Monday, August 01, 2011

Inspiration from The Boss

I'm not a big Springsteen fan, but I do love snippets of his lyrics. I'm not a rabid poster, and most of the time it's because

I'm just tired and bored with myself! (nod to The Boss)

I'm considering a change in my blog content from solely knitting to a wider reference, namely MY BRAIN. However, I am usually knitting and have even recently reached a milestone for me.

I don't like being defined as "a knitter." Even the title of my blog seems to insist that I knit, therefore I am. This is simply untrue. I knit, I travel, I mother, I wife, I swim....but these are not WHO I am. Above all I am a thinker, and perhaps more of that will wield its way into this forum.

Early in my life, it was pounded into me that what I do, my actions, define who I am. I come from worker bees. Productive, some would say hyper-productive, parents set a high bar in terms of productivity to the exclusion of expression of feelings and thoughts. Indeed, thinking for oneself was rather frowned upon. I have found that the pressure to conform both dogs me and eludes me. Because I DO think my own thoughts. Constantly. And I have a continual tug of war inside me to conform and to rebel, or at the very least to please others vs. go my own way.

I even do this with my knitting. I have recently joined Google+ and have joined a massive circle of knitters, primarily young and hip, of which I am neither. I think one reason I continually isolate myself from groups of any sort is to preserve my originality. At the same time, I recognize that nothing is truly original. (nod to King Solomon) Most people are capable of retaining their individuality within a group, but sadly I am not one of these people. My childhood training was to line up, join in, be a part of the solution, even when there is no problem. I have to separate myself from the herd in order to hear my own voice.

The lovely part of the new social media is the exposure to newness: ideas, techniques, priorities, etc. If one can remain distinct, choosing what to take in and what to reject, it can be an enriching experience. I'm not sure I can do that, so I reserve the right to go "off the grid" periodically to listen to my inner voice once more.

When I can, great things happen. My champion in this endeavor is Elizabeth Zimmerman. She taught knitters to use their own minds, to make items that accommodated their own needs, to do things any way that works for them. She gives me wings! Recently I was contemplating shawl patterns on ravelry, and finding many that did not work for me. Simultaneously, a book I had ordered of lace borders arrived, and I thought how lovely it would be if I could do the lace part of a shawl first. One pattern really delighted me, called "Falling Leaf" and I started knitting it purely as an exercise. However, shortly I realized that I could actually make something out of it and I researched various methods for filling in the top half of a shawl with the lace as trim.

What resulted is the first shawlette that I designed and knit guerrilla style, and I'm very proud of it, much more than had I merely copied someone else's work. And here it is:

I hope you like it, but more importantly, I like it!


Phyllis said...

Oh, Kath...
It's beautiful. Don't think that's do-able par la machine!

Mavis said...

Love it! Like your blog I think it is good to isolate from the groups out there. I also try to preserve my originality but i usually need a couple of hours to myself and away from the computer. I use it as a tool and sometimes i get ideas but i too do not like to copy! Love the way you think!