I got to the gym yesterday after having been off all last week with appointments and illness. It was good to be back, but today I will work in the garden instead of going to cardiopump class. As you see, the garden needs me.
Having finished my Knit the Classics project for June, I am toying with the question of what to make for July. I have read a summary of the book — A Passage to India— and am waiting for the movie to arrive in my mailbox. So far, I am inclined to make something reminiscent of India, rather than inspired by any particular character as my previous KTC projects have been. A bit of research shows that India has no tradition of knitting, so forget that approach.
Once the British introduced knitting to India, the local folks used it to make baby clothes, and #2 daughter has been babysitting a baby so cute that I am thinking of making something for him. She has taught him to say “Ta-da!” after every accomplishment, including negotiating the stairs, and that just sounds ravishingly cute, doesn’t it? It may drive the parents mad in time, but at my distance, I would like to give the kid a prize.
But there are other possible directions. I’ve gotten to the handwork on my paisley blouse, and am loving it. The paisley motif is from India (look here or here if you want the history), and I have a chart for intarsia paisley. Indeed, the history of the paisley design is one of cultural exchange between India and Europe, as is the book, so this might be the perfect symbolic motif. We know also that it is likely that the color work of Fair Isle was inspired by the local knitters’ attempts to copy the patterns of Indian shawls. A scarf or other small item in paisley colorwork might be just the thing.
Or the fiber might be the way to go. India’s history is bound up with both silk and cotton. I’ve been intending to make a bunch of dishcloths for my kitchen, and little squares of cotton are a comfortable knit for hot July. I could knit them while contemplating Colonialism and the position of women in India.
Then the wildlife of India comes to mind. Monkeys and tigers… And India’s current position with regard to knitting is a growth in industrial knitting. I have some purple knit fabric. A stuffed purple monkey for #2 daughter’s charge, dressed in a little knitted cotton paisley bolero?
On the other hand, I am currently knitting Jasmine, in the Silken Damask color of Endless Summer’s cotton blend Luna. I counted the Regal Orchid color of this sweater for Moll Flanders back in May, so I obviously couldn’t claim that I was knitting this sweater just for A Passage to India, but since I am also considering skipping the reading of the book, I could just knit it while watching the movie and be officially sitting this month out. In my heart, I would know that a shiny pink cotton sweater says India, and continuing on with one’s own plans regardless of the group consensus could count for imperialism.