Friday, 8 January 2016

The Most Amazing Thing

I worked on the wrap piece yesterday to the detriment of the sweater.  Long plain rounds of stockinette are hard to stick to when I could be knitting something so interesting and so hypnotic as the wrap.  That first simple stitch I did was really quite zen.

About midway through that first section I wondered if the stitch would get boring.  And then promptly went into the 'zone' and found that I'd be at the end of a 6 row pattern repeat without even realizing that I had switched rows.  Very zen.  Not at all boring.  

As the piece got bigger, the cable of my needles seemed to be an issue.  It seemed to develop this weird bend in it.  I think it was the piece getting heavier pulling the cable down a bit but it felt odd in my hands.  Still things happen for a reason.  While I was checking that out, I found myself looking at the other side of my work.

All my emphasis is on the things happening on the outside of it's current tubular form, but just look at what is happening inside.  Baby rope twisted cables. Depth.  Poofing rows.

I remember reading somewhere, how new a technique Aran patterning is, how it never really appeared as a unique form till early in the 1900's and how the first 'traditional' pieces showed up in the 20's.   The article or book, (I really don't recall) felt that the rise of Aran patterning was not from old sources, but developed as women from one part of the world saw women from other parts of the world knitting in the large immigrant centers in the vast sweep of immigration in late 19th - early 20th century North American.  The writer's theory was that Irish immigrants who were turned back, took what they saw on the needles of  other immigrants home with them.

Looking at what is happening on the backside of that simple first pattern makes me wonder if this truly is how it happened.  All it takes is one knitter, seeing something that she could not quite get out of her mind.  And then with a huge need to support a family, knit a something different that she sold. And that others in her small island or otherwise isolated community saw and copied and then everyone started doing a little of this and a little of that. Before you know it, something new and unique was taking the world by storm.

Since I can't recall where I read this theory, I can't verify it.  Really who could?   Things arise and happen and before the internet and the rise of Ravelry, these simple knitting things, taking shape by the fires of homes all over the world, were not recorded for posterity.  They just appeared.  They arose from the hands of usually nameless people who created magic with what was at hand.

And that is, quite simply, the most amazing thing.

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