knit one, read two…

i’ve been knitting slowly. well, it’s not so much that my knitting is slow (which it can be), it’s that the project was slow-going, and the yarn and needles are fine. so the progress has been slow. but it is finally finished. it’s a gift i’ve made for someone, so sadly i can’t share a photo of it until it has been given. all i have to show for it are the remnants, a tiny bit of yarn and empty needles…

{ zZZzzzZzzZzzz… }

yes, i realize this is the ultimate trifecta of boring blogging: slow project + plain brown yarn + no photos of the finished thing. but i know if you’ve stuck with me so far, you understand that there is no rush here. so rather than apologize, i’ll thank you instead for being here.

in between rounds, i’ve been reading some books and i always get a little thrill when i come across a reference to knitting. it’s kind of the same feeling when i glimpse some old pyrex in the background of a madmen episode (here is someone who has documented a few of those sightings on her blog. see? i’m not alone in my madness. thank you internets!).

the first few quotations below are all from the same book, rilla of ingleside by l.m.montgomery. it was the only book from the anne of green gable series which i hadn’t yet read. anne has all grown up and has children of her own, and canada is in the early days of world war one. it’s an interesting departure from the idyllic daydreamy life at green gables.  duty to one’s country and finding one’s place in a rapidly changing society are exposed in the way montgomery knows best: from personal experience. she wrote the book soon after the end of ww1 when questions lingered about the sense of it all. and while those thoughts echoed in people’s minds, most did not speak it for fear of sounding unpatriotic. through telling the tale, montgomery describes the roles of women and how they changed through the war years. and although today we have the freedom and leisure to knit for our own reasons, i think most knitters can relate to some of the sentiments expressed.

on finding one’s purpose (knitting socks for soldiers):

“Old Mrs. Albert Mead of Harbour Head manages a pair and a half a day but she has nothing to do but knit. You know… she has been bed-rid for years… and yet could not die and be out of the way. And now they tell me she is quite chirked up and resigned to living because there is something she can do, and she knits for the soldiers from daylight to dark.”

on passing the time (waiting for news from overseas): 

“I must take up my knitting then and knit hard till the papers come. Knitting is something you can do, even when your heart is going like a trip-hammer and the pit of your stomach feels all gone…”

“We all find we cannot do any work that requires concentration of thought. So we all knit furiously, because we can do that mechanically.

on coping:

“Mother knitted away as steadily as clockwork and pretended to be calm and serene—pretended so well that we were all deceived and envious until the next day, when I caught her ravelling out four inches of her sock. She had knit that far past where the heel should have begun!”

(been there, done that ;) )

and as much as i love novels based on historical events, they often leave me feeling so heavy that my next choice in books is decidedly lighter. my friend lent me the shopaholic series of books by sophie kinsella. and knitting was mentioned again…

“…she’s one of those mothers who wears Crocs over nubbly homemade socks. (Why would you do that? Why?)”

~ Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

that made me giggle. clearly, becky (the heroine of the shopaholic books) has never tried on a pair of hand knit socks. i’m fairly certain i could convert her, a nice pink pair of cashmere socks, perhaps… as for the crocs? no comment (ok, one comment. they are great for camping).

so while some may still associate knitting as an activity relegated to old biddies and the fashionably inept, i can’t help but notice it crop up more and more often wherever i am. i can scope out the knitters in public. their blackberries are cozily slipped into cute little knit cases; their laptop bag has two wooden points protruding or perhaps a tiny trail of yarn spilling over the top.

and with ravelry (an online community for yarn enthusiasts worldwide) having reached 2 million members recently, well…  knitting may be an ancient craft, but it’s certainly alive and thriving today. even if at times it’s very, very slow-going. just look around. or pick up a book or two.

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15 Responses to knit one, read two…

  1. Dvora says:

    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to see the final project. :)

  2. Sarah (mrsgryphon) says:

    I like seeing your posts pop up in my Flipboard. Also: must figure out how to make my phone a cute little knitted case ;)

  3. Sheri says:

    One of your quotes reminded me of my own daughter telling me once that she liked to watch me crocheting because I looked so serene and calm.

    Have you ever joined a Sock War?

  4. Jo Chopra says:

    Oh, ana. No matter how much you write, it is never enough.

    I love this blog.

    Thank you.

  5. Peggy Rosenthal says:

    I also track knitters in novels. Right now I’m re-reading Barbara Pym’s novels and noticing how often a character is knitting (signaling domestic comfort, for Pym’s world of Britain in the 1950s).
    BTW, I’m the friend of Jo Chopra who wrote the new book she linked to: it’s called Knit One, Purl a Prayer. I almost put a chapter in the book about knitters in novels, then decided to omit it. But there’s a chapter on knitting in poetry.

    • imadeitso says:

      perhaps that chapter will appear in a future book. thank you for coming by peggy. so nice of jo to introduce us :) i’ll seek out pym’s novel in the future, and yours as well.

  6. Pingback: recovering our dining room chairs | i made it so.

  7. Pingback: worst photo ever: those socks | i made it so.

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