19 January 2006

Knitting in Slumberland

I love knitting. My mother was a knitter, though she didn't teach me the craft. With guidance from a book Rob bought for me several years ago, I taught myself, and I've been clicking and clacking and casting purls ever since. I inherited all sorts of needles and a zippered needle case from my mother when she passed away, so thanks mainly to her but also to a local thrift store and one swap-minded friend, I've amassed quite an arsenal of tools. I recently bought myself a set of interchangeable circs to replace an old tired one that was my mom's. In the fall I started a needle roll a la Stitch & Kvetch to give to my sister-in-law for Christmas--it was tee-toally cute--but then had a hunch she might not enjoy the gift as much as another I'd had in mind, so I kept the roll for myself. It's not quite finished, but it easily could be. This is my roundabout way of explaining that I don't feel a burning need for more knitting tools, though I'm always interested in them.

So. A couple weeks ago I dreamed of a knitting case, a simple one, without punchy colors or wow designs like the one I made for J., and one without old associations like the inherited case, which is usable, but old and odd and I only keep it because somehow there's a little (senti?)mental 'should' attached to it. The new case that's appeared to the side in my dream is roomy, but mostly empty; it wants filling. So then I notice some needles in front of me, maybe three or four slender pairs. They're nice tools, single-pointed straights, i.e., basics, and one pair in particular is especially beautiful. The needles are long, the kind that can hold many stitches. They're a deep dark blue, shiny and very rich, and I openly remark about this to no one but myself. They're made out of some unusual material and suddenly I'm interested in starting a new collection of tools. They're smallish in diameter, maybe size 5s or 6s, possibly 7s, good for sturdy but also delicate work, but not the crazy-makingly fine stuff. I remember my old collection, but my interest is in these new tools. I want to start filling up this new case, which has a large capacity, with exquisite new tools.

I could pick this dream apart for hours, but in a nutshell, I know it's got to do with some of the healing work I've been doing recently. It's exciting to feel that new tools that I instinctively know how to use are presenting themselves in my life. That's true. I'm bound to produce something lovely in time, with such gorgeous needles.


Another knitting dream, this time from splendid Billy:

"Just yesterday I decided to take up knitting (this is not part of the dream, just by way of introduction)! Not sure why this desire hit me, but we went to the hardware store and found some needles and cheap yarn, and it was with deep satisfaction over my five almost passable rows that I went to sleep.

"I knitted all through my dreams. In fact, I knitted my dreams--I was knitting and watching the dreams take shape in the rows, purled stitches taking on the features of people, moving and talking. One dream was a rich Medieval drama, taking place in a palace, all about the royal family. It was all intrigue and deception, murder and war. One princess plotted to have her brother assassinated, and I remember knitting the bright drops of his blood, and even the purple color of her regret and her love for him (realized too late). This scene, the whole story spilled out over my lap, and I could walk into it at any point, even take on any of the characters and feel what they did from the inside, but in the end I would always pull out and be the knitter again, creating the whole world, stitch by stitch."

Wow, Billy, what a fabulous dream! I would call that a well-deserved and rather delicious enjoyment of your wonderful gift for writing and imagining. I'll have these images with me for a long time.


Another of my own:

Sleep for me is sometimes hard to win and last night I was up late. When Rob nudged me this morning with his sweet rise-and-shine routine, there was some fuzzy conversation between us. He says that I mumbled something to the effect of "The pattern on this blanket feels best to me--I sleep best under this pattern." I'd been dreaming something else entirely, but as I came to consciousness, it was a pattern that appeared in my mind, a round blanket with a peaceful, balanced design, that settled down over me.

I remember Rob saying to me, "Well, maybe you'd better go back to sleep then," and I did. I'm not sure how long it was before he came back to give me another gentle nudge, but as he woke me, that same pattern filled my mind. I told him it was there again and he suggested that maybe I should try to reproduce it, quilt it. "But it was knitted," I said. The center of the design was something like a Mackintosh rose. [These were on my mind because last night my knit group met and the great Nevada Shakes and I sat at my dining room table looking at Mackintosh designs for a project she's working on.] Around that center was an expansive swath of simple stitches, plain and clean. The outermost circle was an open, more airy lace pattern, but still had the appearance of strength and completeness. It was a soft white, almost what I would call cream-colored. It looked old and new at once. It was not heavy, but it was warming. It was made of a beautiful fiber, definitely organic. I don't remember anything about it except for its presence, its repeated presence, which seemed completely natural. I felt very calmed by it.

When I woke up, I was thinking about the concept of approval, and I plan to try to write about this later in my daytime blog. A little later I realized that the pattern I saw looked like a stylized, simplified, healthy cell. This is significant to me because of some of what I've been working on at my health clinic lately. That's also another blog topic for another time, but it's coming.

It's amazing to me, really, the self-education and companionship that dreams can offer.

Anybody else have one to share? Billy sent me a link to a friend's dream blog. It looks like fun. Why am I so fascinated by dreams?


Oh, I just remembered one last recent knitting dream snippet. I am looking with some alarm at a number of pieces that have been knitted by people I know. The pieces are all intended to fit together to make a lovely whole afghan that is going to be donated to some charitable cause. The knitters are all gone and I am left alone with the task of joining all the pieces. Trouble is, none of them are the same size, though they're all supposedly made from the same pattern. How am I going to make them fit as they should? I realize there are going to be wierd puckers and bulges everywhere, and it's never going to come together right and look smooth and nice. I don't want the job!

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