Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sox, Sox, Sox - Is That All You Ever Think About?

Well, sometimes - but I also think about shawls and jumpers and jackets and cardis and hats and patterns .....

It's hard to explain to a muggle (especially a muggle husband) the true, pure joy of knitting. The fact that the knitting itself is great and so is the giving or wearing of an item you made, with your hands. This creation is a very primal thing, I think.

I imagine that anyone who creates anything feels a surge of pride that their hands and minds have created this beautiful thing.

I have a bent (enough sniggering down the back) for creating useful, functional and sometimes wearable items. As a potter, I specialised in ware, that is, things which people could use to eat or drink from, or to serve food and drink. I admired those who specialised in sculpture or 3 dimensional art pieces, but that was not where my skills or inclination lay. I have sewn and enjoyed it (although since the advent of children, my sewing machine has not had much of a workout!), and I love to cook (but not clean, as you already know!).

I love to create things, and that was my one problem with my academic career. Although I am the proud holder of several degrees, the problem with academic life is that for all the work you put in, you don't always have anything really tangible to show for it. You have words, or reports, or project notes, and although in the hands of a poet or writer words can be beautiful and revolutionary, in the hands of an academic essayist or researcher, that is not usually the case. Your academic words may change the world, but they are rarely as beautiful or fulfilling as the things you make with your hands.

Mind you, it's still miles better than any words I wrote back in the dark days of working for the public service, specifically in the CES (Commonwealth Employment Service, for those of you too young to remember this institution)!

Knitting not only allows me to create beautiful object which I enjoy wearing and giving, but it also allows me to exercise my mind (all that maths and creative visualisation), and to design. My first ever socks design is on the needles and is working really well at present (small break for sacrifices and libations for Knitting Goddesses).

I have posted my first completed socks on the SSS blog and am working on the second pair - don't expect close-ups though - if they work I'm aiming for my first rejection!

Ins and Outs and Shake it all abouts:

A better week this week than last! The de-cluttering fairy has been helping me this week!


3 balls Jet, 3 prs knitting needles, fridge magnets and plastic table cover stuff - from the Doomlight of Spot!
3 balls yarn for my tea cosy swap
1 swift and ball winder (courtesy of the lovely Donyale)
1 top, 1 girl's dress, 2 bamboo handles, 2 doll's dresses (op-shop)
1 layby paid off (stocking stuff for children - 4 boys t-shirts
3 books knitting patterns (gift in from stepmother!)

1 pair shoes (gift)
1 large bag clothes (op shop)
1 bag hats and toys (child care centre)
4 bags children's clothes (ebay)
1 cot (sold)
1 car seat (sold)
25 kg of walnuts (sold)
1 book (gift)
4 pairs girls shoes (gift)

The work continues - I hope to have several boxes leaving the house this weekend!


Taphophile said...

I proudly wear the label of crafter (or even crafty). I am not an artist. For me the divide falls on usability.

Very interested in your pattern-developing. How exciting.

You're doing brilliantly with 7 things. Are you starting to see gaps yet?

Bells said...

Oh yes. Great post. This is why I now knit, cook and garden and why I don't write novels any more. Also, it's why I don't do cross stitch. I know you CAN cross stitch functional things, but I didn't. There are only so many framed pictures you need.

I longed to make things that were both beautiful and useful.

Rose Red said...

What Bells said (except for the cross stitch, I've never done that). I think it is also why I'm hating work more and more - I just don't feel I'm producing something useful! You've expressed it really well.

Amy Lane said...

I'm so impressed by the socks! (And by the post!!!) I know EXACTLY what you mean by making something 'beautiful and functional'. Although I'm still writing, at least my knitting feels like an accomplishment in the year long break between books!

2paw said...

You can never have too much Socks!! Your socks are very lovely, and well done on designing your own!!!! I have a thesis in the Uni Library and an Honours thingy as well: neither of any use in the Real World!!!

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

"Dust Collectors" unfortunately that is what many of the quaint, creative and eventually unapreciated knick knacks usually become. I suppose that is why many of us strive for beautiful and functional.

If I spend out time creating something, I want to know that it is being valued, aprecaited and used.

Alwen said...

It's especially hard to explain to a muggle husband how you can get so absorbed in sox and S.E.X. (stash enhancement experience) and stay up late knitting instead of coming to bed!

Raven said...

I love knitting for exactly that reason - creating tangible, beautiful and wearable (sometimes all in the same object) things. Great post today.

kms said...

oh you so hit a cord with me today! i have slightly under 8 weeks to produce the finished Pensky File and it feels like im entering a torture chamber. who is responsible for all the lies i was told about how great it would be? it matters not in the scheme of things, and i am finishing it now purely for the sake of finishing it, but then i am headed for a job here full of self important self congratulatory brain boxes who a) have no idea about the real world and b) have no idea how much more important, creative and clever knitting is. *sigh*.

Heidi Malott said...

Hello, I meandered over here from madmad. Your comment had me rolling with tears about craft night at school. Thank you for the laugh. Lovely socks, by the way!

MadMad said...

You do always have great comments, ya' know... (Also, some cool socks!)

Kate_knits_a_bit said...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful socks - if I hadn't noted the slight difference in our shoe sizes, I might have been tempted into a nefarious night-time visit to some northern parts of this state!!

Kate_knits_a_bit said...

Oh, and I got so carried away with your socks that I forgot to say 'me too/three/five/however many!!' - I get a big kick out of creating, be it knitting, cooking, gardening, or the sewing and cross-stitching BK (Before Kids). There is such satisfaction in bending ideas and skills and energy to the production of something that you can enjoy using your physical senses, as well as having an appreciation on an intellectual level.
Let the inspiration flow!

Jejune said...

As both an artist and a crafter, I'd agree with Taph that the distinction lies with functionality... and I love making things that are useful. My favourite gifts to receive are useful things, that I can use every day and makes me think of the giver. I can't stand trinkets. As for paintings on the wall - ahh, they feed the soul :)

My hubby says 'Sox, sox, sox, is that all you think about' too, LOL ;)