This month at the Knit-A-Square forum there is a theme of flags. I did not do this with any sense of nationalism but rather as a geographical representation, something that might awaken curiosity in the African children who will receive blankets into which these squares have been assembled, something that would say to those children someone in that part of the world cares about you.
I wished to respect the proportions more or less of the flags which is 3 to 2, and not square, so I added two bands top and bottom in the first square. This gave something that could be an abstract design and not necessarily a flag, so I did another square with a mast. Then I thought how about a smaller group of humans and did a fairly reasonable facsimile of a Breton flag.
Meanwhile I was rereading an article by Michel Potay (the witness of The Revelation of Arès) called Nous Croyons, Nous Ne Croyons Pas (We Believe, We Do Not Believe) and one phrase particularly jumped out and stayed with me—une tension de l’être (a tension of one’s being). When knitting with several yarns, one must be careful of the tension, neither too tight nor too loose. So it is with our efforts to change, our penitence—neither too hard on ourselves nor too easy. An image of the Arès pilgrim is one who walks an upward path, neck extended, with rest at night so as to continue the next day, vigilant, yet moderate, persevering towards Good within and in the world. There is an aspect of yearning along with accomplishing, pulling up the slack without breaking.
“…our love, humbleness, honesty, and our labor to create the new world; from that feeling and that tension both accepted and made dynamic, our soul forms….”
(This article is an appendix to the French-English bilingual edition of The Revelation of Arès.)
After several squares of garter stitch, I felt like doing something more challenging so I got out my Encyclopédie des Ouvrages de Dames (by Thérèse Dillmont) and started this one knitted from the center on 4 needles.
I wasn’t too proud of the beginning with that hole. Nearing the end I realized it was not going to be easy to knit a 20cm square on 20cm needles. There is no room to space things out and it is difficult to measure. I had to keep my eyes on 8 needle points plus the two with which I was working so as not to lose any stitches.
It looked like it might be a bit big but it turned out to be a bit small so I crocheted around the edge. I took care of that hole in the middle with a flower. Now it just needs an elephant to sit on it and flatten it out. It will be sent to South Africa with KAS—Knit A Square.
I thought I might entitle this blog entry A Harrowing Half Hour but I happened to think of those who are truly suffering with situations much more serious than dropped stitches in their knitting. And yet, if we choose, we can build a world where we have only that sort of problem left. We can change our hearts, stop seeking to dominate and exploit, practice love and compassion for all others.
Our choir has been working on The Beatitudes put to music by Arvo Pärt. How often do we think to apply them in our daily life? To be satisfied when we have enough, to feel with those who are suffering, to act without arrogance, to seek what is right, to forgive, to be pure, to build peace, to work for good even when ridiculed. It would suffice for only a few generations to live this way and we would be back in the garden of Eden. This is a challenge for myself. Will you join me? (You don’t have to know how to knit…)
Yes, that is three skeins, not three bottles.
I started with a plain garter stitch square and then, keeping a garter stitch border, had fun doing different stitches. Near the end, I weighed what was left and saw there was not enough for a whole square, so I made stripes using three yarns, changing each row. Easy and nothing to carry behind.
These are for AIDS orphans via KAS—Knit a Square.