Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Who Says?


I'm going through one of those periods of my life where I try to question every assumption and underlying rationale for what I do.

Foundations
When questionning who you are, where do you stop and say, this is the foundation, the core of who I am? I sometimes envy very religious people. They seem to convey a lot of certainty that their religious persona is the bedrock of who they are. The bible or the Koran (Quran, Quoran?) or whatever holy book they use defines many.

Without that kind of certainty, I have to rely on some common humanity that we all share. I don't know that I can put my finger on it exactly. In fact, I'm sure I can't put my finger on it, as I've tried, but I think there is a commonality among us that is, at its roots, who we are from the most base perspective.

If I can stand to focus on that aspect of who I am, all the other aspects of who I consider myself to be seem to show up as optional, and subject to my determination.

I guess it's too much to hope that at its core, all humanity shares knitting as a common trait? So being a knitter is still up for questionning.

Current Knitting
Despite a minor four row setback, I was able to make some progress on the front of the Aran pullover.



I missed the second cable crossover on the open diamond pattern stitch, and didn't realize it until about four rows up. I considered dropping those 7 stitches and laddering back to fix it, but there was too much complexity in terms of single transferred stitches and twisted stitches. It was easier to just unknit four rows and recoup my losses.

I also finally got around to felting (fulling) the felted bowls I will sell along with my novelty scarves at an undetermined craft fair.



I love how these turned out, and since they were all made of leftover yarns that I wouldn't have ever used, and they don't take very long to make, I can sell them pretty inexpensively. I feel it's always good to have some inexpensive items on a craft show table that buyers can pick up without too much guilt.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Franklin notes, "I seem to recall a previous vacation to the Vineyard when you didn't bring yarn stuff with you, but wound up improvising a spindle to spin dog hair."

Yes, that was the last time I was there. I used an old plastic paint brush and the top of a cole slaw container from the grocery store. Their dog's hair at the time spun up quite nicely, but it was so disgustingly dirty, I found it wasn't as pleasant as I might have hoped. That was like two or three years ago...good memory on that Franklin.

12 comments:

Leslie said...

Thank you for opting to unknit those four rows. It makes me feel much better doing the same thing in the little twisted stitch cables I'm making right now. I was calling myself a hoser for not being able to ladder back and fix, but if Joe unknits then it's ok for me.

Validation is a good thing but, unfortunately, I don't think the entire world as we know it shares a love of knitting. 'Twould be a much better place if they did.

Anonymous said...

As a Christian, the bedrock of who I am is found in the Bible. We do all share a common humanity, however, despite religion or lack of it. I heard this comment on CNN yesterday. It was made by Dr. William Petit of Connecticut; you've probably heard the story of the two intruders who killed the doctor's wife and daughters last week. At their memorial service, Dr. Petit said this: "Help your neighbor, fight for a cause, love your family." Good advice. I emailed it to my children.

Kathy said...

Fighting for a cause seems to have gotten us into quite a mess...hasn't it?

Franklin said...

I tried laddering back on a cable once - I think it's one of those fixes I'll have to save when my understanding of the stitch structure is stronger.

It may have taken a little more time to unknit, but will you even think about that when the piece is finished and you're happy with it? I bet not.

It looks better in every shot. I may have to steal your pattern.

calamity rach said...

Every human breathes.

When I read your post, I thought of a conversation I had with a friend recently. We were talking about religion and how that factors into our lives. I was brought up Catholic, am an atheist, and dabble in Taoism. My friend was brought up by an atheist and was not allowed to mention God and dabbled in Catholicism a few years ago. During that conversation, she said that the only thing she believed in was human decency, and she believed in it so much she would die for it. I've thought about that every day since she said that, and I thought you might enjoy thinking about it for a while, too.

Patti said...

Just learned how to felt and I love it. It reintroduced me to knitting and now I am a yarn monger. I have gotten my son started into it also. Good idea on the bowls for leftover yarns.

Emily said...

If you're looking around for a craft festival, there's one at the Center for the Creative Arts in Yorklyn, DE in this fall. I don't know where in PA you are, but if it's convenient to you it's a fairly sizable and well attended fair. Just Google "CCArts" and then click on Upcoming Events.

Karen Frisa said...

I apologize if I've posted this to you before. I know I thought about it in response to another post, but don't remember whether or not I followed through.

There is a blog called "The Meming of Life" that can be found at parentingbeyondbelief.com/blog. The author is an excellent writer. I don't have children and doubt that I ever will, but his views on life, morality, humanity, etc, are very interesting. You might enjoy reading him. Especially check out the July 28 post.

Monica said...

Your thoughts on humanity are interesting--and I think they are universal. So there's one connector!

I consider myself to be an agnostic, as I can't be sure either way, and I have accepted that life is just a huge mystery that a person with my limited brain power will never fully figure out. However, I have landed on a few things I find reassuring: (1) Gratitutude is essential; (2) love and empathy are essential; (3) the universe is made out of only so many elements from the Periodic Table, and therefore we on Earth are made of the very same stuff as the cosmos--that's a scientific fact. For some reason, I find that gives me a sense of interconnectivity and belonging.

The bowls look great. It gives me an idea for making felted headbands. Wonder if there would be enough give.

I've only just graduated from a life of rectangles. I am now knitting my very first hat, and it looks good!

Glad I found your blog.

Meribeth said...

Philosophers, religious leaders, and oh so many of us called the "masses" have wrestled with the same questions. What is the core that is in all of us. Life, curiosity, compassion, greed, anger, fear...but what is that one thing.

Namaste is the closest concept, but it doesn't/can't define it. Then there is "What the Bleep"..which I like as I have studies quantum a bit in college. Combining the two ends in acceptance and awe. Hey, I never said I was a great thinker.

Now, you have me facinated over those bowls! I really must do some! And the sweater is handsome and elegant. But I think it would look better on me than if I made it for the dh.

Corbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corbie said...

I'd like to think that one thing many of us have in common is creativity. Unfortunately, that's not universally true.

The other thing I think is essential to humanity is empathy. It's important to be able to put yourself in someone else's shoes. The people who can't / don't do that are truly damned (and are the ones who wind up walking all over everyone else, so we have to look out for them.)

Even many animals (though perhaps not sharks) have a sense of empathy -- usually for others of their own species, but sometimes for other species as well. If we don't have that, we're lower than they are. (Thinking about those two murderers in Connecticut... they're sheer predator.) There was an article recently in the Washington Post about how juries view heinous crimes and a philosopher who's come up with a Depravity Scale. Premeditated murder and a willingness to inflict torture/pain is something that most survey-takers, regardless of country of origin, creed, or nationality, will agree is depraved. (Hey, a philosophy class dealing with something applicable in the real world! Whooda thunk it!)