I have always loved watching the creation of something out of nothing. It fascinates me on so many levels.
The most obvious manifestation of this is the creation of life – out of seemingly tiny cells is created the body which houses the soul that grows first into a baby and then into a full grown human. Astounding!! I have fed my fascination with the creation of life through the years I studied and practiced lay-midwifery.
Yeah, that’s me back during my hippie midwifery days. There is not alot to do during the early part of labor and they always have yummy food for the midwives – so we tend to eat alot during a birth.
But then the miracle occurs – that miracle that midwives get to experience over and over again – when the cord is cut and this amazing being exists all on his own – without Mom’s food or oxygen – just his own.
And Noah Philip Willow enters the world. Here he is with his Dad right after being born.
Happy Birthday Phil – who just celebrated his 60th birthday. This is the person I remember when I think of you.
But the creation part does not end at birth – its a process as they keep coming into their own being. Recently I got a card from my dear friend Stephany – his mom – celebrating Noah’s wedding.
Wow. It seems so fast now, yet the transformation came slowly – over time.
The amazing thing about life is that this same experience can be had on many different levels. Gardening gives me that same pleasure. Seeing a tiny seed and knowing that within it are all the ingredients to create a full grown plant. Vash is learning about this at school now and brought home his flowers he started there . . . .
which will become beautiful full grown plants during the summer – all from a tiny seed.
In craftwork, this love of being a witness to creation was fed through counted cross-stitch, where I would start with a blank piece of cloth – with nothing – and slowly something would evolve . . .
Until one day the full picture is produced – and that blank piece of material is now a creation of something sweet or special or magnificent.
Mom made this last one.
So all of this is leading up to – you guessed it – a knitting project. Now there is the obvious sense of creation that comes from taking a ball of yarn and turning it into a sweater, but I have to admit, that has never quite harnessed my love of creation as much as counted cross-stitch did – which is probably why I put down knitting for so long. I love knitting for the practicality of it. I can create useful things with knitting – socks, sweaters, mittens – things we use – so I see the importance of it which I can make more creative through my choices of yarn and colors and design. But it did not feel like I was making something out of nothing.
Until this project.
My sister and I joined a Mystery Summer Shawl Knit-A-Long (KAL) which Wendy Johnson, of Wendy Knits, designed and is running. A mystery KAL means that you are fed only parts of the pattern at a time and you have no idea what your finished piece will look like until – well – it is finished. So it grows on your needles and you are watching as it grows into a finished piece.
Now, I have so many things on my needles now I normally would not add something into the mix that has to be done within a time frame (as everyone in the KAL is making it at the same time) but Wendy is a wonderful designer and her shawls are phenomenally beautiful and normally you have to pay for her patterns but this one if a freebie and I just could not resist. Her blog is at http://wendyknits.net and I will try to have her added to my blog roll today so you can just click it to get to her. She also has a Ravelry Group called Wendy Knits where you can join the KAL and get the support of other knitters working on the shawl and see what other knitters have made following this pattern. And the pattern is fairly simple. You only need to know how to knit, purl, knit two together, purl three together, pass a slipped stitch over, do a slip slip knit, and do a yarnover. For a knitter, this is – as Vash would say – easy peasy.
Not knowing what the pattern would look like I wanted to keep it to a solid color so the pattern would not get lost in the color changes, and to keep the color light so any shadowing effects which would enhance the pattern would not be lost. I had this pattern on my mind when I visited CountryWool – a little yarn shop near me – and picked up a couple of skeins of Brown Sheep Co. Nature Spun fingering weight yarn in a neutral/natural beigey grey color – called Ash.
The pattern calls for 241 stitches to be cast on but my yarn has a slightly smaller gauge than Wendy has in her pattern (7 stitches per inch instead of 5 stitches per inch) so I added another 48 stitches which will either result in a larger shawl or just the right size for the pattern. I’m good either way. The hardest part was counting the stitches on the needle to make sure I had 289 stitches exactly.
So I have finished the first part of the pattern – which were the set up rows and then the first 12 rows. It looks like this (I did not have any pins around to stretch it out to show the pattern so I used what I had – little fingers to hold everything while I took the picture).
So I am excited. Danielle’s will be really beautiful when it is done because she is doing it in a beautiful brown Araucania yarn that we got at the Warm Ewe last year. I LOVE Araucania yarns and she tells me she is loving it too. Make sure to check hers out on her Blog – A Work In Progress which is listed on my blogroll.
So I don’t know what I am creating, but I trust that Wendy knows and that it will be wonderful. When I start a counted cross-stitch I have a picture of what it will become and that I feel a little surer about – same when I knit a pattern. Kids – we are not so sure about when we begin, though we hope that they will also turn out wonderfully in the end.
I love beginnings – I love the process of creation – and I trust that the ending is going to be wonderful. Not a bad way to knit a shawl – or to go through life.