Monday, May 31, 2010
Having been raised as a Catholic boy in Puerto Rico, these three little words ("In the beginning...") tend to evoke a lot of different feelings - most of them of a religious nature. Today, however, I have learned that life is whatever you make it out to be much more so than a prescription of what "anyone else" has for you. And beginnings can be so very beautiful, can't they?
On getting started...
A little over two years ago, I cast on my first stitch. I remember that day vividly. I was celebrating with two dear friends, and I felt courageous enough to try something new. "Can you teach me how to knit?" I asked Todd. As loving and helpful as he always is, he answered, "Sure!" And so that journey began with a scarf I knit for my son, Pablo. This scarf ended up being twice his height in length and wide as wide can be. We called it his "Harry Potter" scarf even though it looked more like a blanket, but hey... it kept him warm on the slopes during our first ski trip together, and he still uses that scarf to ski.
Since that first scarf, I have ventured into a lot of different knitting projects: beanies, shawls, fingerless gloves, suffered a case of the "onesie" with a mitten, neck warmers, baby sweaters, more scarves, a toy lobster (!), and sweaters. Whew! With every project, I have learned something new - a stitch, how to read a pattern, how to design a pattern, how to make a mistake, and how to repair it, how to put positive energy into a garment, and how to stop when the energy is not right. But most importantly, I have learned to be patient as stitches, like our children, do not always respond in the way you expect them to.
I know, I know... there is so much more about child-rearing. And, I'll give you that. But, it is in knitting that I have found (and keep finding) my chi. It is in the trance of knitting that I often ponder on the problems I face in my workaday job, in my relationships with my family and friends, and in raising my son. I say that I knit to keep sane, but it is also in the trance of knitting that I find my inspiration.
On other beginnings...
It was in one of those trances that I recently pondered on an idea... After seeing a beautiful Tanis Gray scarf pattern in Vogue Knitting (Winter, 2008/2009), I decided to alter it for myself and try my hand at another scarf a little too big and a little too long.
When I finished this 11' (yes, that's eleven feet) scarf - a foot and a half wide - I rejoiced at the idea that this beautiful scarf could do more than be a fashion accessory. It certainly was intended to keep me warm. And now, it had become a symbol of growth (both personal and professional). It was a reminder of the kind-hearted nature of us knitters, and how there is so much out there to explore, still! This scarf left me to ponder the idea of what this world would be if we had had knitwear... in the beginning. e-
PS A special thanks to my good friend, Eric S., for modeling this scarf and some other projects to come... if Adam and Eve had had knitwear. Stay tuned...