Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Monday, 5 December 2011

Big Fish: a Meditation on Knitting and Life

We watched Tim Burton's Big Fish last night:

It's a story about a young man coming to terms with his dying father, who has framed his life in big events and tall tales.  (If this movie is not Tim Burton's explanation of why he makes the movies he does, then you can knock me over with a Handi Matic.)

One of the themes of the movie is that we become the stories we tell about ourselves. In the end, we return to what we always were. I thought about this and what it might mean in terms of the knitting I do. 

My knitting (and spinning) tends to be colourful, spontaneous and freeform.  I'm a fearless knitter; if I run across a problem, I repeat it until it becomes a pattern or I work my way around it until the problem is solved.  If a project really isn't working, I will abandon it and not look back.  Most of the time, I'm a process person, not a project minder.

Although I have lots of experience and training in fibre arts, my techniques tend to be haphazard, as does my attention to detail.  I'm a whiz at mending socks, but if I had spun the yarn and knit the socks properly in the first place, I wouldn't be doing so much mending.

I'm greedy about yarns and fibres, always wanting to be the first to have new stuff, but I'm working on changing that. As I slowly disappear under a mountain of fibre, I am beginning to understand that having too much of a good thing can hinder one's creativity, not help it.  I've learned to give things away and not look back, but there are many knitted projects and bags of unspun fibres that keep me attached, no matter how unlikely it is that I will use them.

What this says about me and my life is uncertain, but if I end up as a pile of unspun fibre and natural yarns, I'm okay with that, as long as I don't become a tangled mess.

Are there parallels between the way you knit and the habits that make you the person you are and the person you are becoming?

Are the stories you've woven about yourself the way you're actually living your life?

Can you contemplate life as a "non string person?" (Thanks, Mar, for that idea.)

My fibre room in full working mode: I can't think too much about what the state of it says about me!

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