When I met my husband he was shocked to learn about this oversight in my education. He went out and bought me Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing for my first edition Mac Classic. To give you some understanding of the state of technology at the time: within 2 hours I was typing faster than the cursor could move and display the letters. And, at that point, I was not typing particularly fast.
Within a month, I went from pecking the keyboard like a doofus, to touch typing with agility. I worked constantly to improve. To me, it was a test. To me, all tests are games. I wanted to win at typing. And win I did. Pretty soon, I could converse (not about world philosophy, mind you) and type at the same time. It never ceases to delight me that I can feel my brain slip into another gear while I’m tapping away…
All this is a preamble to my latest epiphany (big shock, I know!): knitting and typing are not dissimilar. Both centre on hands. They’re entirely practical. And they both rely on – or at least benefit tremendously from - switching into a new mental groove. While your brain is ticking along, appreciating the scenery in Knitlandia, your mind is liberated from the regular ties that bind. Funny really, how making knots brings freedom, but there you are.
Let’s not forget, that both have been indelibly stamped on that dingy double-sided coin: enslavement / emancipation – particularly as they relate to the women who have worked in the realm (and in the day). I love how domestic arts (aka the things that make the world go around in a very real way) have been reclaimed by a new generation of men and women. We need to maintain the knowledge-base; we cannot leave these languages for dead.
I have always had a great affinity for women’s work: cooking, baking, interior design, typing, fashion, sewing, entertaining – and the list goes on.
They are elegant expressions of creativity which nurture both the artist and recipient. They make everyday things utterly gorgeous – while they actually take you where you need to go.
So, in the spirit of moving my hands to free my mind, I continue to pursue my new hobby in these ways:
- Located a knitting shop (and instruction hub) that suits my aesthetic. I must attend one of their knitting evenings…
- Watched and rewatched a number of incredibly instructive videos on knittinghelp.com
- Purchased and read Stitch 'n Bitch. I don’t have patience to wait for my ordered books to arrive...
- Purchased a few additional supplies to support my practice swatches (crochet hook, anyone??)
- Taught my daughter how to long tail cast on
- Created gauge swatches in stockinette, garter, moss and rib (aka practice patches to figure out tension, mostly)
- Chatted with anyone I can find about their scarves and whether they knit them and what do they know about knitting, please and thanks
- Sewed up a few rows “in the round” – to see how one creates a continuous cylinder
I’m having lots of fun – and I don’t even feel like I’m cheating on my sewing.