Posted by: L | January 28, 2006

Knitting – Why? The honest answer

I keep promising friends and students the why of my knitting and needle work. I never really answer. So those of you that really want to know, grab a cup of coffee, snuggle up to your computer/laptop and have a read if you are so inclined.

The stock answer is usually: I love it; I love the process; it’s relaxing. It is all those, yet it’s a longer story and in the end a journey of self.

So here goes. I’ve been knitting and doing needle work on an off since I can remember. My grandmother (fathers mother) taught me both. She was a graduate of Parson School of Design and a phenomenal textiles artist. FAMILY NOTE: I am publicly stating dibs on the embroidered Queen Anne chair!

The tide really and truly turned when my best girlfriend lost her two year battle to breast cancer 7-years ago; compounded by the sudden death of my grandfather the following year of lung cancer and a series of deaths of friends that same year and the preceding three years. A devastating couple of years. As if that wasn’t enough, I was grappling with a divorce and assimilating back into ‘civilian’ life after 7-years as a girlfriend/wife to a man I still loved who had lost his ability to tell the truth. At least to me.

I made a decision when my girlfriend and grandfather died; actually I did the one thing I knew how to do. I wrote. I wrote my obituary. Why my obituary? I still can’t give a concrete answer. I do know that what propelled me to write was remembered conversations or sometimes lack of them with Theresa. They were of life, wishes, dreams, those done/not done,those pursued/not pursued.

Obituaries are a scary thing. They are about whom you were – past tense. In the writing I realized that unlike my girlfriend, I could actually live my life to match the words. It was also the last time I put personal thoughts of any kind down in a written form. No more poetry, hand written letters, diary entries, etc. Nada, nothing, finoto.

I didn’t keep the obituary. Whoa Nelly – the house was not completely in order! Words and impressions that continue
to resonate for me from that obituary were: passionate, lived, courageous, honest, laughed, traveled, enjoyed beauty, friends, family, loved arts… In short, I wanted to be remembered as someone who loved, dreamed, laughed, lived and I mean lived. To do it with passion, honestly and courage.

Snap shot – 7 years later – the house is in order – or at least much better, travel – in hot pursuit – alone, but in pursuit. Friends – cleaned the house: kept some, didn’t keep some and made new ones (ongoing). Family – kept – set new boundaries, opted to NOT live in the past, found I cared. Still do. It was dicey for a while though.

It was during this time frame that I really got back into textiles, knitting, needlepoint and designing. I’ve stuck with it since. Opened TwinKnits Design in 2002 and have kept at it slowly but surely for private commissions. The last two of the 7- years I’ve also been learning to NOT working 24/7 in my MarComm/PR firm. Learning to let go, take time for myself, expand, explore, and see what and where my heart and life are beyond high-tech. While high-tech will always be a part of it, I have realized that it will and can also include textiles, knitting, needlepoint and designing.

So I’m working on the commercial part of that more aggressively than I have in the past. I’m a capitalist at heart so the obvious questions for me are: Can I turn hobbies and passion into making money? Can this be a second career? When do I find the time? Answers: 1- Yes – maybe not as much as now. A sticking point that I’m working through as I really do LOVE my day job. 2– Yes – with time and slowly. 3 – on the weekend, in airports, on airplanes, late at night.

In the end, for me, textiles (knitting, weaving, needle point, etc) are crafts that inspires beyond the stresses and losses of a day, a week or year(s). I look at a sweater, scarf, pillow or swatch and I see places, people and the woven memories of those lives/places. It’s another place where I can explore the world, live, laugh, dream and weave it all together. It’s been a constant in a 7- year journey and one that continues to evolve. Bring it on!

So what’s on the needles?

1) Ella T-shirt – cast on, worked and then ripped out. Snug fit? Hello, at 21 inches wide – per side. I’m 5’4” and small – Hmm I don’t think so. Nor is it written well for those of us with a bit less in the ‘sisters’ department to fit correctly. Dolly Parton I am not. Definitely a bit of re-writing to be done.





2) Noro Silk Garden Light Sample for the shop – Noe Knit. Working to define/show the wool and how it looks with texture and openness. A little wide, but a scarf pattern will be avialable in the next weeks in a softer yarn. The Noro is beautiful, but scratchy.

3) Air – almost done.


PS: House guests this weekend – Duke, a puppy Gordon Setter, my sister and niece.










Who can knit with a cute puppy on hand? They leave this AM, so no excuses after. Well a cocktail party this evening. Lord knows I could use a drink. Long week. Working breakfast Sunday and then knitting.

That writing thing.? I’m starting again.

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