Thursday, 17 January 2008

Knitting in the Old Way

Knitting in the Old Way is one of the books I choose for my Christmas present from Mr. Needles. I may have been a little disappointed in The Vogue Ultimate Knitting book, but this choice amply compensates. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this book. I have read it through a few times already and I'm entranced over and over again.

It's not a book of patterns, and yet it is. Its not a book about history, and yet it is. Its not a book about traditions and yet it is. Its not a book about new and yet, it is. In a way it is a recipe book for knitting. Whatever you class it as, it is a masterwork and even if you never knit anything from this book your work will be changed by it. You won't be able to help seeing yarn differently. You won't be able to help seeing patterns differently.

Long ago when generations lived together, when knitting was the only way you could get socks and sweaters, your grandma would have taught you to knit when you were tiny. A lot of the things in this book are the things your grandma would have guided you to know and feel intuitively about your knitting.

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson take the place of the past generations of women and do a wonderful job of bringing knitting to us as a living intuitive craft reborn for the future.

This book rates a Double treble. Just buy it if you can. If you cannot afford it go find it in a library, but whatever you have to do, you NEED this book. Keep it out as long as you can without the fines, sign it out again and again and take in what it can tell you.

Studying this book is like sitting on a low stool beside my grandma or perhaps Auntie Lorraine watching her, and being instructed as I work along side her, being gently corrected and shown every skill from generations past. It is like having grandmothers and aunts and mothers from many places as they lovingly teach me the way. It explores the very reason that I do handwork. It channels all the things that I have been waiting a lifetime to know. It channels all the women from ages past that I wanted to learn from and makes their voices sing. This book speaks to my soul and gives it wings.

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