2016. gada 5. maijs

how it (=knitting) began

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I come from a country where every lady knits, otherwise they cannot fill up their dowry chests and become spinsters as a result. At least, it used to be that way until late 19th century. Now they wear trousers, smoke, use bad language and do not give a sh#t about being a spinster (or knitting).
cap_51 es meitiņa kā rozīteSo, as my mum was industrious (or lucky) enough to get married even twice, there was always a knitting around in our home, & I learnt to cast on between my first black eye and last pair of tights, e.i. around the age of six.
No advance happened within next six years. When I was around twelve, I tripped at school while running, flew farther than Bob Beamon did in Mexico’68, crash-landed into a wall, got a concussion & had to spend a fortnight in bed. Here the story-line splits: my most awesome friends claim the blow was so strong that it led to profound shifts in my personality while my own version is as follows: Can you imagine a hyperactive, 12-year-boy in bed for whole two weeks (fourteen days)? I cannot. It did not happen to my over-caring parents to tie me up; the only thing they did do was to take the fuse out of the telly. So, I had to apply a good deal of imagination in order to kill so much time. As usually, there was a knitting around, & by trial & error I learnt to knit, most probably at a rate of 3 spm (stitches per minute).
cap_76 huuuuge snowflakesAnother standstill for another ten years. Here I have to tell about my dear friends. Generally, they fall into two categories: men who run & ladies who fancy Wagner (I am not speaking about lays here!), although there are a few female runners one of whom even pretends to be fond of Wagner (by the way, have you seen WINDOWS by Peter Greenaway? A great way of categorising.).
I have been running for three quarters of my life. I am on the wrong side of fifty, so you can calculate the number of years on the run yourselves (if you get over a hundred, you are on a wrong way & are strongly advised to stick to knitting washing-up cloths exclusively. By no means can one spoil them. ;D). So, men came first & all of them were runners. I had knit a running cap for myself, some of them wanted one too, & so it began. If you have been running, you would know for certain - no pompons, fringes, flaps etc - anything that bumps, bounces or moves. This is where the simplistic shape of my caps comes from. Some of my friends have been around for so long & have got so many caps they must have launched moths farms to cope with them (the caps, I mean).
cap_75 dancing squaresRegarding Wagner & opera in general - my dear mum’s greatest flaw was/is that she is a woman (allegedly, most mothers are), & consequently she would take me to feminine operas only. Somehow, they all were about sheer harlots or nearly ones. Their names have long faded from my memory (age!) but I do remember plots of some. In one, the poor thing had an argument with her ex-client (he probably had paid her too little) which ended in an explicit transaction using cash - it was beyond my understanding why they did not pay each other by bank transfer or at least by check. Eventually, she died from a terrible ailment (presumably, a sexually-transmitted one) in so much pain that she kept yelling for quite a long while before the curtain finally fell. In another, an Eastern girl had fallen for an American soldier (she must have been Vietnamese - the crisis broke out around that time) & had had an illegitimate child with him. I do not remember anything else about this one but a funny-named servant - either Mazda or Honda. (If you recognize the pieces, be so kind & let me know the names, please.) Naturally, I came to a belief that opera is a totally corrupt & promiscuous thing (viena m#*@īga būšana - Latvian) one should stay well clear of. As soon as I could, I dug my heels in & would not go there any more. Since then, not only do I avoid tarts but also tart-osers like Verdi & Puccini.
cap_79 poppy fieldSo, I would not go there until I was in my thirties. To my great surprise, I discovered there are operas and operas. The newly-discovered ones were all about noble & virtuous maids who strive to revenge their fathers’ treacherous deaths and restore they honour or lie for centuries on a blazing mountain-top awaiting for the right one to come rather than falling for the first passer-by. My surprise was even greater when I found ladies in the audience. I have made friends with quite a few, & they have got caps from my though they have had to put up with the shape. (I assume they would prefer something more resplendent - a beret, some lace or whatever.) But - you know - you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
I have so many pastimes I hardly have the time for work, & knitting has to share the leftovers with the others. I would not be working at all had I not over years developed a nasty habit of having three meals a day . Actually, my most prolific knitting times are when my legs are injured & I cannot run. Otherwise that is about marathoning - have done thirty-one so far. At a time when it is grim for Austria, every cripple must be at his post.

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