Thursday, 20 October 2011

Penguins, the end.

Aren't they so cute?

The end :)

Comments & References.

So now we come to the end of this blog about knitting. Here are some comments I have left on my classmates blogs:

Judith said...

Lovely pictures Rachael! :)
It's great to hear a bit more about how you set up the photos. Just wondering whether you could explain some of the terms such as "aperature."October 6, 2011 3:03 PM

Judith said...

Cool story Nicole!! I love hearing about the littlest details such as threading the needle and arranging your space, it really paints a lovely clear picture. Just wondering had you considered putting in a bit more about what you were thinking and feeling at the time? This could help you identify the need. Just a thought :) keep up the good work!

Judith said...

Hey Kerryn, I like the depth in this post. It's clear that scrapbooking is a very important part of your life. There are similar things I find with my knitting, the relationship with the past and sense of achievement. Your scrapbooks will be a great way of preserving family history.16 October 2011 14:51

Judith said...

Hey Rachael, I'm doing knitting and finding the need was really hard for me too. There are so many different needs. I agree about having a productive way to spend time. I really enjoyed reading your blog, it would be great to have more stories about your french knitting :)16 October 2011 15:17


Arendt, H. (1958). The human condition.Chicago: University of Chicago.

Caulton, R & Dickson, R. (2007). What's going on? Finding an explanation for what we do. In J. Creek & A. Lawson-Porter (Eds.) Contemporary issues in occupational therapy. Chichester: John-Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Kielhofner, G. (2008). Model of human occupation: Theory and application. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Nicholson, H. (1998). The loving stitch: A history of knitting and spinning in New Zealand. Auckland, NZ: Auckland University Press.

Pearl-McPhee, S. (2005). At knit's end: Meditations for women who knit too much. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

Pearl-McPhee, S. (2006). Knitting rules!: the yarn harlot's bag of knitting tricks. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My needs.

So thinking about my needs in regards to knitting has been challenging. I was struggling to find the words to describe why I knit; until I found these quotes which just say it all:

“...the number one reason knitters knit is because they are so smart that they need knitting to make boring things interesting. Knitters are so compellingly clever that they simply can't tolerate boredom. It takes more to engage and entertain this kind of human, and they need an outlet or they get into trouble." 
 -- Stephanie Pearl-McPhee 

"...knitters just can't watch TV without doing something else. Knitters just can't wait in line, knitters just can't sit waiting at the doctor's office. Knitters need knitting to add a layer of interest in other, less constructive ways.” 
-- Stephanie Pearl-McPhee 

So there you have it I knit because I don't like sitting around doing nothing. My fingers get fidgety and my brain starts drifting off. I also sometimes get annoyed that nothing is getting done, but if I have my knitting to do at least I have something to show for the time I was sitting around either waiting or watching tv.

Need over the past few weeks:
The need I stated above is an overarching need of my life. But I realised that it wasn't specifically the need that knitting is fulfilling. I do fulfill this need with knitting, but if I couldn't knit I would fulfilled it in some other way such as crochet or drawing. So I dove a little deeper and have discovered that the reason I'm knitting at the moment is for my mother. So really the need that knitting is fulfilling in my life at the moment is to maintain my relationship with my mother. It shows her that I use the skills that she's taught me and I put effort and thought into the gifts I give her.

Quotes from this website

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Knitting as craft activity & I'm a Knitter!

Knitting is a craft activity. Arendt (1958) defines work as “the work of our hands as distinguished from the labour of our bodies” (p. 136). Through knitting I'm making something that will last for a time. It enables me to create the human world around me. I can use the things I knit to build my identity. If I wear a hat or jersey that I've made I am influencing my persona and in some way influencing the perceptions that people have of me. The part of the human world that relates to me is heavily influenced by knitting. This is the unique ambience of the activity of knitting. 

me the knitter......

Focusing on knitting in depth for this semester has changed the way I look at knitting. I had no idea that the knitting community was so vast. There are all sorts of knitters and they are not at all stereotypical. I have been introduced to the knitters vs non-knitters divide. As I learn more it feels nice to know that I am part of something and I didn't even know it! I am a knitter. Wow! That adds something important to my sense of who I am. It's like a role that I play in my life. Kielhofner (2008) states that the roles we perceive in ourselves become a part of our  understanding of who we are.  Discovering a new role that I have opens up heaps of new possibilities. I had never considered that I might enjoy reading knitting books but now I am really enjoying them. Some are so funny! Here is a piece of advice from one:

"If you find a non-knitter who thinks what you do is clever, beautiful and artistic; who never asks for knitted stuff but wears it with pride when you give it to him or her; and will help you carry home a whole fleece or a stack of stitch dictionaries without once implying that you might want to get a grip--marry that person." 
- Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee

Arendt, H. (1958). The human condition.Chicago: University of Chicago.

Kielhofner, G. (2008). Model of human occupation: Theory and application. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Pearl-McPhee, S. (2006). Knitting rules!: the yarn harlot's bag of knitting tricks. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Obsessive knitting! Laughing at ourselves.........

"There's a lot of humour in knitting, though I know you wouldn't think it to see yarn just sitting there"
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Here is a short film about when knitting goes too far!

There are definitely appropriate times and places to knit. I'm not sure that the edge of a cliff is such a good idea. When I knit my balls of wool tend to go everywhere. No matter how hard I try to keep them in a bag or on my lap they manage to run away. This means I am careful about the choice of environment where I knit.  For example I wouldn't knit on an aeroplane (not that I would be allowed knitting needles on a plane nowadays anyway!) because the wool would easily run under seats and get tangled in other peoples things. Although interestingly enough others apparently do knit on planes click here to see proof (and it's a man too)!

References: Pearl-McPhee, S. (2005). At knit's end: Meditations for women who knit too much. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Another day another dollar (and another knitting story)

The last time I picked up my knitting needles (I really like starting stories this way) was on Saturday at work. At first it was raining outside so I sat on a chair with my knitting things on another chair beside me. Then the rain stopped and the sun came out. I noticed that the sun was shining directly onto the bed so I moved to sit on the bed with the sun on my back. It was warm and lovely! I was all by myself for most of the time, the person I support was asleep. I knitted and thought and my imagination went wild. Another staff member came in and I was so engrossed in my knitting and thinking that he had to let himself in as I didn't hear him knock. He was there to pick up a car and left soon so I picked up my knitting again. Since I have a lot of free time at work and am required to be there and available for the person, knitting is a good pastime. I can knit and chat to the person or knit by myself when they are doing other things. Knitting can be put down anytime so I can just leave it where I'm up to and go assist with something. As I get used to the pattern it becomes easier and easier to knit and do something else, like chatting or watching TV. I no longer need to have the pattern in front of me as I can tell by the stitches what I am up to. I don't need to count anymore either. Even a complicated pattern has a definite shape and repeats the same series of stitches over a few rows. You can tell quite easily when you have made a mistake and the sooner you can tell the easier it is to fix!    

Monday, 3 October 2011

A Knitting Story

This story was mostly written in class on Friday but I've edited it a bit since then. Enjoy!

The last time I picked up my knitting needles was Wednesday. I was sitting in the Dunedin Public Library. My friend was there and we were filling in time before picking up the boys from piping. Knitting is very useful for filling in time. One or two rows can be done in a short space of time and it saves sitting around waiting and wasting time. I find that I get less impatient when I'm knitting as I am still achieving something while waiting.   We sat in a corner of the children's section at the library. It was quiet and warm. We discussed whether the pattern I was doing would work since I'd left the cable needle at home. It didn't matter cause I wasn't up to that part yet. I was still doing the hat band which was in ribbing. Ribbing is knit one, purl one, knit one etc.... It has a rhythm and is quite relaxing. Because I was in a warm quiet place and the rhythm of the needles made me feel relaxed and peaceful. We were there for about 15 minutes and then picked the boys up. Back at home we picked up our knitting needles again. I sat at the dining room table and finished the ribbing section. We were all chatting and when it came to doing the next piece of the pattern I accidentally skipped a row. The result of this was I had to unknit that row and go back to the one I had missed. It was late (10.30pm) and I found it hard to concentrate on figuring out the new piece of pattern while engaging in a conversation with the others. The new pattern was more complex and knitting complex things takes more concentration. Since the boys were there as well the conversation was more general not so much discussing what we were working on. This meant switching from a social conversation to trying to count stitches. Since I was having trouble doing this late at night both activities, my knitting and my conversation suffered. I got completely lost in my knitting so in the end had to give up halfway through a row (That meant more unknitting on Saturday). My conversation was affected like this "Oh really why was that? knit one, purl one. No I'm listening" or "Hang on a minute just checking my stitches, one two three.....122, what were you saying?". None of us minds this sort of conversation interruption as it is a common occurrence, however with other people I would have given up sooner. The boys were also doing other things at the same time so they were equally distracted.  Having my knitting needles around was useful when the boys got irritating! A little amateur acupuncture was in order.... I enjoyed knitting while chatting because I felt like I was using my time well. I am knitting another hat for mum since the first one came out too small. I'm using the same red wool that I bought at the Elna shop when I went shopping with another friend. It was on special then so I bought two 100g balls. Good thing since now I have enough to make a second hat that will actually fit my mother. The new pattern i'm doing is one that my friend has tried several times before. I really like the way that it turns out. It has cable in it which I haven't done before so I will be gaining a new skill as well. It will be helpful since my friend has done it before she can show me what to do if I get stuck.