Knitters Reflect on their Craft

comments (2) June 2nd, 2008     

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Tina_Hilton Tina Hilton, contributor
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The perfect coffee break for many of us (including cyclists!) includes quality time with some
gorgeous yarn and a pair of needles.

The perfect coffee break for many of us (including cyclists!) includes quality time with some gorgeous yarn and a pair of needles.

Photo: Courtesy of Littlerissa/Flickr

Whether they're creating loving gifts for family and friends or for a worthy cause, most knitters knit for the joy of giving. For some, it serves as a pure outlet for creative expression: celebrating color and the sensuous quality of wonderful fibers. And some of you have to admit that, like me, you suffer from “restless hand syndrome.” Along with the other reasons mentioned, we are compelled to create a tangible product of our free time while in front of the TV at ball games and while traveling.

Whatever category you fit in, knitting is an integral part of our everyday existence. Whether you've been knitting nonstop for many years, picking up needles in fits and starts, or even just embarking on your knitting journey, knitting has a mysterious way of getting under your skin. It's difficult to resist the call to create a magical tapestry of color and love.

The knitters I approached were eager to share why they knit. Surprisingly, some of the biggest names in the profession were the quickest to respond. I appreciate their generosity in participating in my quest to gain insight into the knitter's psyche.

World-renowned textile artist, Kaffe Fassett:
"I knit for the pure therapeutic relaxation. I also find it a wonderful way to manifest patterns of color that express my joy of being alive."

Phyllis Greene: Watauga Medical Center, Director Volunteer Services:
"Knitting is an art form and a stress reliever combined with the love of fibers. When I sit down to knit, all of my tension goes away."

Knitwear designer, Brandon Mably, Studio Manager of Kaffe Fassett Studio in London:
"The simple motion of rubbing two sticks together, wrapping sumptuously colored yarns around the needles, creating a wearable piece of art full of peace and love. There could be nothing more rewarding. Plus when you sit and knit, you're giving time back to yourself—like having a meditation. Often folks say,“Oh, I could never do that.” Well, if you afford yourself even just a couple of rows a day you’ll have the project finished. The sense of accomplishment is of the highest order."

Natural-fiber pioneer, Jonelle Raffino, founder of Southwest Trading Company:
"For me, knitting is as natural as breathing air. It is my creative outlet and a deeply personal connection with my grandmothers whom I miss so much."

Chris Sheets, Law Office Manager:
"Knitting actually helps alleviate the pain and stiffness of the arthritis in my hands. This is also my creative outlet and allows me to accomplish something when I am sitting around after work."

Well-known knitting designer, author and teacher, Meg Swanson (daughter of the late knitting revolutionary Elizabeth Zimmermann):

  • The soothing, hypnotic aspect of knitting itself
  • The excitement of a new design that causes me to stay up late and get up early
  • The satisfaction of creativity and self-expression
  • Even though knitting is a pleasure and reward unto itself, there is the additional bonus of a functional, snug, lovingly knitted garment.

Master Knitter Designer and World's Fastest Crocheter, Lily Chin:
"Total control. I can get what I want, when I want (relatively speaking) in the color, size and shape I want. Ah, freedom—to be master of my own knit destiny."

Remember to always knit with joy and only knit what you love. Try to buy the best yarn you can afford and create something beautiful.

posted in: kaffe fassett, brandon mably, meg swanson, lily chin

Comments (2)

ontheround writes: i am a process knitter above all else! The end result is nice...but I am more interested in the doing! It's so liberating to sit down and knit without any direction and experiment and play. I've had some pretty incredible revelations that way!
Posted: 9:34 am on June 8th
tina marie writes: I have been knitting afghans for over 25 years. I give them as graduation, shower, wedding and even baby gifts. I usually use 2 strands of yarn and various yarn combinations. My patterns are simple and I use larger needles. My greatest pleasure is giving them to someone who appreciates and enjoys the afghans.
Posted: 10:46 pm on June 3rd
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