Friday, September 08, 2006

Resolving the Conflicted Knitter

Mary Jane made a comment last week that I've been pondering on and off ever since.

"You are spending way too much time focusing on the end product. Given that you would rather knit what inspires you, you are really in fact a process knitter. Accept what you are and the conflict within yourself will be resolved. A finished object is just a bonus to a process knitter."

Well first off, I think Mary Jane is right. I am a process knitter. I enjoy many knitting processes, some more than others. Cables and lace make me feel like I can fly, once I get into the pattern and my fingers start to work the intricate details on their own. Color work inspires my soul, but my fingers don't feel it in the same way. Stockinette soothes me when I'm tired, heart-sore, or actively engaged because I'm talking with other knitters or watching a good movie.

For each of these processes I have a different project. There's a sock in my purse. The vacation shawl which is temporarily retired (I may bring it to the Knitter's Fair tomorrow for traveling knitting). My fingers are flying along on the APKS (I've started my second ball). And Dad's vest gives my soul a little thrill when I catch it peeking out at me from under the living room end table .

But I'm also a creator, which means I get great satisfaction from creating something wonderful. I wouldn't enjoy the process as much if the end result was ugly, or useless, or never finished. The projects I've just mentioned I have every intention of finishing in due course. I have some other projects that have lain dormant for a long time. I don't know if I'll finish them, but they don't cause me guilt.

I love to wear my knitting and I love to see it worn. Part of the appeal of knitting to me is that the created object gives comfort to the wearer, both because it soft and warm and because it's beautiful. I am an artist and my artistic statement is that everyday objects are beautiful. I want people to look closer at the things that are around them. Not just intricate socks, but the world around us too, animals, buildings and each other.

Mary Jane, it was my judge that was focused on the end product. That's why I needed to dismiss it's voice. I think I will always be a conflicted person. I resolve one conflict and another arises. But I've been working hard at learning how to more easily resolve my conflicts and to put them in perspective. For now, I'm content with that.

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