Sunday, 11 November 2012

Ying, Zen & Tao!

“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there”

-Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig

How to change your world in three easy steps: listen to your elders, read a good book and start knitting. Is that too broad? For sure, but it was worth a try, nonetheless. As an advocate of the fine art of knitting, I harbour strong impulses to shout its worthiness and importance amongst & against its peers. I would stand behind any art or craft, whether it is gardening, cooking, photography or reading. Creativity is important, whether its your own or your enjoyment of someone else’s efforts. Overlapping hobbies is even more fun! Sewing up cakes (Mollie Makes, Issue 14), photographing books, or landscaping your wool stash. That’s even a new one on me, but I’m open-minded.

There are some excellent books available that can help re-ignite your passion for knitting. Here are some oldies but goodies:

  •   Zen and the Art of Knitting: Exploring thLinks Between Knitting,    Spirituality, Creativity by Bernadette Murphy, which explores the reasons why we knit
  • Knitwear in Fashion by Sandy Black, a beautifully photographed book, made for the coffee table depicting high-end fashion knitwear through the ages
  • The Art of Knitting: Inspirational Stitches, Textures and Surfaces by Francoise Tellier-Loumagne is a fabulous example of knitted textile designs to wet your appetite.

With regards to “how to’ Lit., the Internet, bookshops, newsagents are awash with books and magazines. When starting to knit, its best to find a book with clear images, as words can be difficult to translate! Aim for simplicity and choose what you like. One good comprehensive book is invaluable such as The Ultimate Knitting Bible: A Complete Reference with Step-by-Step Techniques by Sharon Brant

As you progress, you might find you only like knitting socks, for example, so aim to narrow your search. A lot of money can be wasted by well meaning family and friends buying books that have no place on your shelf. Being selective will make you a better knitter. You Tube has some excellent tutorials. Better still, find a knitting friend, or knit group and get some real, hands on advice. It’s more fun than grappling inevitable complications and mistakes, on your own, but that’s just my opinion!

My Zen Moment!
A view from The Cottage at Burren Alpacas

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