This is the book I purchased to help me learn how to knit. It's called "Stitch 'N Bleep". The bleep rhymes with stitch and basically means to gripe. The title turns me off because I don't "cuss" as they say, but it is the best and cheapest book available on the topic. Only $13.95 at Barnes and Stables. Stickers easily covered the offending title from mine, my children's and anyone else's eyes. I put the cat sticker simply because it's cute. The book is easy to read and has cute up to date projects and ideas.
Also the the author Debbie Stroller gives a short history of knitting and her background regarding the hobby. What she wrote about herself was really interesting. Her family is from Holland. Her parents moved to the US and she was born, but often visited her relatives in Holland. Her grandmother learned to knit at the age of six and from that point on was responsible for keeping the family in socks- All thirty of them. Six- SIX years old. That just amazes me. Her grandmother lived to be 103 1/2 years old, and upon her death bed she anxiously worried about the socks she needed to knit.
Debbie Stroller is an admitted feminist and at first had a hard time reconciling her ideas to the old fashioned truly feminine art of knitting. Here is what she wrote:
"After all, I had gotten a Ph.D. in the psychology of women and had started BUST, a feminist magazine --What was I doing knitting?......It made me rethink my original feminist position. After all, it had been thirty years since the feminist revolution of the 1970s and housewives as we knew them had pretty much gone the way of the dinosaur, so why, wasn't knitting receiving as much respect as any other hobby? Why was it still so looked down on? It seemed to me that the main difference between knitting and, say, fishing or woodworking or basketball, was that knitting had traditionally been done by women. As far as I could tell, that was the only reason it had gotten such a bad rap. And that's when it dawned on me: All those people who looked down on knitting -- and housework, and housewives--were not being feminist at all. In fact, they were being anti-feminist, since they seemed to think that only those things that men did, or had done, were worthwhile." Debbie Stroller "Stitch 'n Bleep"
Why must people travel so far to discover who and what they are and what they truly enjoy. Seekers constantly journey just to find that they left the answer at their starting point. In the book "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer Christopher McCandless aka "Alexander Supertramp" ventured around the U.S. to discover life unfiltered. After surviving quite a while in the bush of Alaska he wrote in his journal regarding the book "Family Happiness" by Tostoy:
"He was right in saying that the only certain happiness in life is to live for others...I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor - such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a a mate, and children, perhaps - what more can the heart of a man desire?"
Unfortunately Christopher never embarked upon his new found life meanings. He starved to death before he could escape the harsh Alaskan bush. Sadly his family with whom he hadn't contacted in two years were left with their own questions to answer.
My practice work.
I know you might be thinking, "What does this really have to do with knitting?" Well I found myself sheepishly pulling out my knitting in a doctors office the other day. Almost reluctantly. Slyly peeping around the crowded room to see peoples reactions. Some people gaped at my hands moving somewhat awkwardly with their new ability. Others openly smiled at me. I would like to imagine they have fond memories of someone in their life Knitting. A grandmotherly woman next to me smiled sweetly and said, "My you're making those stitches awfully tight." I asked her quickly, "Should I make them looser?" "Oh no, your doing fine.", she replied. .....And on and on. Until the nurse opened the door and said, "Kristi?...Kristi?" and I got up and followed her into room one.
The journey is worthwhile and seeking is fine, but I do not want to spend my life seeking deep meanings only to find that I left the treasure I was seeking at home.