Friday, 30 October 2009

Why We Knit

I haven't got a lot of knitting to show any body this morning, not even boring sections of stockinette, or long swaths of garter. No crochet, no embroidery. Its has just been a busy, full, challenging week.

But I have been thinking of these things so much, contemplating them all, wandering through the changes of the last few years and marveling at them. A big part of the contemplating is because of a book I picked up just a little while ago.

I have been right there beside everybody else waiting for knitted Lace of Estonia, I have a much handled and dreamed over copy of Victorian Lace Today. What I did not have was the first of the great modern lace books.

I finally have a copy of A Gathering of Lace on my shelves. Well it would be on my shelves, but it hasn't made it there yet. I've had it a couple of weeks and it has been beside my chair, it has come to my room with me at night, it has been my kitchen reading, it has been my constant home companion. This book is well traveled round my house and I still haven't taken it all in. It might see a book shelf next week.

I have have no idea what the reviews were when it came out but I think a seventh printing speaks stronger than any pithy wordy review. I won't say much but to say I love this book. Deeply. Strongly.

If you have a copy, pull it out and dream over it a little. Stop for a while on the page just after the content page. See that delicate lace of the spiral shawl, with its deep godmother's lace edging, lying so dainty there, with its blush pink roses. Succumb to the promises within.

"How would it look, do you think, if everyone, old and young, would sit down together to knit for a while? Laughter and merriment and riddles and questions and folktales and anecdotes from each persons life would blend together in the stitches. Then later, when you recalled these events that have gone through your own fingers stitch by stitch, they would speak their own quiet language: Do you remember, Do you remember?"

Hermanna Stengard, Gotlandsk Sticksom, 1925 as quoted by Meg Swansen, gatherer, A Gathering of Lace, 2000

1 comment:

Knitting Alchemist said...

I too am blessed to have this book. No one could describe it better than you did Denise. The lace cuffed socks on p. 141 have stolen my heart.

I can't wait to see what you make from this awe inspiring book.