16 February 2008

New knitting

It's almost Autumn, so for me, it's time to knit with wool instead of cotton. I went to the shops yesterday - yes, I know, it's scary out there - to buy a longer set of circular needles. I'm going to make a cowl for the cold days of winter. I have two balls of very soft 100% fine merino wool in my stash, all I needed was the needles.

I took my camera to the store.

Knitting is a really interesting activity. It's like a mediation, in that it's often a solitary repetition that calms and slows you down. But it's also something that, when you do it in public, will connect you to all the other knitters in the vicinity. Knitters like watching and talking to other knitters. It's like being in a club. When you knit in public, you make a statement. You're silently saying that you like to be productive, you prefer homemade to mass production and your modern creative spirit is satisfied by an age old craft. When you knit at home alone, you're nurturing your soul with the doing of it and giving yourself, or whomever the knitting is for, the warm and generous gift of the handmade.

On to the store. I thought I'd be able to buy needles at the big department store here - Myer. I drove over there, searched high and low, and guess what! You probably already know what I will write - NO needles, no wool, no cotton, no materials of any kind that would allow me to make for myself what I wanted. They only sell pre-made everything. Pfffffffft! I did get some photos though. Can you imagine, they're already selling Easter eggs!

Clicking on the photos will enlarge them

I went to Spotlight. For those readers not in Australia, Spotlight is our big chain craft store. I knew they had needles and all the yarn to go with them, but it's really impersonal there. You scan the aisles, much like in a supermarket, and then take your purchase to a checkout. I would love to find a small local shop that sells a good range of wool and cotton, where I could talk about my purchase to someone with knowledge and advice, where they had swatches of knitting done in various patterns using a variety of yarns, where my love of the handmade was affirmed.

I bought my needles, and two balls of 100% cotton in the bargain bin for $1 each. One of them is red! I don't know why but red cotton is as scarce as hen's teeth here, so when I saw it sitting there I picked it up without hesitation. Click Click with the camera, much to the surprise of the women shopping there, and off I went.

I felt like the cat with all the cream as I drove home with visions of the cowl and the many knitting sessions in store for me. I've already written that I don't see knitting and sewing as a craft but rather a part of the work I do for my home. No matter what it is called though, knitting is always pure pleasure and the starting of a new project is a time of happy anticipation. And when I settle down on the front verandah later this morning and settle into the rhythm of this new knitting, it will provide the satisfaction and enjoyment of the making as well as a warm garment for me to wear in winter. You can't get much better than that.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
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