Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Dance of Knitting

On and off for the past year, I have been spending my Tuesday nights at Scottish Country Dancing Classes. The extraordinary instructors, Stella and Sandy, drill into the dancers proper footwork, dance etiquette, and the beauty of the intricate twists and turns of the dance.

Just as I once learned to read knitting instructions such as "sl 2-k1-p2sso," I am now learning to find meaning in dance directions such as "½ diag reel of 4 with 1CRs - pass LSh." And as I learn to interprete the allemandes, reels, and poussettes that make up the dances, I find myself after class feeling a similar rhythm and movement in my stitches. The act of moving a couple down the set in a dance, the act of moving stitches from one needle to the other. Creating beautiful dance with the turns, setting, and chains, creating fiber art with yarn overs, cables, and decreases.

KPPPM Chevron Scarf

A Hat for R using leftover O-Wool

I remember in the movie "Cry of the Snow Lion" hearing of the traditional Tibetan culture as one that prioritizes art, beauty, and the spiritual so that every act of work and sustainance is elevated to an art. Everyday items (socks, sweaters, hats) and daily chores (cooking, cleaning, farming) are executed with integrity and spirituality.

I know that my life will never be completely integrated with art and beauty. However, my nights at dance class can remind me to bring more grace to my movements. And my handwork can remind me that a scarf can be art.

Scarf with Clarence Border in Handmaiden 100% Silk


Sally said...

A most excellent sentiment, Ann! Art and beauty should be an important part of our daily lives, and there is beauty in the details.

The dancing looks so fun! I know it's not exactly the same, but I want to take Scottish Highlands Dance lessons. Unfortunately, it is prohibitively expensive at the moment. :o( Keep up the good work!

Liz K. said...

I love how you make room for art and beauty in your life. We all need more of that in our lives.

Suzanne said...

Dancing too? Fantastic!

Art and know, on the swim team I used to say that it was the losers that made the winners look good. If your whole life was artistic and beautiful there would be no contrast to SHOW you the art and beauty. Maybe we need to embrace the ugliness to make the beauty look good.

nova said...

This is a lovely (artfully beautifully, really) post! You have some gorgeous projects going, and the dancing?! Here is an trivial fact about me, I was the drum major in a pipe band for a while. Seeing men in kilts always reminds me of my drum majoring days....random, I know.

Anonymous said...

That dancing sounds like so much fun! I love the colors of the chevron. You are awesome and amazing!

Octopus Knits said...

Lovely! I will have to stick to knitting myself (I'm not so coordinated in most my activities). I like the way the colors of your knitting projects complement one another...