Friday, 12 August 2011

Transformations and Shifts

I've had a long knitting break for a variety of reasons. Work commitments have been one thing (and I'm so very grateful to Kate MacDonald for taking on the Oxford Summer School for me - everyone really enjoyed the week). Alongside this has been a deeper discernment process, which has resulted in a big decision to drop my City and Guilds Hand Knitting course and to begin training as an interfaith minister later this year. From now on my main blog will be what I am calling my online commonplace book, with only occasional postings here. Do drop by and take a look. You can also find me on Twitter .

As part of my discernment around this, in June I went back to my old childhood "patch" in Bristol and the first picture here is the corrugated fence outside my primary school. I was struck by the beauty of its colours and patterns. It was fascinating to 'beat the bounds' of my walk to and from school and home, remembering how scary being a child there sometimes was and seeing as an adult how small the distances actually are. It has felt important to revisit the places that I came from before setting out on my new adventure.

In the meantime, I've picked up my knitting needles again, to create a patchwork throw for the Shetland house - I see that the colours of the fence are reflected there. I'm basing it on the Gwithian Beach Blanket in Jane Gottelier's delightful book Indigo Knits,using Rowan's wonderful denim cotton yarn and trying out some of the distressing and bleaching techniques. The transformations and shifts in the yarn occur not only as you knit the stitches, combining colours or twisting cables, but also as you apply bleach or sandpaper and as it shrinks to size in the washing-machine and afterwards continues to wear with use and age. Something about life, here, as always in knitting - change is at the heart of the universe. How exciting!