Why “Stitches and Words”

Once upon a time, I thought I’d write a knitting blog.  (This story begins.)

Not an uncommon thing, among people who knit, or are involved in other fiber arts.  Especially ones who, like me, learned or re-engaged in knitting by wandering around online looking for patterns and whatnot.  For me, that would have been about three and a half years ago, early 2007.

The main problem with me writing a knitting blog, though, is that my knitting is primarily really boring.

Now, please don’t misunderstand that last statement.  It does not constitute me ragging on myself.  I do plenty of ragging on myself for stuff that is unwarranted, but this is not one of those times.

What I mean is, my knitting is boring as something to tell people about.  I do a lot of pretty darn simple knitting, by choice.  Plain ribbed socks in colorful sock yarn; enormous shawls in stockinette or garter stitch.  I like to have great whacks of really basic knitting around, stuff that’s so simple it doesn’t need a pattern, or anyway not a written-down pattern.  I like the kind of knitting where I can look at what I’m holding in my hands and figure out what happens next, without needing to refer to external instructions.  I like having knitting that I don’t really need to look at a lot, that my hands can handle on their own while my eyes and my mind are free to do something else.

Sometimes I like to work on more complicated things, but I always return to simple knitting.  Usually in the form of something that’s not going to be finished any time soon.  Therefore, as fodder for blogging, my knitting just doesn’t cut it.  Nobody really wants to read about how I added another two rows to my enormous burgundy shawl last evening, and the evening before that, and the one before that.  I don’t want to have to write about it, either, or pretend I can make that interesting.

So.  At one point, a long while ago, before I realized I like boring knitting, I registered a blog, intending to write about knitting.  I called it “Stitches and Words,” because I liked the sound and rhythm of it, and because that’s what it was going to be about.  My mind has a serious philosophical bent, so I always figured I’d end up writing some philosophical things amid the knitting, and about the knitting.  If I can’t help but to think in metaphor, well, maybe for once someone else could get something out of it too.

The knitting blog never really got started.  I think I realized that I just didn’t actually want to do it; it was yet another “maybe if I do this thing my entire life will be different and better and I’ll finally be worthwhile!” idea.  I tend to have a lot of those.

So I had a defunct blog on an ignored WordPress account for several years.  Until a week or so ago, when I decided for entirely different reasons that I wanted to write.  I needed a place to write in, and this place was already here, so here I am.

I’m still a champion metaphorical-thinker, though, so I can retroactively justify the blog name to … whatever this blog is now about.  Wanna see?  Let’s go:

Stitches.  The tiny building blocks of knitting.  The things that make up the things we make; the seemingly insignificant tiny actions that all together add up to something wonderful.  If I may state the seemingly obvious, every single stitch of a knitted piece needs to be knitted.  Sequentially, starting at one end and ending at the other.  You can’t really reduce the process past this.  You can find faster or easier ways to make the stitches, but you have to make the stitches.  Otherwise you’re not knitting.

Words.  Words are important to me, I’m good at them and enjoy using them.  I love to find beautiful or simple or powerful ways to say things, depending what needs to be said.  I love finding rhythm and symmetry and musical lyricism in my words, I love finding just the phrase or word that means exactly what I want to say.  I swim in words; I could eat words for every meal and never get tired of them.  Further, stories are built out of words, and I need stories, I think everybody needs stories.  Stories tell us truth we can’t get at in any other way.

Stitches and words.  Stitches remind me that I can only live one day at a time, like it or not, and every day is part of a whole that is much greater than the parts.  Words help me understand things, they draw me on to see the truth I live and share it with other people.  They beckon me toward seeing life as story, as something that matters, and that I have a part in the telling of.

Stitches and Words.  I still like the sound of it, well-justified or not.  It’ll do.

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2 comments so far

  1. april on

    i just stopped by and read a few entries of your blog, i am a first time reader

    – 1. i like your words, i have read several of your posts on ravelry and you have a great sense of humor and i like funny people cause i like to laugh, i just thought you should know that.

    2. i also like boring knitting because my job is stressful and takes up most of the little brain power i have so therefore easy, mindless knitting is absolutely necessary.

    3. there really isn’t a 3 i just think it seems like i should have more to say….so, now you know that i like funny people and boring knitting. thanks for the good read and keep your chin up. : )

  2. Lynn on

    Hey, the rest of us crazed knitters like mindless knitting, too, particularly when it’s accompanied by thoughtful words. Even simple, mindless words will do. Frankly, I can think of one weaving blog that I’ve stopped reading because the writer was SO damned productive, I felt incompetent by comparison. I don’t wanna feel incompetent; I want company in my mindless garter stitch shawl in Kauni and Noro that I hope I’ll really like when it’s done.


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