Thursday, March 06, 2008

Writing and Knitting

Knitting is often seen as something easy that anybody could do if they wanted to, not much of a special skill.

"The subtext," Montse Stanley argues, "is that knitting has no substance. If any dimwit can learn all there is to it in a few hours, the creative potential of knitting must be next to nil." But, she says, while it is indeed relatively easy to learn the basics, to master the art of knitting is a different matter.
"A certain parallel can be drawn between knitting and writing, in which we value literary achievement as distinct from daily usage. Although the initial mechanics of both writing and knitting are easily grasped, what matters is the use to which we put them and, in particular, whether or not there is an artistic intention. Writing covers a very wide spectrum, from epic novels, poetry and love letters to invoices, laundry lists and telephone directories. The range of knitting categories is nearly as wide and equally varied."

Montse Stanley, Jumpers that drive you quite insane: Colour, Structure and Form in Knitted Objects, in Schoeser, Mary & Boydell, Christine (eds) (2002), Disentangling Textiles: Techniques for the Study of Designed Objects, Middlesex University Press, p.24


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