Sunday, April 01, 2007

For The Process of it All

I acquired a few new web site design customers (one of my many IRL WAH jobs) and as a reward/treat I decide to treat myself to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off. I have only really read the first chapter and as I am reading it, it is becoming clearer to me what kind of not only knitter I am but also what kind of crafter I am but, I think I have always know it.

When I was younger, my grandmother, my Father's Mother, taught me how to needlepoint, hook rug and yes, knit. I never finished a project. Not once. Not ever. She always had to finish them for me. I loved the concept, the idea, the design but who the heck wanted to finish?

When I was 12, I showed some talent in art and my art teacher wanted me to take additional instruction. I did have a Great Aunt who studied art at the Barnes Foundation and had a piece hanging in the Philadelphia Museum of Art so it made a lot of sense to them. I loved it. Again, though, I rarely finished a piece. My art instructor would have to declare a piece finished for it to be done otherwise I would still be painting the same dare thing over and over again. I only have one of my pieces hanging in my home and in my bathroom of all places so I can look and it every morning and think how unfinished it is. if I could just pop it out of the frame and.... Most of rest are at my parents with a few given as gifts to my sister, one actually to my brother although I don't think it is hanging and a few rare ones to a friend or two.

Then there are my soaps. I LOVE making soaps. In relative terms it is quick although, cold process does take 24 hours to get out of the molds. I have learned to be patient. I love the whole process it takes to make the soaps. The figuring out what to use, what oils, butters, scent, mold, what herbs and even what to put on the label. However, then I like to leave the bar itself looking a bit unfinished. I like the rugged look. I don't like the polished, clean, finished look. If I wanted that I might as well buy store bought soaps because they don't look handmade.

Back to knitting, and the book, and why the very first chapter made it all like a tidal wave and touch home to me. There is one part in the beginning where she goes with this one knitter who knits with an obscure material and I don't want to spoil it so but, I knew exactly where she was going before she told you. I got it. I don't ever keep any of my knitted items because I am not knitting for the warmth or for the cotton for the pretty stitches. I knit because I take the string and turned it into something amazing. Just like I turned this vat of colors and made it into flowers and trees, just like I take oils, Shea butter and lye water and turn them into a hard bar of soap. I knit because I am amazed almost every single solitary time that I can doing something amazing like that. I think I will amaze myself everytime I learn something new in knitting like when I learned to use circular needle a few weeks ago. Just like when I look at fellow knitters and crocheters finished objects and am in awe of what they can do with a little bit of yarn, any where from 1-5 needles and their heart.


Sue J. said...

It is amazing, isn't it, to see someone's skill and craft create beautiful items. I'm so glad you have found the one that pleases you the most. Sometimes people go their entire lives without finding that one, special craft at which they excel. I'll bet your soaps are amazing.

B said...

I really want to get the new Yarn Harlot book. I read Knitting Rules, and it was hilarious. I still am amazed how stuff that I knit actually looks like it's supposed to!

-B aka caffeinatedknitter