Monday, October 22, 2007

Knitting "Trust" and "Love" Heirlooms

I was listening to David Ready’s latest Sticks and String podcast essay on “Trust”. He says, “Most of us go through life trusting people. Most people live up to that trust.” When we are knitting, there is a measure of trust we must have. We need to trust a pattern we are knitting, that it is correct and it will knit up to the picture before us. We trust that a ball of yarn is not going to have knots or strange shapes or color, unless it is intentional.
I think that the knitting and the crafting community is a community of “trust”. This trust is what appeals to me and feels so comfortable about being part of this community. Never have I seen a community that is so generous with their creativity and their time. If you have ever participated in a knitting group or Internet knitting forum, there is a measure of trust that a person must have to reveal what they are working on, good or bad. Most of the time, the responses are ones of encouragement and praise for your efforts. In signing on to Ravelry, never before have I felt more comfortable telling about myself in my profile. Is this because I know that only those who sign on, will be crafters who I can trust to share what is important to me? Is it because we mutually trust each other in our craft with similar goals? Is it because in doing this, allowing others to share my passion for my craft, I am somehow promoting its continuation throughout to generations to come?

I am glad that knitting is not considered an “old lady’s” hobby anymore. I’m glad to see so many young people wanting to learn. It’s great to see a resurgence of this long loved craft. We all need to teach someone how to knit or crochet to preserve this valuable skill. Of all my three sons, my youngest son was the only one of whom I was able to teach how to crochet when he was in Jr. Hi. He made his teacher a scarf and gave it to her for a Christmas Present. I was so proud of him. Unfortunately, shortly after his older brothers started teasing him about it and he stopped. I occasionally fanaticize the three young men being “stranded on a desert island, without any resources and of the three, there is only one who is able to crochet his own clothes out of the fibers found on the island, and the other two are naked as jaybirds. It’s a little like the story of the Three Pigs and Chicken Little, two lazy brothers and one industrious one.

Why are handmade knitted or crocheted gifts more cherished than purchased ones? The investment of one’s love and time in patiently knitting or crocheting a special gift for a friend or baby or loved one speaks volumes to the recipient. Learning a craft is much like learning to play a musical instrument. With time and practice, one perfects the skill to create a beautiful symphony of love in an heirloom that lives on for generations.

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