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Name: knitabulous
Location: Mt Keira, New South Wales, Australia

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Knitting Alone
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2 May 2006

I didn’t grow up in a creative household. However whenever I have been exposed to any fibre-related craft I have always been fascinated and enthralled. Particularly the knitting, which has really stuck with me. I think it’s the yarn, not the knitting that does it – all that variety in colour and texture and content, all those brands, all those shopping opportunities! Not to mention the endless web surfing (what a shame it doesn’t burn the calories like running huh?)

Anyhow, I digress. Every second Tuesday some friends and I get together at various people’s houses for a spinning night. I don’t spin, I just knit, but they don’t mind. There’s a core group and I love the energising effect it has on me. I love what we talk about – it ranges from the fibrous to the current and esoteric to the fluff – and it’s all wonderful.

The other day the conversation came around to the administration/organisation of our stitch and bitch group’s exhibition, which is coming up at the end of May. Firstly, I was floored that Kerry came up with the idea and booked the venue about a year ago. What a great idea! Then, Sharon started talking about props, layout and structure. And registration of articles. And exhibition themes. She sounded like she knew what she was talking about too!

Becky stated that in her experience, too many props at an exhibition was very stressful. (Experience? In exhibitions and galleries? I am SO impressed!) The conversation turned to insurance. “Exhibitors should be aware that they are responsible for their own insurance”. (INSURANCE?? – How technical, how professional!)

I think it’s the quietest I’ve ever been for half an hour in years!

When everyone went home and I was clearing up the dishes, I was once again amazed at the enrichment I receive from these people and these meetings. I’ve spoken of it before.

I felt so wonderful, so lucky, so special to be included in these conversations. So excited to be involved and more than a little apprehensive about what articles I have knitted that would be good enough for a professional, curated real arty farty exhibition.

I have a motto : “I’m not an artist, I just knit.” It’s a safe motto because it precludes the possibility of failure at creativity and artistic expression by refusing to acknowledge it’s existence in the first place. Like saying ‘I’m too stupid to study’ it is in fact self fulfilling.

I don’t know if you have these self-fulfilling negative thoughts, but I have them all the time. “I haven’t got time to do postgraduate work” so I don’t enrol. “I don’t have time to go the gym” so I don’t go. “I love my food too much to diet” etc, etc.

Do you know that song by George, the Special Ones?

So rather than being pushed around, I'm going to push you away first
So rather than trying to protect you, I'm going to cover my bases first
So rather than trying to open my heart, I'm going to lock it with a key
So that only the special ones, so that only the special ones, can ever get through to me

I realised something that night at ‘every second Tuesday’, I’ve always known it but I’ve been slow to acknowledge. You can’t protect yourself from failure by refusing to engage yourself in life. You can’t pretend something’s not important to you for fear it won’t succeed, for that is a sure-fire way of making what you pretend come true.

I think I’m going to have to abandon my motto, I don’t think it’s doing me any good.

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