Monday, 20 July 2009


Knitting a swatch in a new stitch pattern reminds me of singing the chant to a psalm through to numbers in rehearsal. I realise that this analogy relies on knowledge of two separate and fairly arcane pursuits - knitting and Anglican choral music - but I know of at least two people who read this who share that knowledge, so I'm going to carry right on.

In both activities one is feeling one's way, stumbling across obstacles scattered across a smaller area in the hope of preventing their reappearance later in the larger piece. If the chant/stitch pattern is a fairly simple one (as the 4-row lace pattern in Annette, shown above, is) it can be memorised by the end of the practice run, leaving the mind free either to wander elsewhere, to dwell on perfecting tweaks, or to revel in a mysterious meditative state. If it is complicated, this preparation reveals it as such, and encourages alertness during the main event.

I think I'm going to leave my metaphor now, before it becomes absurd. Maybe I'm missing singing a little bit...

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