Wanted: Time to Knit

I am a knitter. At least I think I am. Are you allowed to call yourself a knitter if you only pick up the needles after you’ve worked a full day, walked the dog, fed and bathed your daughter, put her to bed, picked up all the toys and books, done the dishes, spot-cleaned the kitchen, made dinner, tidied up the house to the point where it at least doesn’t make you immediately sick to your stomach, and somehow manage to not fall asleep within 15 minutes of sitting down on the couch?

Sigh. Hold on a second. Just writing that sentence exhausted me. Welcome to modern motherhood!

So, anyways, knitting. I love to knit. I know there are a good handful of authors on this blog who love to knit. I know we have some readers who love to knit. But loving it and actually doing it are sometimes different things. If you’re like me, the all-too-common refrain, usually delivered with a sigh of resignation, is:

“I just wish I had more time to knit.”

Raise your hand if you’re with me. We are the well-intentioned knitters. The adoring but distracted knitters. The knitters who look longingly at the half-finished products in our knitting baskets while the daily demands of our lives peck incessantly for our attention. Because knitting takes time, and time is often our most precious and rare commodity.

Photo by Miriam Lehnart

That’s why I was so amused to see a post a while back about a designer named Siren Elise Wilhelmsen who created a clock concept called “365.” This clock tells time in a distinctly different manner. It knits. Rather than displaying hours and minutes, with sweeping hands or flipping numbers, it creates stitches constantly, and for the space of an entire year. It uses time, the very commodity so rare in many of our lives, to do the very thing we wish we had more time to do. And, after the year is up, this clock has produced a six-and-a-half foot tube scarf to show for it. A tangible symbol of the last year of your life. Wilhelmsen wanted to show time in a different way, and says this about her clock:

“365 is stitching the time as it passes by. It is knitting 24 hours a day and one year at the time, showing the physical representation of time as a creative and tangible force. After 365 days the clock has turned the passed year into a 2-m long scarf. Now the past can be carried out in the future and the upcoming year is hiding in a new spool of thread, still unknitted.”

Along with olives, good pillows and George Clooney, I do love and appreciate good design, and I give Wilhelmsen all kinds of credit for devising such an interesting concept for her clock. But as soon as I read about 365, something became crystal clear to me. Knitting, for me, is not about the product. It’s about the process. The scarf or dishcloth or hat or sweater that results from it is just a bonus. And who wants to let a clock have all the fun? So, what I take from Wilhelmsen’s 365 is a new refrain, for a new year:

“I will make more time to knit.”

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Caroline Sober

Caroline is a senior software developer at Promega. She’s not a scientist, so if you hear her talking about DNA purification or pipetting or current issues in bioprivacy, she’s totally faking it and you should tell her to hush. She is, however, passionate about building useful software, the interactions between people and technology in general, and how social media is changing the conversation between companies and customers. She lives in Madison with her husband, daughter, and 110-pound dog.

One thoughtful comment

  1. Love it, Caroline, even as one of your fellow bloggers that doesn’t knit (ok, it’s on the list of things to start, but…).
    My angle is having a strong, if nonfulfilled desire to Make something. At the end of the day/week/month/year/life, there should be a thing(s) to show (or even pictures of a thing), My Mom had beautiful, intricate quilts (and 8 children, grandkids…) to show for her time. I want to make things.
    You’ve got this blog…a start, right?

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