knitting and knotting

Knitting is basically knotting. You take a straight, basically two-dimensional object (yarn) and work with it to make a three dimensional object (hat, sweater, whatever). The process of knitting is really just making knots, using needles. Most knitters realize at some point that, theoretically, they could knit with their fingers alone, but that using needles makes it easier. Even the fanciest knitting is still just knots.

What's most fascinating to me about knitting is its provisional nature. The knots can be unknotted--unraveled--with just a slight tug (unless you're the kind of knitter who splits stitches and catches half the underneath sticth, which makes a terrible mess when you unravel it--believe me, I kow!).

The craft of knotting has two interesting variations besides knitting:

1.Boy Scout knot work
2. Fisherman's nets

We speak of people who have an enduring relationship built over time as being "close-knit." Their lives are knotted together. But, if you remember how easy it is to unravel something, you know that being close-knit is not permanent. Unless, of course, you're unskillful and have lots of split stitches!

So what is, to me, a relaxing craft is really a methodical process of making knots. That doesn't sound relaxing at all. Is it the routine (the pattern) I like? The way that knitting keeps my hands busy, freeing my mind to process incoming sensations and to create? Is it the way that knitting grows under your hands, giving you a sense of accomplishment? Or is it the satisfaction of the finished item, and the pleasure it gives to the person to whom it's given? All of these reasons make me love to knit.


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