Thursday, January 11, 2007

The life pursuit

Why knit? It would be less time-consuming and probably cheaper to buy a knitted item than do all the work oneself. Why write? It's not like the world has too few film critics, and very, very few people care about personal ramblings on a knitting blog of all things. Scott Gordon's interview with Ricky Gervais for The Onion A.V. Club has the British comedian giving an answer that works for me:
I think doing something creative is the most important thing to me, and I think it's probably just good for the soul for anyone, whatever it is. You don't have to be a film director—you can do gardening or something—but I think everyone needs to create something.
The sentiment is also at the heart of what Donna blogged about yesterday. Creating something feels good. You don't have to be making the greatest thing ever, or even something good, to enjoy the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes with it. Donna relayed her first project progress in the comments to my post about schadenfreude and karma. She's knitted four inches. I understand how big of a deal that is. If this blog is anything, it's a daily exclamation of "I can't believe I did this, and I'm really excited about it".

I feel that knitting has changed me in some way inside, that the creative process involved has made me want to be more generous. It makes me more externally motivated whereas writing is first and foremost about me. Writing is leaning on the release valve to let out whatever is making me happy or sad. I feel honored that you're taking the time to read what I've written, a highly generous act on your part, but I suppose that I'd keep at it if no one were reading. (But don't go away!) Whether being creative means doing something for others or yourself, what makes it good for the soul is that you're doing something. I know I feel more creative--and, in turn, more alive--when I knit and write on a regular basis. Do you feel the same way?

With the best of intentions I led everyone to believe I'd have my seed stitch dishcloth to show off today. Sorry to disappoint you, but as you can see, I'm nowhere close to finishing. (I'm not sure if that's the right side or the wrong side of the dishcloth.) I took a nap when I got home from work and felt even less motivated to do anything after it. I needed a night like that, even if, in a familiar lament, I feel like I'm never going to get caught up.

I knitted briefly but didn't stick to it long. I was too unfocused. The pattern has four rows per repeat, but I couldn't keep track of them in my head. (I have two row counters, but they are either too small or too large for the needles.) I undid an entire knitted row that I'm fairly certain should have had alternating knit and purl stitches. After finishing a second repeat, I figured I ought to put down the needles until I'm not so scatterbrained.

Don't forget, it's National De-Lurking Week. Lurkers, poke your head into the comments and say hello, introduce yourself, etc. It's quick and painless, although I guess you have to register with Blogger if you want to comment with your name. I know there are some who find that intolerable, but consider it your good deed for the day.


At 8:15 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Hey, Secret Knitter! Your dishcloth looks good... just keep working on it and soon the pattern will be memorized and come naturally to you. Kind of like writing does already.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

the dishcloth looks great...keep it up!

and i feel the same way about knitting...the fact that we can take a ball of yarn and a couple sticks and transform it into something useful and/or beautiful amazing me every time i think about it!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

Hi, Secret Knitter! (I'm delurking). I found your site through Donna--and am an avid knitter. :-) Welcome to the knitting world!

At 10:45 PM, Blogger the secret knitter said...

Thanks everyone. I'm dead tired, but these are some nice little boosts.


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