Thursday, August 2, 2012

THE SPIRITUALITY OF IMPERFECTION, PART 563



"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly," observed G.K. Chesterton. I'm right on board with that, having once again taken up knitting.

Here are a couple of other details, for instance, from my latest creation. (I can only knit "scarves" and as you can see, I have a long way to go even there).





That last was the result of a very unfortunate incident where I thought gaily, I will just take my knitting with me to the meeting, like those handy homemaker types you see tatting bassinet blankets and such. I can be a craftsperson just as well as the next guy or gal!

What happened was that, after I'd already been working on the damn thing for weeks, somehow in transport 3/4 of an entire row of yarn came off the needle.  Apparently there's a way you can pick up the stitch with a crochet hook and thread it up on through, which believe it or not, I had actually done before, but this was just hopeless. In a flash of inspiration, however, I conceived of another way. I simply jammed my needle through every SINGLE loose stitch I could find! This made for several extremely chaotic, extremely tight, extremely scary rows. But I did manage to salvage (in a manner of speaking) my garment. Other, smaller mistakes had to do with multi-tasking snafus, spilled coffee, and worry over my mother.

Anyway, I call it the Scar Scarf.


 HDK fashion tip:
Wrap ANYTHING around your neck enough times, stand far enough away, and squint.

It keeps me out of the bars. Thanks, G.K.!

15 comments:

  1. Yes, I love that fashion advice. I find myself squinting into the mirror nearly all the time these days, and I've never looked better.

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  2. First time commenter here.
    Oh my goodness, Heather, this post made me laugh out loud. Really, these days, if I happen to be wearing glasses as I pass the bathroom mirror...uh-oh.
    As a minimalist, I have few possessions. Your book, Redeemed, is one I would own. At the very least, I will get it from the library and read it again.
    Thank you for you.

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  3. A phrase from I forget exactly where comes to mind: magnificent desolation ;-)

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  4. ah, wabi sabi!

    "[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabi-sabi

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  5. I can't make up my mind whether your knitting more resembles seaweed or netting; there's something delightfully marine about it, like a thing caught in the tides.

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  6. I actually have a some-day project that looks surprisingly like your scarf when completed "perfectly.". I've also got a wall quilt that keeps coming apart every time I wash it. (I know -- why am I washing it? How dirty are my walls??) I just keep telling myself "it"s the process.". Though you made my day with your admiration for homemaker types who make stuff. I just thought I was dorky with my crocheted dish towels.

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  7. The venerable Archbishop Sheen once told the story of riding in the New York subway and seeing (the bishop's terms are a bit dated!) "a giant Negro man knitting." The bishop and the "giant" gentleman struck up a conversation: it seems the man was knitting a sweater for his son. "This might interest you," the gentleman said to Bishop Sheen, as he pulled out of his knitting bag a copy of the poems of St John of the Cross!

    What's my point in sharing Bishop Sheen's story? Perhaps that a saintly poet and a venerable archbishop -- and maybe even the large knitting man, if he has gone to glory! -- are looking after all knitters, all craftsmakers, all poets, all "doers of things done badly"! May heaven smile upon your knitting, HDK. We have it on good authority that no effort is wasted, and that if we mangle things, God can write straight on crooked lines.

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  8. Are you writing any books. I have finished all your books and now my life is a barren wasteland. Well, not exactly, but I hope you are writing some anyway.

    AMDG

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  9. I sympathize completely! I've been working on a baby blanket for far too long -- the baby I originally started it for turned 1 in May, if that gives you any indication of how long I have been at it (other babes have been born in the meantime, however, to accept the gift...whenever I finish it). It's a somewhat complicated pattern involving twisting cables which were new to me when I started the thing. They're easy to get the hang of, but once you purl where you should knit or vice versa the pattern is all cattywampus (as my father would say)...and if you don't notice it until several rows later (as I didn't) then you're out of luck. But, as a gift for a newborn, I sort of like the idea of an imperfect gift that offers softness and warmth and demonstrates at least a modicum of skilled knowledge on the part of the artisan. Flaws in the pattern be damned, your scarf and my blanket are wonderfully made! :) Keep at it! (And thank you for inspiring me to get back to the needles!).

    Here's a book you might like to check out if it hasn't found you yet: Zen and the Art of Knitting
    http://www.amazon.com/Zen-And-The-Art-Knitting/dp/1580626548

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  10. I sympathize completely! I've been working on a baby blanket for far too long -- the baby I originally started it for turned 1 in May, if that gives you any indication of how long I have been at it (other babes have been born in the meantime, however, to accept the gift...whenever I finish it). It's a somewhat complicated pattern involving twisting cables which were new to me when I started the thing. They're easy to get the hang of, but once you purl where you should knit or vice versa the pattern is all cattywampus (as my father would say)...and if you don't notice it until several rows later (as I didn't) then you're out of luck. But, as a gift for a newborn, I sort of like the idea of an imperfect gift that offers softness and warmth and demonstrates at least a modicum of skilled knowledge on the part of the artisan. Flaws in the pattern be damned, your scarf and my blanket are wonderfully made! :) Keep at it! (And thank you for inspiring me to get back to the needles!).

    Here's a book you might like to check out if it hasn't found you yet: Zen and the Art of Knitting
    http://www.amazon.com/Zen-And-The-Art-Knitting/dp/1580626548

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  11. ha ha, never fear, I'm working away, Janet--Stephen, Bernadette Murphy (author of The Zen of Knitting) is a friend of mine. I recently featured a rocking piece she wrote on becoming a motorcycle owner/rider...twisting cables!...good Lord...I AM impressed....

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  12. Oh goodness! I commented, then I continued reading your blog and I see that I've recommended to you a book that you not only recommended yourself, but you've written about your friend the author.

    Silly me.

    Well, tell Bernadette that Stephen in New York loved her book! ;)

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  13. no, not silly! so glad folks are reading Bernadette's great work--I'll be sure to tell her she has yet another fan in NY...thanks again--

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  14. Well, I'm really glad to hear that, especially since I've also finished everything I can get my hands on by Caryll Houseland and it's a pretty good bet that she won't write anything else that I can get my hands on.

    AMDG,
    Janet

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