book review: sweater quest

by Adrienne Martini

There is a sub-genera of literature, well of chick-lit really, that is called knit-lit. It is comprised of books about knitting. My friend Jessica lent me this book a few months ago...I am behind. Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously, tells one woman’s story of knitting a Fair Island sweater. To those of you who don’t know, it is a very difficult project. While weaving in the history of knitting, these specific sweaters, and her actual knitting, the book trundles along, helping the reader quickly pass time on airplanes or trains.

She also has somewhat highbrow discussions of the difference between craft and art. Art is the creation of something new, while craft is said to be following someone else's patterns. I find this distinction interesting. Why can’t following another person's pattern be art? And isn’t all art following someone else’s pattern, and diverting from it? Are there really any new ideas out there?

I wonder about our society’s ability to create new ideas, and where this ability has gone, often. There are millions more people in America today than when I was little, but all of the movies and TV shows seem to be remakes of the stories from my childhood. But then, maybe these shows merely recycled ideas from before I was born and I don’t know it?

What appeals to me about knitting and the book is the exploration of creating. What does creating something, be it art or craft, out of nothing mean? How does this affect your brain? I get a rush when I create. I feel like I have accomplished something. I don’t get this feeling from consuming. But a lot of times I don’t know how to suggest to my friends that instead of getting together to consume (going shopping or going to dinner), we should get together and create something new.

I also found this quote in the book to be true: “One of the central tenets of a happy person is that when they give something away, they cease to care what happens to it.” I love giving things away, because I feel like I am making someone happy. It is important to let it go once it is gone.

After reading the book, I was laying in bed with Brent.

“We have to go to Toronto. It sounds wonderful. It is knitter’s mecca.”

“Well, you really know how to sell a guy on a trip.”

Knitting is easy and fun. If you don’t do it, you should try it. I will even show you how. The book was easy and fun too!

No comments: