Sunday, January 01, 2012

From a knitted travel-log to a world in stitches

In December I decided to sign up for The Wheel - Shamanic Foundation Studies with The Little Red Drum . The year program focuses on exploring the medicine wheel.  We are currently exploring "The Way of the North" and "Earth".  Although I am creating a written record of my journey I thought perhaps it would be a nice idea to create a knitted travel-log.  And as so often happens when I start musing about knitting, one thought led to another.  Before I knew it my initial idea of knitting a little planet earth evolved into something far more complex.  A new an exciting pattern was starting emerge.
The World in Stitches - A Travel-log of knitting is born
Planeeetta Maa by Soile Peltokangas
© Soile Peltokangas
Finding a pattern for a knitted earth proved straightforward.  A search on google provided two great options - Keychain Globe  and Home.  Armed with pattern, yarns and lots of enthusiasm I cast on my stitches and started to knit Antarctica.  As I added the last stitch to Graham Land (for those of you not familiar with Antarctica - its the northern portion of the Antarctic Peninsula which juts out into the Scotia Sea) I noticed something odd about my emerging world.  It appeared my earth was morphing into something new.  Was it an earth from a parallel universe? No, I wasn't  destined to embark on some Sci-Fi adventure with Dr Who to learn about the mysteries of the universe.  My lesson for the day concerned something far more complex - knitting charts or more precisely how to read them. 
I must confess I am quite astounded to discover I have knitted for over thirty years without ever encountering a knitting chart.  Or perhaps I've subconsciously avoided them.  Whatever, I opted to follow some advice from the Dalai Lama, namely:
  • stop procrastinating
  • believe in yourself
  • and don't give up and don't give in
Armed with these words of wisdom I enlisted the help from one of the many online knitting gurus, appropriately named - Read Knitting Patterns.  With basic rules and guidelines understood I cast on my stitches for a second time and proceeded to revisit Antarctica.  It was on this return voyage I had one of those light bulb moments.  Rather than knitting earth as quickly as possible why don't I go for a slow knit approach and contemplate the links between my stitches and the continents I'm knitting.  This approach will then allow me to indulge in my other passion - reading and researching about knitting.   So that's how my story of the world in stitches was born, more of which I'll share with you over the coming weeks and months.

Graham Land is named after Sir James R. G. Graham, First Lord of the Admiralty at the time of John Biscoe's exploration of the west of Graham Land in 1832.   It is claimed by Britain as part of the British Antarctic Territory.  A claim rejected by Argentina and Chile.  In March 2009 politicans from both countries visited the freezing continent to stake their own claims over the region

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