Wednesday, January 16, 2013

On making beautiful things

I don't come from an artistic family. Nobody in my family is very good at painting or drawing or making things from wood. Our creative talents are more in the realm of performance--I act, my mother does puppetry, my father sings, my brother makes people laugh and we all write.

Hopper's family, on the other hand, is visual. His father and grandfather were painters, and they all draw and paint in his family. Over the past few years, I've been experimenting some with collage, and I think I have a pretty good eye, but I really don't have a history of making beautiful things.

In the past, I have used my talents to move people. I have made them laugh and cry, and through children's theater I have helped children learn a great deal about emotions, and responsibility, and how to perform. I'm proud of that. But performance is ephemeral, especially on stage. A video doesn't fully capture the moment we created.

But now I'm knitting, and it's really easy, if you buy beautiful yarn, to make a beautiful scarf. I've made a few using the knit stitch and experimenting with different needles. I like the open weave of really big needles. But yesterday I started one using two different sized needles and some really beautiful yarn, and I'm amazed at the fact that I can now make beautiful things. At the end of the day, there is an object that I can hold and wear or give to a friend, and it's a beautiful object that I made with my own hands.

This is a new experience for me.

I also find it interesting that the older I get, the more I find I have in common with my grandmother, whom I called Nana. My Nana was brilliant with handwork--she mostly crocheted--and I still have some afghans she made for me. So maybe I have the ability to be really good at this. Who knows?

This evening, I started a basket weave scarf. It's my first work with a pattern and it's tricky, but so far it's working. Okay, it took me three tries to figure out how to purl correctly, but now I've got it, so it's working.

Anyway, the journey is fun.


  1. It's great to watch your journey as you grow as a knitter. When do we see some pictures of the scarves?