The rise of cultures like ISIS have me very concerned, their belief that only one way of living is acceptable. I wish for world peace of course, but I also wish everyone would understand that beauty comes from having different types of people coming together. Bet you are saying how in the world does knitting fit into this discussion, well let me tell you.
Sure you can have a garter stitch scarf, which is a scarf knit with just one stitch, it will function like it is supposed to, keep you warm, and it may be pretty, but not many would call it a thing of beauty. Starting adding different types of stitches, patterns emerge and the word beauty starts to come into play. It is the adding of different stitches or colors or both that creates beauty, just like adding different cultures makes us a richer people.
With fair isle, you have two more colors interwoven to make a beautiful piece of fabric. Again one color, boring, adding another color pictures, humor and beauty all start to happen, add another color the fabric takes on a rich complexity that is pleasing to the eye and warms the soul.
Let’s go even further, the stitches themselves symbolize how the richness of our cultures create beauty – like knitting decrease stitches,where knitting two or more stitches together makes them one. The decreases are often paired with increases like a make one, where string from the existing fabric is picked up and knit to create a new stitch. The world is no longer isolated, cultures are mixing, people from different backgrounds are getting together and creating something new. These new couples are having babies making new families with blended cultures, starting new traditions. With increased technology the world is becoming a smaller place, what happens on the other side of the world may effect everyone, so why not be open to understanding and embracing the differences and similarities. Look at the good that has come from projects like the Peace Corp and Doctors without Borders.
Unfortunately, the world is also like knitting with respect to, if you don’t like something you simply frog it (rip it out) and start over. Frogging can be difficult, because of all the tension put on the yarn while pulling out the stitches, fuzzy areas develop which then in turn can cause the yarn to get snagged on itself and break. So something that was once harmoniously knit together has breaks in it because of the added tension of being pulled apart. Also if the garment has been knit for any length of time and you pull it apart, the yarn will be kinky holding on to its shape it had when it was knitted, it needs time or a bath to relax. Once it relaxed it can be formed into something new. The world analogy here is sometimes change needs time to be accepted, and once accepted the something new might lead to something even more beautiful.
Once again, the world is like knitting, it needs different cultures like stitches to make it interesting. We can’t settle for a culture that wants to make us all the same in order to be accepted. I am proud to be an American, the melting pot of cultures are the principles that made us as a nation grow. I think we have gotten somewhat off track, but I truly hope that the spirit of being different but together will rule the day, in the end it creates a beautiful nation and a wonderful place to live.