(Which was a cool educational show on in the '90s, anyone remember it? Sort of the history of technology? Stuff like how perfume bottles influenced internal combustion engines. Loved it.)
I'm sure everyone's noticed a distinct lack of motivation toward the knitting going on around here lately. I think it's been a combination of a lot of stuff; health crap (medication is still kicking my ass), the state fair annoyance and plain old driving time, knitting gifts I don't like, etc. Last night I got disciplined (for me) and sat down to work on the Gansey sleeve, and it all clicked again.
There I sat, knitting on the gansey (okay, it's not historically accurate in construction, pattern, color, or material, but I SAY it's a gansey, by golly) and it hit me: How many women in the last, oh, four hundred years, have sat in their little room after dinner, with the baby snoozing in the crib and the cat next to them, knitting away on a sweater for their husband? Thousands? I'm sure. Maybe hundreds of thousands. And I had one of Those Moments where I felt that connection to the history and every-day usefulness of it all.
Then I started counting blessings. I can't quite help it when I think about history - things were damn rough for most people, most of the time. First, ironically, was being thankful for my Ott Lite, phrased something like "Man, I'm glad I don't have to knit this by candle light, that would suck." Then I remembered I had heat in my nice, comfy, well-constructed house. And the yarn was brought to my door by the beloved post-man; no carding, no spinning, no sheep chasing involved. From there I got a little more basic: I wasn't knitting this for a husband who was a fisherman, so I didn't have to worry if the next storm would kill him. Everyone had eaten well that night, even the cat, and we'd eat well again tomorrow.
Life was, well, pretty good. And so was the damn gansey.
Funny how it all just clicks once in a while. Usually it's while I'm lace-knitting in old jeans with the TV on, and I think "Boy, if those Victorian Ladies got a load of this, they'd faint." Occasionally while doing something else I wonder what knitters of old would think. While working on the Blue Shimmer I hoped that Emma Jacobson wouldn't kick my ass for bad workmanship (she was the lady who ran Bohus Stickning, the design house in Sweden that produced the Blue Shimmer originally). I also wonder what our forbears would think of some of these new yarns, like the railroad and eyelash and the silk.
Anyway. One of the thousand reasons why knitting is cool.
In blog-related info, I've started answering comments IN the comments, so you might wanna go back and look at 'em once in a while, if you're into that sort of thing. I'm using the in-comments comment when it's something specific to a single person, and I can't find an e-mail address for them. Darn good questions, comment themes, and other group-type stuff will still be answered here in the blog proper. Is there some specific way we're supposed to handle comments that I'm missing? Some etiquette? Or are we all making this up as we go?