Friday, January 27, 2017

A Happy Yarn Bomber

I’m knitting again. (Still knitting, no purling. I haven’t progressed that far.) I’m still using very big needles and very fat yarn so I can see very fast progress.
Knitting was one of my first New Things in my Third Third, and it was part of one of my happiest discoveries: yarn bombing. We covered the trees in front of the Anchorage Museum with knitted art. You can read all about it here, but the big thing was that we made Art! It was spectacular and fun and … joyful.
So now, I’m knitting again. I still can’t do anything fancy, but I can make rectangles, and that’s all that’s needed. Then the rectangles get stitched onto the trees. And this time – next Friday – we’re decorating the trees at Westchester Lagoon and the nearby Coastal Trail. You can, too.

This is the amazing thing: Even my dopey, non-fancy rectangles with bizarre yarn combinations make Art. When all the knitters bring out all their rectangles, and all the trees get sweaters, it becomes Public Art. All those decorated trees! It makes people smile to see something unexpected, something colorful, something happy.

I’m thinking back over my recent year, and I have often been happy. I’ve even made people laugh when I tell a good story. But I don’t think I added as much happiness to the world as when I helped knit the trees at the Museum. And it mattered that it took many of us to make all that happiness.

So yes, I’m knitting again. I had to go back on YouTube to learn how to cast on and bind off. I still can’t do anything but knit while I knit because I have to concentrate. But there’s something meditative about moving needles, finishing rows, starting new rows, seeing progress. The transformation from ball of yarn to knitted rectangle is so concrete, it satisfies. I’d forgotten this. I even forgot that when I knit, I don’t snack.
I’m a confirmed beginner, a nincompoop knitter. I don’t want to get fancy about it. I’m just going to knit rectangles because that’s all I have to do to add to world happiness with my knitting. I don’t have to follow a pattern, count rows, worry about dropped stitches. I can just click my big needles, throw my fat yarn around, and it turns into Art. What a discovery!

If you’re a knitter, make some rectangles. If you’re not, help us dress the trees. Otherwise, just take a look and smile. That’s why we’re doing it.

(More details and updates on Facebook)

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