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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The art of knitting

Yesterday I gave two lectures on color for the Dayton Knitting Guild. The group meets monthly, with 60-70 gathering in the morning and another 20-30 in the evening. Vendors are available between meetings with yarns, patterns and books on knitting. I soon got used to the fact that nearly everyone knits while the program is going on, because the questions were good ones throughout the talks. I learned before the program that the group has two worthwhile community projects. They knit preemie caps for the neo-natal unit at Miami Valley Hospital and lap blankets for residents of the Veteran's Hospital in Dayton. There was a pile of caps that grew higher and higher as members came into the meeting and a box containing more than thirty blankets for the veterans. Last year guild members knitted more than 130 blankets and who knows how many caps. The hospitals says it needs around fifty per month for their preemies. (Patterns for these and other community projects may be printed from the website.) Following the program there is a show-and-tell. Nearly everyone had an offering, from socks to vests to sweaters and felted purses and baskets. One woman is knitting a lacy valance for her living room window. After spending most of the day with these knitters, I'm convinced that knitting is an art. Even though most of them start with patterns, their adaptations are often ingenious. Their works are luminous with color. The yarns are equally creative, combining many different fibers, ribbons, and such. In leafing through some of the knitting books I found several with good sections on using color theory and color schemes. Check out Kaffe Fassett for the ultimate experience of color in fiber arts. A young woman and her mother from Brazil were knitting the Wong-way, a method that makes knitting easier for arthritic hands and carpal syndrome sufferers.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Joyce said...

Yes, Nita, you are right--knitting is an art. My mother could have been one of those women at the guild meeting. She never sat doing nothing but always was knitting, while talking, while watching TV, while making meals (in between dishes!), and while travelling. During her lifetime she made dozens of tablecloths, hundreds of sweaters, and thousands of doilies. She was an artist allright and she could knit without looking at her hands. All you could hear was a rapid click, click, click, and she rarely made a mistake or dropped a stitch!! She put a lot of love into her work and gave most of it away.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Nita said...

I'm sure you've just described thousands of women the world over. Probably more! Thanks for your comment.

3:55 PM  

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