Wear What You Make: On the Road
In the northern hemisphere, summer means three months with long days and sunshine. It’s traditionally a time for vacation. That might mean a week at the beach to beat the heat, a jaunt overseas, or my family’s favorite: the road trip. My dad loved to drive, and for a few weeks every summer he was in his natural element. We drove up and down the California coast, through National Parks in Arizona and Utah, and even more exotic places like across the Nullarbor Plain in Southern Australia. Out on the open road, there were sights to see, games to stave off boredom, and the inevitability of getting lost somewhere along the way.
Sonya is wearing: 100 Acts of Sewing Tunic no. 1; Dress no. 1; and Pants no. 1.
Traveling takes you out of yourself and out of your daily routine. You live out of your suitcase and have the opportunity to discover things, like perhaps a new fabric or yarn store with the promise of pretty textile souvenirs. Since I can’t take any sewing with me, it means packing my knitting. I always think there will be time to work on a project, but sadly I don’t have a lot of success in that department. I’ve packed the wrong needles too many times to mention or ended up one frustrating skein short. More often than not, my knitting will go on a vacation without seeing as much as a row added.
Open Summer Cardigan #294 from Knitting Pure & Simple in Ornaghi Filati Natural; Dress no. 1; and Pants no. 1.
While travel helps build an appreciation for how people live outside our home region, we can have our own armchair version any day of the week, thanks to technology. There’s a lot of talk about the divisions in our country and the world in general. One word getting bandied about is tribalism. Gathering together with others who share beliefs and passions is hardly a new phenomenon. As knitters on the internet, we seek out people who share our passion for stitches. An instant camaraderie comes about from the admiration of whatever handknit garment you have on, the mutual appreciation of a lovely skein of yarn, and perhaps most important, not having to justify the expanding dragon’s hoard of wool that makes up one’s stash.
Sceles by Anna Maltz in Shibui Twig; dress (own pattern); and modified Pants no. 1.
When thinking about the way that different civilizations have particular traditions of bread baking or textile making, which includes knitting, it’s a way of seeing commonality across cultures. The practice of taking yarn and creating interconnected loops didn’t start in one place with the knowledge passed relay-like, but rather simultaneously, with traditions emerging on different continents. The methods change from country to country, with variations in cast on, how the yarn is held or which direction it wraps. These all add to what we know as knitting, with no one style being better or worse, but simply different.
Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Lawrence in Kaalund Yarns Enchanté; dress-length Shirt no. 1; and Pants no. 1.
On the rare occasion when I remember to knit while traveling, whether it’s on a flight or in an airport, it very often elicits the question, “What are you making?” The question is an acknowledgment that working with our hands is noteworthy. When we can observe with curiosity and an open mind, our experiences are all the richer.