In a world that seems to spin faster and faster out of control, shouldn’t we be looking for products that take time to unfold? Or products whose usefulness we savor? Shouldn’t we demand products that have stories to tell? Like good wine, a good design needs time to be a part of our lives, time to reach its full maturity.
~Natalie Chanin, EcoSalon
What's the hurry? The satisfaction of one good thing thoroughly made and enjoyed for decades is immeasurable. It's what counts.
A visit to the Anatolian kilim* exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco (The Art of the Anatolian Kilim, through June 10, 2012) has me thinking about time.
The rugs in this show are so jaw-droppingly beautiful it's hard to take them in. Useful textiles that show the maker's hand and personality within a cultural structure, the rugs—some just fragmentary and others dominating the room with their size—are woven without the benefit of permanent looms or labelled dyelots. Natural colors run the spectrum from soft to bold, maintaining their beauty despite the centuries that have passed; I was particularly intrigued by the use of purples and greens. In some rugs the patterning was even, while others showed a wildness that just drew me in.
So often it is hard to remember that a human being made the article we are staring at in a museum. This time it was easy to look beyond the setting to see that someone, at some time, made decisions that resulted in this very individual textile on display before us.
Each one of these textiles took time. The weaver could not have predicted that this effort would have stood up to the rigors of time, yet she could not help but insert beauty and personality into the piece. It gave pleasure to her family, then. And that was enough.
I'm knitting away on the Muir Vest, so happy with how it is turning out but wishing that it could be done by the time Interweave Knitting Lab rolls around.
Ah, time. Why fret? Fair Isle knitting is a relatively slow process. There's no point in making something you don't love, or in making something for someone you don't love, or attempting to finish by a deadline. I'm free from the financial pressures that the original knitters in Shetland worked under. (Not that most of us don't have financial pressures, mind you. We just aren't attempting to pay the morgage with our stranded knitting.)
I don't mind the lack of speed. If I wanted my knitting to be fast, I'd head on down to Target and purchase a sweater.
When things move slowly I can express myself. My knitting tells a story: the colors, the patterns, the decisions I make along the way.
Time all to often comes to equal loss when you are my age (wow—I sound really old here. Not that old, just autumnal I guess). I love that my knitting reminds me that this moment is also opportunity for expression and that, if my expression is true to myself, it might possibly give pleasure for years to come.
Pleasure today for sure.
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*Kilims are flat-woven rugs