I've been listening to a beautiful story of a young woman, Beryl, who grew up on a horse farm in Africa during the early part of the last century. The author's verse-like prose and the narrator's soft British accent is an irresistible combination - like cool stream on a hot day. She tells of Kenya in the early years and of its colonization and of her experiences raising horses amid the wild beasts of the plain and bush. At one point she and her father are off to visit a family friend who has raised a young male lion, "Paddy" from a cub and keeps him as a pet. Beryl's father is appalled at the situation saying that it is both unkind and unwise to try and keep an animal from its true nature. Now grown to adulthood, Paddy proves the truth of those words and attacks young Beryl, very nearly killing her. This theme runs throughout the story, as various characters, both human and animal show their nature and happiness comes only through the recognition of this important truth. We can only be who we are, and resistance to our nature is a road to futility and unhappiness.
This truth holds in many aspects of our lives, including knitting, which was made clear to me recently by the wonderfully prodigious knitter, Aimee S. Aimee is a sweater knitter. Although she has made the occasional scarf requested by family members, and the odd baby blanket for a worthy friend, she is happiest and most herself as a knitter when a sweater is on her needles. Aimee recently pulled out a nearly complete cowl she'd been knitting only to turn it into a lovely pullover in under a week! I too, am a sweater knitter. I try to knit other things, but I rarely finish them. There's a host of projects in various states of unfinished all over my house -- all of them accessories. How many unfinished sweaters lie in wait? Zero - because I am a sweater knitter, and that's okay. Our lovely Mary is an accessory knitter. Jenny is a sock knitter. Ginni's knitting happy place is whatever is complicated and technically challenging (but not socks)!
There is no judgment here. Sweaters, socks, scarves, shawls - complicated objects or dishcloths - one is not is better than the other. It's about what you like - what you like to knit, what you like to wear, what you like to use. None is harder than the other, as each comes with its share of challenges. The point is that you get to choose the context in which you like to be challenged.
In both knitting and in life, it's very freeing to know who you are, but it's a process of discovery that comes with experience and maturity. Most knitters begin with a small project in a simple stitch pattern, exploring and expanding their knitting comfort zones. We try new things, and we go back to the things we like most. That's our knitting happy place. If you've been knitting for some time and have done a variety of projects, you probably know who you are as a knitter. If not, branch out a bit and try something that intrigues you. Or don't. As long as you're enjoying the knitting, whoever you are as a knitter is right where you belong.
Tell me, do you know what kind of knitter you are? I would love to hear! Not sure? Share your journey here. Comment and share blog by clicking below. I look forward to hearing from you on this blog post, or stop by the shop and tell me. You are always welcome here.
Back to 18 July 2017 Newsletter