After reading several essays, I can happily say I'm enjoying this book, although I have noticed a trend: an awful lot of these stories are by people who don't knit, and even worse, often don't want to knit. Whether due to fear of learning, a sour relationship with a knitter, or association with personal tragedy, these writers don't have exactly glowing reviews about knitting. Instead, they write as if trying to apologize for being a non-knitter in a book clearly intended for the yarn-inclined.
An essay from the follow-up was published online this week, and I was completely captivated reading it. The writer, Stephanie Danler, doesn't knit per se, but she can unravel: "I can undo years of careful stitching in fifteen gluttonous minutes,' she says. I particularly loved this passage:
Wait, when does a blanket become a blanket? Aristotle would need it to fulfill all its Causes. The first cause is material—the yarn, in this case. The formal cause would be the spread of fabric, the blanket in the sickroom. The efficient cause—or moving cause—would be the knitters, their hands specifically, which cause the material to take form. You would think that makes a blanket.
But it’s not. Aristotle needs it to fulfill its Final Cause. Its purpose, so to speak. Warmth. When my Therapist tells me this story of a room of women knitting a blanket as death approaches, I understand that this blanket became a blanket even before it was finished.
-- The Unravelers
There are several writers included in Knitting Yarns (including Sue Grafton!) who do knit and enjoy it, celebrate it, and want to share it. The writers who love knitting are preaching to the choir here, but personally I'm happy to hear them singing its praises.
If you happen to pass by this blog, please share your essay about knitting - where it comes from, what it means, where it takes you, where you want it to take you - good or bad. I won't set a word limit for this essay!