Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Art and Culture
My love of knitting scarves causes the wise one in the house concern. He says it’s a sure sign I’m getting old. While I don’t disagree that I am getting older, I see my knitting habit as more artistic expression than rocking chair material.
Choosing a yarn that will match a pattern and suit the person I plan to give my creation to opens a world of texture and colour to me. I consider the feel of the yarn between my fingers, and how it will look in a gift-wrapped box. I put a lot of time and thought into my work- a lot of myself.
And yet, sometimes I wonder why I fuss so much. The receiver of my gift can go to any major department store anytime and pick out a no-less beautiful scarf for under $20. Better yet, she can go to a second-hand store and buy one for under $5. When she looks at what I’ve given her, she doesn’t see the hours I painstakingly counted stitches and undid rows, or the satisfaction I got from doing something special for her. All she sees is a scarf that looks like the one she got at Wal-Mart.
In our Western culture, we value product over process. Perhaps we should reconsider this. The machine in China that made the Wal-Mart scarf didn’t care about my friend like I did while knitting each stitch.
I almost didn’t pick it up, almost left it there, half soaked in a mixture of rain and dirt. It wasn’t mine and I had no need of it. At the last moment, thought, I bent down and scooped it up.
I shook the debris off and made an inspection. What appeared to be moth-sized holes dotted the four corners. The knitting wasn’t quite even, with sporadic larger loops crowding their way in.
I don’t know what made me hang onto it as I continued on my way home. I just couldn’t abandon it there, uncared for.
Once home, I put it in the sink and washed it, revealing the bright orange it had once been. It spent the afternoon drying out on the clothesline. I took it in before the rain started again.
My husband asked me what I was doing with the ragged-looking scarf. “Nothing,” I said, “just giving an orphan a new home.”
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