Monday, September 6, 2010
They say three moves equals a fire; without packing a single box my family can lose most of its earthly possessions as a matter of routine. Like car keys - M is famous for his great, sudden lack of all things necessary for a day at work, including wallet, phone, and keys; they disappear with clever discretion just when he's ready to walk out the morning door. L loses many important items in his own hands. "I can't find my bakugan/pack of gum/vitamin/milk money!" he wails. "What's in your hand?" I ask. "Oh," he says, and bounds away, refuelled with his usual high quota of joy. T gets the most frustrated of the boys, especially when the lost thing is scotch tape and he has six minutes to wrap the present before we have to leave for the birthday party. "I hate this house!" he's been known to shriek. For a while he kept his own stockpile of tape in his loft, but his heart is too sweet and he loaned it to someone and someone lost it. When B loses something, he doesn't quite notice. Something's different, something, but he can't quite put his finger on it. No matter. Let's have a popsicle. Once I lost my wedding ring for three days and resorted to dowsing to get it back. Which didn't work, but doing laundry did - there it was, on the bottom of the basket, waiting for me to save it. Just this morning I pulled on a pair of pants and found a barrette I've been missing since the cool spring weather. I never even looked for it, poor thing. I had as much chance of finding it as finding a needle in a haystack.
Reading one of my knitting blogs this week, I was surprised to see the topic “The Future of Knitting” being discussed. I have often thought about knitting in relation to the past. As a novice knitter of five years, I am often comforted and sometimes overwhelmed by the long history people have with knitting; and with the amazing things that people create out of a ball of yarn and two needles. The variables often astound me--the width of the needle or its length, combined with your choice of fiber (natural or manmade) not to mention color… And then the numerous types of stitches can be charted to create a gazillion different patterns, which often spark many, many more thoughts and ideas. I have books devoted to wool, others to anything but, which includes soy, silk and bamboo. One book features a bag made from plastic grocery bags, and one determined knitter used wire to knit a screen door. The possibilities are endless. On the blog that I was reading, someone commented that in the future we’ll have needles that can tell you when you’ve made a mistake or dropped a stitch. One commenter hoped for needles that would tell you if what you were knitting would turn out ugly. One person wondered if in the future we might be amazed by the materials we would be using, new fibers and substances we hadn’t yet explored. One woman’s post went straight to my heart, she said: “It will always be about sticks and string.” That’s what I love about knitting, it feels like getting back to basics, no matter how nutty the rest of my life may be. Sticks and string are so much more constructive than sticks and stones.