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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Knitting Mindfully

Have you ever, disbelieving, stumbled across an error in a book's knitting pattern?  Just yesterday I came across one.

The first time I found such an error, some fifty-odd years ago (told you I'm a long-time knitter), I was disbelieving.  Ten times I must have checked it against my work, but yup, the mistake was in the printing, not in my knitting. 

I was young and hadn't yet heard about type lice, that apocryphal scapegoat of printers and publishers.  But I'd been watching where the designer was leading, and that sure looked like a glitch in the get-along to me.

It's somewhere between a treasure hunt and a dance, this practice of following a written pattern.  A stranger leaves coded clues that we bring to life, much as a musician enlivens the composer's notations.  When we play the music, we can hear if a note has gone sour. 

We must learn to knit the same way.  Mindfully, checking print against purl.  Realizing that communications can go wrong.  Always asking that ghost on the page, "Is this really what you intended?"

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