Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thoughts on Knitting

Long ago when I moved to this city, I signed up for a creative writing course at a local arts center.  I had an extremely gregarious husband then who liked to throw parties and invite all kinds and mixes of people.  It was not uncommon for instance, for us to invite the video store clerk who was merely an acquaintances, as well as friends we knew, and neighbors we would like to get to know better,  So, we invited everyone in that creative writing course.  In this way, the creative writing instructor and her husband became some of our very best and treasured friends.

My writing instructor would teach a course once or twice a week at the arts center, and while she was in class, her husband took a course in pottery at the same time.  He had a stressful kind of job that demanded great patience and self-control, and a stressful kind of personal life too, really.  And he once said (or maybe now I think I inferred it--no, no, surely we talked about this and he said it) that when working with clay, he could put all his thoughts aside and just focus on his hands and the medium.

I remember big bags of clay in their dining room, and many of his experiments with glazes and forms over the years.  The little pot above is something he made that I have had around for more years than I'd like to count.  Unfortunately, it got chipped somewhere along the way, but I love it just the same.

That was all more than twenty years ago, and he is still making pottery, though it is a long way from that little pot.  His designs are functional as well as whimsical, and they are fabulous!  Clocks, and tea sets, and funny little sculpted people and beasts.

So--what's all this got to do with knitting?

Well, my friend began his voyage into pottery little by little and now he is very good at it.

I first tried knitting when I was about twelve or thirteen, and I wasn't very good at it.  I tried again years later, but once again gave up.  I never reached any sort of point where it became relaxing.  Everything I made came out wonky and weird. I figure though, if my friend could get good at pottery--really good at pottery--then I have half a chance of being good at knitting if I just keep at it.

Straightest knitting of my life!

So, I got myself a book and am little by little working on finding my way through it.  (Though thank goodness for the internet and youtube tutorials!)

Of course, there are many things I want to be good at--writing, teaching, crochet.  Plus, I need time to read!!  But if I can just slow down now and then, I can be good at some of these things.  If I just focus and keep at it and remember to breathe.


  1. Well done!
    I can knit but prefer crochet....but never seem to finish anything!

  2. Great post, and that bowl is lovely - I can see why you keep it. It's great that pottery became not only a mental escape for your friend but an outlet for what sounds like some amazing artistry.

    Hang in there with the knitting - you will get better and better! (I struggle with it too, as crochet is so much more intuitive for me.) Your project looks very cheerful on this cold day. :)

  3. I wish I was good at knitting. I can knit, but prefer to crochet as I find it so much easier. I think the secret to being really good at something is just practicing again and again, and never giving up, as you're doing now. x