Archive | knitting.

I like knitting, you like knitting, the world likes knitting.

Knitting, History, the War, and the Internet.

Knitting and the internet are like peas in a pod. They just seem to fit together so well, zeroes and ones of code, plus the knit stitch and the purl stitch equals win. There’s a lot online about knitting (which is the best) for the war (which is the worst) currently, but there’s also a ton of stuff online about knitting for other completely crappy wars, too.

So today, here’s a little look of what you can find regarding knitting, the war, and well, more knitting. (Except for the last two, they’re just war-related old-timey awesome.)

The title pretty much says it all. Here’s a gem of a clip from Cary Grant’s 1943 movie, Mr. Lucky:

Many thanks to the consistently awesome Step for sending this to me!

Along with Cary Grant knitting for the war, there are other weird knitting in pop culture references from times gone by for the war:

sm She 039 dKnitKnitKnit


Verse 1:
Pretty little Kitty’s got the patriotic craze
Knitting scarfs for soldiers day and night
Silly little Billy now is spending all his days
Watching Kitty knit with all her might
She even knits when out in his canoe.
She knits while Billy tries to bill and coo.

Knitting and sheet music and war seem to have gone hand in hand, as you can see here from the University of Iowa sheet music collection:

stay away small 000

You can find more information about knitting for the war by either clicking here or clicking the photo below.

WorldWarI sheetmusicKnit09

This cute photo is from here, which includes some insanely awesome information about WWII and the home, rationing, along with a worksheet on how to teach kids about making and mending.

ww2 boys knit

It also includes this awesome poster.

ww2 housewives

And this one is unrelated, but well, messed up, and amazing. This link will take to you the awesome collection of historic (some knitting related) sheet music at the Duke University Library.

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Therapeutic Craft, Creativity and Healing

So, astute observers may have noticed a change in the description of “what I do/talk about, etc.” either over on my About page or on my Twitter profile. It’s a little tweak, a change, reflecting a more recent diagnosis for me. I’m not going to lie, those 4-effin-words-put-together-in-a-row are some scary shit. They’ve been going around my head for 3 weeks now, like a horse riding a ring, wondering what this means, if things will change, if people will think I’m totally effin’ insane.

And with that change, comes the deletion to talking about “war” and the addition of talking about IT instead, because while personally (thankfully) I have never been in a war, I have known those affected by war my entire life. My issues stem from a different root, but show up and present themselves in much the same ways. Truth be told, those definitions in the last link are being changed in the next version of the DSM, changes you can read about here. What happened to me is not something I feel like I need to share, but I do want to clearly and seriously state that what happened happened almost 30 years ago and no one from my family hurt me (again, thankfully). Not thankfully, there was something else that happened by someone else that made it all worse about 20 years ago. (YES!) And I’m writing this because I think it’s important to note how important craft and creativity was for me in my life.

Over the past 6 months, while this has all been a work in progress, I’ve learned a lot about its various causes; the criticisms of it; the arguments about who has it and who doesn’t; the stereotypes… some good, some bad. Ultimately, what it runs down to is: child + incident + brain/emotional development = weird problems (hypervigilance, freezing, panic attacks, avoidance) that no one knew what the heck to do about. Because this happened SO LONG AGO and no one knew what it was, I’ve dealt with all of the symptoms above because I had no choice. And today, I’m the same person I was 3 weeks ago, and for the past 10 years.

What made the difference in reducing many of my symptoms was craft. While I thought it just alleviated my depression and anxiety, it relieved something much more than that. It helped me re-syncopate and live, really. It helped me find a rhythm in the stitches that brought solace and understanding of myself that no one could ever bring. And it’s not just knitting, not just craft, but creativity. Giving myself permission to create was what opened up the doors to let bad things rush in and wreak havoc and do their worse. In short, the stitches, the freedom to create them, the freedom to mess them up, the freedom to see how time passed as my scarf/hat/sweater grew longer, gave me a safe space. They provided a safety that I never would have guessed if I had never picked up the needles. They provided the kindest type of safety I have ever known.

I’m not saying that this is the case for everyone, because it’s not. However, I’m writing this because I wonder what would happen if we took creativity’s power more seriously. If we let those whom are sick and unsure and scared and alone create more, give them the permission to make a mess, try something new, be imperfect. If we let them dive into the imperfection that illness can bring through creativity; allowing them to unleash in a number of mediums until one makes more sense than the others. I say this, not as a therapist, or a doctor, but as someone who never takes it for granted when I find myself walking down the street without constantly looking over my shoulder for a possible threat, as someone who can be brought to tears of joy that they can feel the wind down to their bones, and as someone who is ever grateful to have found craft as an outlet in which to help keep me here, alive, well, and most of all, happy.

Who could we make happy, too, if we took the powers of creativity more seriously?

Here are a few links related to therapeutic knitting, as it was knitting that I first found as an outlet:

Lovely cartoon (!!!) called “Therapy Knitting.”

Stitchlinks: a whole dang website about therapeutic craft.

Knitting as Healing Therapy

More on therapeutic knitting by Betsan Corkhill, the founder of Stitchlinks

Craftivism in the News This Week… Suh-weet!

Text from here. Photo from here.

On Monday I got an email, followed by a phone call with Bill Harris who works for the city.

He was very nice, and said the city’s hands were tied and they tried to find a way to keep them — but they have to go.

Councilmember Lorie Zapf is collecting emails of support at loriezapf@sandiego.gov to show community backing and find a way to keep them in Clairemont. Send her your story, and let her know how much you like them!

Bill Harris gave me this statement to post:

The City is forced to announce that the Stop Sign Flowers must come down. Even with the great community spirit this effort has generated, there are just too many restrictions to overcome. City staff looked through state law and local policies trying to find some way of allowing the flowers to remain in place. Unfortunately, particularly with traffic control signs and including all other City assets, there is just no way to retain the works where they now are.

We hope that the flower-makers will work with other site owners – private businesses, other agencies, business improvement districts and community groups – to find new homes for the flowers. This is a fun program that should easily capture the imagination of our communities in other, less restricted, locations.

City crews will not remove any of the installations for the next ten days unless they become a hazard. It is hoped that those who originally installed the flowers will take that time to remove and preserve the work. Following the ten day period, City crews will be instructed to remove and dispose of anything affixed to City assets as it is seen or reported. The yarn and leaf structures cannot be saved when removed by City staff.

I will be available to answer specific questions about the City’s direction via email from billharris@sandiego.gov

For a map of San Diego street flowers go here.

See how you can make more here.

One of the sweetest things about this project is that the self-proclaimed “knitting guy” started to learn to knit “to teach my daughter. She received a “learn to knit” craft kit as a present, but the instructions were sparse and hard to understand. So, I decided to learn how in order to show her. I had thought about learning for a few years, so this was just the push I needed. That was about four years ago, and we have both been knitting off and on since.”


Also, there have been several awesome articles online about craftivism lately:

*Stir to Action piece from the Wellington Craftivism Collective
*Crafting the Future We Want over at Tck Tck Tck
*A lovely interview with the lovely Craftivist Collective over at HUCK magazine


And if that isn’t enough, and you’re STILL feeling crafty, go check out the the Blood Bag Project. Click the pic to see the gallery of submitted blood bags. You can also follow the project’s progress here

Now go and make somethin’ now, won’t ya?

x

How to Be Alone

I first discovered this video in 2010 thanks to a post on Elephant Journal. And I can’t remember a video making me happier to just simply be.

And as I recently re-discovered it, I realized that it was finding craft that finally made to uncover the facts that a) it’s okay to be alone and b) it’s okay to like being alone sometimes. Craft taught me that I don’t have to fear either the silence or the cacophony in my head when I’m working on stitch after stitch after stitch. I don’t have to even worry about the future, if I just keep stitching. Breathing. Living. Moving forward.

May you feel okay to be alone instead of fearing it, and enjoy dancing alone whether it’s at home by yourself with the curtains drawn or in a club or to a lovely song in the grocery store. Or stitching or walking or laughing or cooking or going to see a movie or all the other 10 million things you can do alone.

Performed by Tanya Davis, who you can learn more about here.
Directed by Andrea Dorfman, who you can learn more about here.

KnitRiot Knits ’em, Leaves ’em and Warms up the Needy

Below is a lovely little video about a Los Angeles group called KnitRiot who makes crafty items and leaves them for the needy to find and take. How wonderful is it to make something full of intent and care and love and then leave it for someone who needs it to take by placing it near a homeless shelter?! As you’ll also see in the video, they also placed a tree sweater on one lucky tree, placing various items to craft with for passersby to take… And most beautifully, when they returned to the tree, they found thank you letters for leaving craft supplies.

What a wonderful world, indeed.

[Apologies for the giant video, but there wasn’t a resizing option…]

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For more photos and information about KnitRiot, check their website: http://knitriot.blogspot.com/

Also, check out the LA Times article about them over here.

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