Last week I finished reading Zen and the Art of Knitting: Exploring the Links Between Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity by Bernadette Murphy. The subtitle pretty much says it all: the book discusses Knitting, Spirituality, and Creativity, and the relations between the three, in depth across several topics. For instance, there’s a chapter on Resting the Mind, and another on Ripening the Intellect, she discusses the heart, the soul, the body, and how it all works itself together.
The most unique thing about this book is that Ms. Murphy uses some stories and insight from her own life, but most of the substance of this book is made up of interviews that the author got from some really interesting and different people. Also, she includes a stitch pattern at the start of every chapter, a tip to put the lessons to use at the end of each chapter, and a pattern for a super-basic sweater at the back of the book.
I love how Ms. Murphy encourages the reader to knit, no matter the reason. She offers all of these other reasons why she and other knitters (and crocheters!) love what they do, but she emphasizes that the most important thing is that knitting is significant in the individual reader’s life.
I originally bought this book because it was $5 at a used book store down the street from my house, but I really enjoyed it. If you are a crafter who finds your crafting to be fulfilling or meaningful in any way other than just churning out an end project, or you’re thinking of becoming a crafter, then I highly recommend reading this book.
In other news, I finished the second sleeve on my sweater!
I got into one of those moods last night where you just can’t stop knitting (I was also listening to the Game of Thrones 4 audiobook – quite enthralling), and I did almost the entire second half in one sitting.
The sleeve is not looking too bad after last night’s exciting-movie-induced-confusion.
As it gets a little cooler (not THAT much cooler — c’mon Nashville! — but a girl can dream), I feel the need to start knitting faster. I want to finish this sweater so I can get it off the needles and onto my sister, who will need it quite soon.
In other news: tonight I saw a really great production of one of my favorite plays: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. It was absolutely delightful. There were existential crises, question games, bawdy players, tragic deaths, and pirates. After all, pirates could happen to anyone.
1. Oh hey look I finished a sleeve and started another:
2. My new needles arrived in the mail. I had a minor panic attack when I realized I didn’t have the right size circulars for the body of this sweater (3mm/US size 2, 24″), and might finish the sleeves before these babies arrived today. Luckily, this did not happen. They’re the Sunstruck nedles from KnitPicks and they’re freaking gorgeous.
3. I realized I can’t knit colorwork with DPNs and watch Avatar (the James Cameron one with blue people, not The Last Airbender). It’s so exciting/visually interesting that I get so into it and I forget what’s happening with the stitches and the yarn and the needles and I’m not even sure what’s become of my sleeve.
Yesterday I cleaned ALL THE THINGS in preparation for a small dinner party with good friends, which was delightful. Today was my first day of my sort-of-internship at my alma mater’s study abroad office. It was SO COOL. I love these people. I love this industry. I love this work.
But it sure does cut into the knitting time.
I adore this colorwork, but it kills me that my pictures are so crappy that you can’t see how rich the brown is, and how lovely the purple is with it. I’m not much farther along than I was yesterday, but I only have a few rows left before this sleeve is done and I can get started on the second one.
Looks like it’s time to try to watch an episode of the West Wing and knit, but really fall asleep with my needles in my hands.
I always read before going to bed, and I have a tendency to accidentally fall asleep, so I tend to sleep with books a lot. I wake up with a book on my pillow or in the bed beside me, but the worst thing that happens is maybe a couple of bent pages and maybe some strange dreams.
People that watch TV before bed suffer only the consequence of wasted electricity if they fall asleep before turning the TV off.
Scrapbookers might have a bit of glue in their hair or some paper stuck to their face when they awake.
Heck, most hobbies or pastimes done either in bed or while falling asleep pose little risk to the hobbyist.
But we, dear knitters, and especially those who knit in bed, risk bodily harm on a regular basis.
This is what my bed looked like last night right before I considered going to sleep:
Behold! Pointy sticks waiting to stab unsuspecting sleepers, yarn ready to strangle a toss-and-turn-er. As much as I would love to cuddle with wool and the starts of a cozy sweater, I risk puncture wounds or even death should I risk going to bed without clearing up all this yarny goodness.
Mine is a very dangerous hobby.
I was minding my own business today, behind the register at the restaurant where I work, when this lovely nice lady walked in. I rang up her order, and when she put her purse on the counter to fish out her wallet to pay, we had the following conversation:
Me: That’s such a cute purse!
Her: Thanks, it’s my knitting bag, too.
Me: Oh! Are you a knitter?
Her: I am.
Me: Me too!
We both begin to grin like idiots. She eagerly pulls her current Work-In-Progress out of her bag to show me. It is the most delightful top-down baby sweater in gorgeous blue/green yarn (like, 2plys are blue 1ply is green I LOVE THAT).
Me (totally drooling over this sweet little sweater) : … Can I touch it?
She let me fondle her gorgeous baby sweater, we chatted about the local yarn store and knitting bags and stuff. There was a short line of customers growing behind her now but neither of us cared, because we had each discovered a Knitter in the Wild. It was a delightful chance encounter, which are rare for me. I’ve met many knitters at yarn stores, at stitch-n-bitches, etc., you know – places where you would expect to meet knitters, but never a Knitter in the Wild.
The sweater sleeve progresses slowly. I got gauge (at least, I got close to gauge – 6.75ish sts to the inch, where I’m supposed to get 7 – and the rest will block out) so I’m merrily knitting away on the lovely color charts. I’m using this sweater as a good excuse to get back into Game of Thrones – I’m listening to the audiobook of A Feast for Crows, and it’s delightful.