Sunday, March 18, 2007

This one is deep...

Not that I needed another reason to love reading the Yarn Harlot's blog, but if you haven't read her most recent entry you may want to grab some kleenex first. It really touched me, and got me to thinking about what knitting really means to me.

One of the reasons I am so drawn to knitting is that it connects me to my ancestors. And to yours, too. When I sit in the quiet and knit, my mind drifts back in time to the pioneer days, to the Mayflower days, and all in-between, when the woman of the house would sit and make warm clothes for her family. How in the world did they manage? Today, we knit for hobby, for enjoyment, but not usually from necessity. We have Target down the street for necessities. I wonder, were there women here 200 years ago, sitting in the firelight knitting a sweater, or gloves, were any of them actually enjoying it? Did any one woman sit alone in the darkness and the quiet while her family slept and actually feel comforted by the rythym of her needles? Was her knitting maybe her reward for another hard day of running a household back in the day when if you couldn't make it or grow it yourself, you went without? Maybe I am weird, but knitting can often bring me to that place, usually only if I am in the quiet, no TV or music. Of course, then there are the times when I am with the Wednesday night group at B&N, and I think that we are a modern day version of the women of Colonial Boston gathering in someone's parlor to knit and quilt and work on their needlework as they talked and tended to the children.

In my modern world, knitting calms me. It is my reward at the end of a busy day when my brain just can't think for another second. It was my saving grace last year as I went through a painful breakup and often couldn't bear to leave the house. Many a summer afternoon was spent on the beach, or in my backyard, quieting my mind and soothing my soul with yarn and needles. It has brought me into a diverse circle of people who are becoming dear friends as we sit and knit and laugh and share our stories.

Time to settle into the quiet and knit for a while...

4 comments:

Amanda1 said...

You're right, knitting is definitely a lost art in terms of necessity, but thankfully we can do it for the pure enjoyment of it!

Glad to see you back in blogland!

yarnophiliac said...

It is amazing, isn't it, the connection we can find? I love that I am preserving this art that in its very essence represents a mother's -- or person's - love for her family, and that I can do the same , although for me it is more of a luxury. I think it is this connection that drove me even further into taking up spinning. I find it an honor and a duty to preserve the history. (And we get great friends from it too??? why don't the muggles get it?)

Julie said...

What a wonderful post, Melissa. Knitting gives me many of the same feelings of being connected to the past and feelings of calm as well. I love that I have made so many new and good friends because of knitting.

I had a great time with the Manchvegas knitters yesterday! I hope we can do it again and I look forward to seeing you on the 11th :)

YogaGardenGirl said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Melissa....and I loved your post.

Oh, I also noticed that I don't have you listed on my blog list...I'm changing that right away! Sorry!