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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Why we knit ..


As happens so often, a post in one of my groups led to me a blog I'd never visited, and I found this wonderful post that I want to quote and share here. The Blog is Jung at Heart by Dr Cheryl Fuller. I loved this post and wanted to share it with you:

Marie Louise von Franz talks about knitting a bit in her book, The Feminine in Fairytales. I'll grant that some of what she says is quite sexist as we see things today but the heart of her comments remains valid --

Everybody who has knitted or done weaving or embroidery knows what an agreeable effect this can have, for you can be quiet and lazy and also spin your own thoughts while working. You can relax and follow your fantasy and then get up and say you have done something! Also the work exercises patience...Only those who have done such work know of all the catastrophes which can happen -- such as losing a row of stitches just when you are decreasing! It is a very self-educative activity and brings out feminine nature. It is immensely important for women to do such work and not give it up in the modern rush. (The Feminine in Fairy Tales, Spring Publications, 1972, p. 40)

I knit in meetings and while watching television. I knit at any social event where it seems acceptable. Knitting serves at times like that to focus my attention by giving my "monkey mind" something to do. And I find that as i return later to what I was knitting, I also recall what I heard or saw or thought when last I was knitting that piece.

The knitter becomes a literal part of what we knit as our hair gets knit into the objects we make. When I look at things i made 10 or 15 years ago, I know that hairs from cats and a dog now dead are part of that knitting. Each knitted object carries the history of the time in my life when it was made. When I left my first husband, I started a complicated Kaffe Fassett coat and I worked on it for 2 years. It is where I worked through my grief and anger and transformed those feelings into something new, something beautiful, something I could take into my new life. The coat is made from bits and pieces of yarns that I bought while in that marriage, leftovers from other projects. Knitting it was knitting up many of my own loose ends and when I finished it, something in me had changed.

1 comment:

Lynda the Guppy said...

My mom has a friend who is a quilt appraiser. Apparently she knew of a case where there was a quilt made in the 1800s and they had traced it back to two sisters, but were trying to figure out which sister actually made the quilt. There were a few hairs sewn into the quilt, and they were able to tell by hair color, (one was blonde, the other brunette) which sister made the quilt. And since they knew exactly who it was that made the quilt, the quilt itself was more valuable.