16 February 2006

tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...

i have, inside me somewhere, a long and sensitive post about why i started knitting. it's important to me to write this, because i don't talk about it much, and the act of knitting is something that carries great meaning and connection. but... now is not that time. i've not been knitting in the last two days... just a row here or there on a sleeve or the elfines. i could have finished them days ago if i put my mind to it. but my mind is elsewhere. when i get my focus back (today? this weekend? as soon as this craziness settles...), i'll finally post about things that matter, things beyond "see how pretty this thing is that i made" (not that there is anything wrong with that... it's just that sometime i think i need to stick some substance in here).

in the meantime, i'm starting to wish i had actually joined the olympics. i thought that my travels and work would prevent me from actually participating, but i think i probably could finish the hourglass sweater in that time frame. i do get a great deal of pleasure out of reading about everyone else's progress... sometimes, it just makes me so happy to know that so many people out there are accomplished knitters. it's a beautiful way of passing on an important tradition... it gives me hope that other kinds of traditions (particularly music -- a type of tradition that i spend a lot of time thinking about) that seem all too quickly to be considered 'obsolete' will have the strength to persevere. For example, despite the fact that we don't need to handknit socks or sweaters anymore -- we can always buy them machine-made -- so many people are still making them. it's beautiful. when i think about music - how much of it is mass-produced, mass-marketed, commercialized -- it makes me fear for the future of local, live music-making. as venues get larger and larger, and individuals get more and more distanced from the personal creation of music, what will happen to things like, say, old time music for square dances? but, as with knitting, there are some things that continue, despite logic or technology.

on that topic, friday i'm going to a valentine's day square dance in kentucky. i'm more excited about this than you can imagine. 1) i LOVE to square dance. it's one of most enjoyable things, especially if your partner knows what he's doing. the men down here can really LEAD, so i can just relax and get swung around. i love it. 2) i managed to make it through middle and high school without ever having a date to a dance. this is something that pained me at the time and that i find endlessly funny now (i try and keep this perspective on things that seem painful to me now... "in ten years, i'll find this funny, in ten years, i'll find this funny...") i'm excited about the valentine's day square dance because i have a date. with a boy. we're just friends, but -- he asked me to go to the dance with him, and by being part of a couple, we save $2 on our entrance fee, so i feel like that counts as a date. the curse is broken! 3) part of this valentine's day dance is a cake auction. the women make cakes (i'm not sure if it is really as gendered as all that, but some traditions hold) and put them in decorated boxes. the men bid on the boxes. after a man 'wins' a cake, he and the woman who made it eat the cake together, and then have a square dance together. it's such an incredibly old fashioned and kinda romanitc gesture... straight out of little house on the prarie, really. i love it. i'm definitely decorating a cake box for this dance... just to see what happens!


Leah said...

Oh my gosh how I love that entire post! Your thoughtfulness about music & knitting is so near and dear to my heart it made me swell up with happiness!!

When I'm not an invalid I will have to talk to you about it at length.

I am so jealous of your dance. I can't wait to hear all about the dancing & your cake!

Have fun!

Theresa said...

Great post!

One of my favorite things about blogging (knit blogging, specifically) is that I can practice my craft not in isolation - why we knit in this age when it is a conscious choice is incredibly important. It is a statement of the worth and value of things we can create with our hands, and I could go on, but I won't.

As for the dance - the other thing I love about blogs is the little window on other peoples' lives - it sounds so classic and fabulous and I never knew they still did that cake box thing. I definitely saw something similar in an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman once. Can't wait to hear all about it.

Laura said...

Yes, yes, yes, I totally agree with both Leah and Theresa. (I have to say, though, that Theresa's comment about Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman almost made chai come out of my nose.)

Recently my husband asked me, "Why do you knit socks, when they just go on your feet, and nobody sees them, and you can buy socks for practically no money?" I think I just rolled my eyes and went back to my sock, but really his question was its own answer. I knit socks because it is a good thing to make something by hand, even if you don't have to.

Your dance sounds like SO MUCH FUN. I love the cake auction part. Wasn't there a really romantic scene in the movie Picnic involving a cake auction? You have to tell us all about it!

Bitterknitter said...

It was Oklahoma. Curly and Judd had a bidding war for Laurie's box lunch. Hope you had a great time! I always loved square dancing...