Once up on a time, back when we all took buses, I would see people sitting on the bus and I would boggle at how they were doing it. I don’t mean riding the bus, I was riding the bus too and I absolutely understand how that is done, I mean how they were riding the bus without doing something… else. Not reading a book, not listening to a podcast, not bopping along to their own private soundtrack, not knitting or crocheting. Just… sitting there.
It has been suggested to me that perhaps these people have a rich inner life. That they are as occupied on the inside as I am on the outside, beavering along on my sock, and I’ve tried to consider this, but since it implies that anyone who needs to knit a shawl or a sock on the bus for the safety of others isn’t *&^%$#ing thinking as much, I’ve rejected it wholesale. It is them, I consider, as another something grows on my needles, it is them that must have the poorer life, to be deprived of knitting.
I realized this morning, as I hung Wavedeck on the line for a photoshoot, that for the most part – while I’ve never understood the non-knitting very well (though am am fond of many of them) I think I actually pity them a little bit. I know that to the vastest number of non-knitting folk, I will never be able to explain the feeling that leaps in me as I touch and hold something that I made this way. “That’s beautiful” a friend said yesterday, when I sent them a picture of this thing. “Really nice” they said, and I took the compliment, they really did like it, but their darling empathetic, well-functioning yet non-knitting heart cannot grasp the wonder of this, I fear.
This, while it is really nice, is really nice in a way that I know you’ll understand. This – I want to tell them, when something gets made this way, when you imagine it, and then you build it, making choices and taking steps to get it just the way you want, when you choose tools and reject and audition ideas and try on gauges to see if you can get the idea in your head to leap from imagination to reality –
and then spend hours and hours of your one wild and precious life moving fibre from one state to the other, from batt, to singles, to plied yarn to knitted thing and it actually works?
That is not “really nice”. This is really exactly what I wanted it to be, created by slow transformation, of slow magic, it is like when it is thirty degrees below zero and you go outside and throw water in the air and it instantly turns into snow. It is exactly like that.
Well, it is exactly like that if you are both the earth that made it thirty below, and the person throwing the water and if you understand that the instantly bit was thirteen days, but you catch my meaning.
I’m completely happy with this project, I adore it. (I love it so much that I contemplated leaving it on the line in the back garden for a few hours after I took its picture, just so the neighbourhood could maybe see it and be enriched.) I love everything from the batt I started with (I bought that from Chris at Upstream Alpacas, she’s the genius who dyed that silk and put it with the black baby alpaca) and I love the pattern, Kate Atherley’s very clever Wavedeck. (I love too that it’s named for one of my favourite places in this city.) I love that it’s the size I wanted and the colours fell the way I wanted them too and I love, love, love and adore the way that the pattern miraculously took all but 9 centimetres of the yarn (I kid you not, it was a yarn chicken triumph) and I love that it’s a gift for a friend…
and I love that they’re a knitter, of course. They’ll know what it is when they see it. Really nice.