Stitching Identity

I took my first knitting lessons from my Grandma; together we made a scarf. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time, or infact make the time to practice my craft and soon I found myself starting from scratch – forgetting even the basic garter stitch, and especially how to cast on. Last week I took a knitting class with Aneeta Patel in Stepney Green. Aneeta is author of ‘Knitty Gritty’ and runs ‘Knitting SOS’. The class took place in the intimate setting of Aneeta’s living room. Myself and three other ladies cast on and made attempts at our first stitches with Aneeta as a patient and watchful mentor.

We discussed our motivations and reasons for finding Aneeta and her knitting class. One to knit the perfect cable knit sweater  – to be able to say “I made this” and one to knit for charity – a blanket for Battersea Dog’s home (decorated in ‘bone’ detail). I began to think about senses of motivation and drive in knitting. It is both enjoyable process and aesthetically pleasing outcome that these ladies desired. That the outcome would covey the process, and that, that process was a development of ‘sense of self’ or ‘sense of care for others’.

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The fruits of my first knitting class. 

I’m not sure I have an object in mind yet. I think I’ll go for another scarf (imaginative) – because at the moment the process of learning and practicing the skill is what I’m deeming most important (the results of which are not attractive – see above for preview). Perhaps instead of an object in mind, I need to have a person in mind – be that for self, or friends and family. When we knit are we binding a sense of connection and a sense of identity?  If so perhaps I will spend a bit of time to consider patterns or projects – if I’m to create my ‘knitting identity’ perhaps that needs to be embodied in an object I desire to make for a certain someone (even if that is myself!)

More information on Aneeta’s knitting classes and book available at http://www.knittingsos.co.uk/

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