Thursday, September 18, 2008

Relaxation or Revitalization?

Today I was listened to a few past episodes of the Sticks and String podcast by David Reidy. In Show 64, he interviews designer Ann Feitelson. They discuss her extraordinary Fair Isle work and she mentioned that knitting revitalizes and rejuvenates her, rather than relaxing her. She simply doesn't knit to zone out or wind down and this is why she thinks Fair Isle knitting appeals so much to her--the challenge gets her fired up. That got me to thinking about what I want to get out of my knitting.

The answer for me is that it depends. Sometimes I want my knitting to recharge me. Other times I want to just zone out and relax. I suppose this is why I have multiple projects at any given time. Usually one is challenging or otherwise exciting and the other one is simpler or requires less mental energy. Oddly enough, the rejuvenation aspect can happen regardless of which project I work upon. There is something about knitting (or spinning) that can recharge my internal wellspring. Sometimes that is relaxing and sometimes that is invigorating.

I knit to have something concrete to show for my time and efforts. I knit to connect with my (deceased) paternal grandmother (I have all her knitting things, including a sweater in progress.) I knit for a sense of accomplishment. I knit because I have come to appreciate hand knit socks. I knit because my handknit garments fit better than store bought knitted things and are of higher quality than what I can afford to buy ready-made. I knit because I can give my knitted stuff to other people (even complete strangers) and they get to feel hugged by it. I spin because I love the look and feel of beautiful fiber. I spin because the rhythm of the spinning is soothing. Knitting and spinning can be meditative. I knit or spin to keep my hands busy while my mind wanders (or focuses) elsewhere. Knitting and spinning can be calming as I have to focus on what I'm doing and let the stresses of the day diffuse away. They can also be energizing as I watch the knitted (or spun) product grow and develop. There's just something exciting about watching yarn or fiber slowly reveal its end state.

Why do you knit (or spin or quilt or do whatever fiber thing you do)?

The Former Bellatrix Socks
Have decided that they really do want to be Pomatomus. Yesterday I thought they might have wanted to be Firenze Socks or Zombie Socks, but today Pomatomus is winning the "argument". I'm not sure the color is exactly what Firenze Socks should be, though the color yarn I have is almost exactly the same as what the designer used in her original socks. Watery blues are just not what I picture when I imagine the centaur Firenze. Something green/brown or yellow/gold/brown, but not this particular blue colorway.

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