Intarsia Knitting and Observation Journaling


Knitting: Here’s what’s on the needles now. It was requested by one of my granddaughters who’s into horses. As you can tell I didn’t simply knit this project up since I last blogged. The truth is I had to put it away for a while and take a rest. It was the horses. Intarsia isn’t my strong suit. I’m a bit of a neat-freak and intarsia creates a mess as those of you who’ve tried it know well. I can barely bring myself to look at the back of this piece of knitting. Added to all this is the fact that the sweater and horses came together from two very different patterns. This involved a lot of math in the planning stages. Now, however, all I have to do is knit up the horseless sleeves, add the collar, and sew on the buttons. Scary question to self: Why do the sides look so long at the top? Are they supposed to be eventually sewn up and over to the back? Will the back be knitted up to them before the collar is introduced? Either of these solutions would be weird. If I have to frog (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it) those two sides and do the horses over again I’ll need a vacation in Hawaii first. Or at the very least a couple of glasses of wine. (The latter is far more likely.) I’m freaking out. Must. Not. Think. About. This. Just. Now. On to the sleeves.

Thinkering: We were thinking about journaling in a post back. This struck a certain response and I know why. If you journal at all you struggle with it. It’s that simple. Not all of us are Anais Nin, nor would we want to be. She let it all hang out and most of us want, at the very most, a kind of limited hang-out. A miniscule hang-out, actually. We don’t want to be pretentious nor do we want to be whiny. That’s already leaving a lot out. Try reading “On Keeping a Journal” by Alexandra Johnson. In it, among other things, she suggests moving “from I to eye” and keeping an observation journal. Writing about things outside ourselves will bring nothing but relief and anything we see and decide to write about might well reflect more of the real people we are than airing our joyless grievances and mercurial ecstasies would. She writes, “Successful journals break the deadlock of introspective obsession.” Ouch. Is overthinking (aka thinkering) a kind of obsessing? I think it may be. So here’s what we’re going to do. Let’s go to Starbuck’s with our journals, sit in at a corner table, and begin describing the people around us who will be locked into their iPads. We can go on from there and wonder about their lives, their loves, what they’re writing about–or move away from them altogether and on to the weather, the cars outside, the buildings. Whatever catches our fancy. It’s a way of pinning the moment down–stopping time for a little–and at the very least we’ll get a good coffee out of it.

PS: I often make my own journals. Here’s the one I’m writing in just now. I pasted the card on the front. It makes me laugh!