move on to more complicated things. I've knitted socks, right? And a sweater? So why is it so difficult to teach someone the basics and have them do the simplest of hats? Could it be that I'm just not a good teacher, or is she just aiming too high too soon? And don't even get me started on the "I don't have the patience" people. More like "I don't have the discipline", I suspect.
Since I've learned how to knit, I've learnt to enjoy the challenges presented by trying to figure out a new pattern. It's not tedious, whatever some people might think. Nor do men's appertinances drop off if they learn to knit. During the First and Second World Wars, soldiers knitted. Hell, the whole country knitted! Probably a goodly portion of the world in general was, at one time or another during the course of the wars, occupied by knitting scarves, socks, gloves, helmet liners, and who knows what else to keep the soldiers' extremities warm. Before that, knitting wasn't really gender specific to women, either. During the early development of knitting between the 14th and 16th centuries, and indeed until the 18th century, knitting was men's work; European knitting guilds were men-only... sorry, ladies. It wasn't until the 20th century that more women began to take an interest in it as a social activity, and then knitting started to become seen as something better left to the fairer sex.
And people claim not to have patience? Puh-leeze.

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