Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Work to craft

Work - Paper - Craft                  

Click to show "Knitting" result 12
Click to show "Knitting" result 18

     “Paper” (or craft as a metaphor) on the other hand is about providing the artificial world of things, which may outlive the individual life that has produced these things.; the process of ”Paper” involve working upon the material of the world to create a stability and solidity that can house the unstable mortal creature ( Blamires, H. (2011). \
       Creating a garment knowlingly that it has been worked with labour from a raw item: shorn fleece from the sheep, cleansed, dyed, scoured and spun to then be produced by craft for wear explains my sense of the variances in work and labour.
      My garment will hopefully continue to be completed with the sourcing of more wool. Completion will give me another resting area knowing that I have made the jumper for my grand daughter to keep warm over the winter. With the summer months approaching this means I am pressured to complete the jumper. As summer approaches this usually means less time time to sit and ponder on crafts.  I can put the knitting needles in the bag that contain all the other needles required for different wools. The pattern will be slotted in its place of crafts and hopefully remembered for next winter. Sadness, gratitude and rememberance guide me to put these tools of my craft away. Knowing that I can return to the craft when I choose. This is the delight of learning a craft having the belief that it still awaits your return, finished or unfinished, whatever state it may be in raw or yet to be discovered.
      The choice or dilemma we decide on our occupation, how our effort is determined in the creation of our design. Our participation in the occupation can involve one or more.
       Can we work harder at it? Is it labour or work?  This is decided upon our survival. If we are dependent on the craft that we are producing for means of survival then it is only work.

References required for Blog posts:
Caulton, R. & Dickson, R. (2007). Whats going on? Find an explanation for what we do.
       Chichester. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Collingwood, R. (1945) The principles of art. Oxford: Clarendon. in  Davies, S., Higgins, K., Hopkins, R. Stecker, R. & Cooper, D. (2009) A companion to aesthetics. (2nd ed) Blackwell Publishing.

Crepau, E., Cohn, E., Boyt Schell, B., Willard, H., & Spackman, C. (2007). Willard   and   Spackman's occupational therapy. USA: Lippencott, Williams & Wilkins. 

Fisher, M., & Yeats, M. (1995). Interview with Martin Fisher - violin maker. Occupation, 3(2), 25-33.

Knitting pictures (2011). Retrieved from
Stone, G. V. M. (2005). Personal and environmental influences on occupations. In C.H. Christiansen, C. M. Baum, and J. Bass-Haugen (eds.), Occupational therapy: Performance, participation, and wellbeing (3rd ed.). Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Incorporated
                             Cara Tate said...
Hi Lyn, I love the way you have used a poem to describe your activity and how you have related yourself to the craft/work of knitting too. Cara :)
                Izabela said...
Hi Lyn, work and craft is beautifully combined in the poem that you posted. I found your post to be very personal and emotional. The activity that you described seems to have the potential of being very beneficial in an occupational therapy setting for someone who has the skills or willingness to learn. From a strict course requirement point of view, the only think I can think of to add to your post, would be drawing more on the references. Apart from that I really enjoyed reading your post.
Lyn Participation in Occupation... Reply to Izabela
Hi Izabela,
Knitting has a little skill, but most of all the willingness to learn. Appreciate the input on usage of references. Personally have found this difficult to do in personal reflection and activity.
Divika Reddy said...
Hi Lyn,

I agree with Cara that you have made good use of literature by incorporating a poem to illustrate the relevance of craft as work :)

Cheers Divika

                          ARMYJEAN said...
HI Lyn, what a deep explanation of how you connect your activity to affordances - communication. I agree when you said that you tend to commit mistake if you the lack of inattention and connection to the task. I can imagine the frustration it may bring. To improve your blog, you could probably separate ideas in paragraph and give space each paragraph to promote a lighter flow of the story ;)
S                Shaani Nelson    said...

Hey, hey Lyn!!!
This really showed me the potential value of 'knitting' as an occupation and the meaning it has to you personally. I felt the references you used supported your statements well. The only area for potential improvement I felt was that it could have had a better layout. Although it was clear what concept (e.g. Affordance - environment -spirituality) you were writing about, it would have made it clearer if you were more consistent. For example the layout you used for 'spirituality' was well done but it needed to be consistent with the other concepts.


Thursday, 6 October 2011


Craft is work

Yes I am participating in work, but by choice of self motivation and the desire to produce a jumper for my grand-daughter. A bonus is the ongoing learning of knitting as colour and texture of different wools create different patterns. 
At times in the evening I have an hour or so to ponder, I allow myself the courtesy of a pleasurable experience in my knitting activity. Knitting is practical but not necessary and this is what the meaning of work responds to. I cannot compete with a $20.00    purchased item. But I can compete with my craft of the wool within my garment as it is not mass produced. Christiansen & Townsend, (2010) state that "a leisure activity or work are second to labour, as it is not required for survival, but we spend the majority of our time participating in it".
A new learning experience, as each knitted item is designed and processed described by Collingwood, (1945) "as a distinction between planning and execution. Craft exhibits a distinction between a means to an end". I am never really sure until completion that my knitted items will resemble the picture shown in the pattern, I leave it up to chance and control of following  a pattern. 
Knitting is the craft of the nomad, a creation due to need at the time.The need is not so important or valued these days. My work and purpose of making the jacket is my willingness to extract something from a skein of wool to a finished product, a jacket that can be worn, for warmth in keeping out the cold winds and rain. The feeling of comfort and creation of love that my grand daughter will have when asked 'who made your jacket' and in her reply she may have that spiritual feeling and connection of 'my nana Lyn made my jacket'. 

Poem by Caroline Gilman (victorian era poet) 'Knitting work'
Knitting work my knitting work, a confidant art thou,
As smoothe and shining on my lap thou liest beside me now;
Thou knowest some stories of my thoughts the many may not know,
As round and round the accustomed path my careful fingers go.

Sweet silent quiet knitting work thou interuptest not
My reveries and pleasant thoughts, forgetting and forgot,
I take thee up and lay thee down, and use thee as I may,
And not a contradicting word thy burnished lips will say.

My moralising knitting work! thy threads most aptly show,
How evenly around life's span our busy threads should go,
And if a stitch perchanse should drop, as life's frail stiches will,
How, if we patient take it up, the work may prosper still.

Christiansen, C., & Baum, C. (1997). Occupational therapy enabling function and wellbeing (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Slack

Collingwood, R. (1945) The principles of art. Oxford: Clarendon. in  Davies, S., Higgins, K., Hopkins, R. Stecker, R. & Cooper, D. (2009) A companion to aesthetics. (2nd ed) Blackwell Publishing.
Gilman, C. (2007).  My knitting work. In Strawn, S. & Falic, M. (2007) Knitting America: A glorious heritage from warm socks to high art. (pp.25). USA: Vojageur Press.
Knitting picture. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Affordance -communication - connection

Affordance  Communication - Connection

My knitted garment is progressing but not without flaws. I value the measure the growth of the garment makes when my time is occupied in knitting. The connection of mind and body seem to take control of the knitting needles and move the wool in a will of their own “the shift from being fully engaged in a creative activity to being passively engaged, or the shift to being disengaged altogether (Belsky, 2010). While relaxing in my space the communication and control of the activity and body is not without humility. Once we start to view design as a form of communication between designer and the user, we see that perceived affordances become an important medium for that communication.  "The extent to which individuals believe themselves to be capable in specific environmental situations influences occupational choice"(Stone, 2005, p.95).
A common mistake in this is the inattention and lack of connection in the task. Lo and behold I have a look at my accomplishment and have noted that I have created two right fronts
Unwillingly I have to unravel the past knitted rows which is done under a little duress. This does give cause of a little sadness of the effort and time just spent in not being attentive to the task on hand. Having to repeat the task, places my attention of being in control, and having connection with the design of my garment and this time to create one left front. 
I am aware that I have only one skein of this wool in which to complete the jacket. This has unconsciously created a burden, as I was given the wool and would have to source it through various places if I need more. The affect of this is to ensure that I knit to the pattern and correct any errors. In being given the wool, I have been spared the financial burden (as wool is outlandishly expensive) the cost of transport to the wool shop and the decision of colour, type of wool and the decision of purchasing the added skein advised by the shop keeper.
 "It is critical for craft to be attentive, to learn through humility and to not be limited by past successes (unknown author)."

Knitting project with mistake

Can you spot the mistake in this project.Hint: the pattern changes.)
Sarah White

Reference:Belsky, S. (2010). Making ideas happen.London: Penguin Group.Knitting (n.d.) Errors in knitting. Retrieved from, G. V. M. (2005). Personal and environmental influences on occupations. In C.H. Christiansen, C. M. Baum, and J. Bass-Haugen (eds.), Occupational therapy: Performance, participation, and wellbeing (3rd ed.). Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Incorporated


My knitted garment is slowly coming to creation - the back is complete. Fisher & Yeats (1995 p.25) state “learning may develop from childhood”. Being connected with my knitting is unconsciously appreciated as my learning connects me with my sisters, mother and grandmother who all knit/ted quite efficiently.  My needles and wool  afford me the activity to participate in my craft. Hagedorn, (1998, p. 184) states affordance as ‘anything which the environment can offer the individual which is relevant to the role challenge, and can facilitate role and can facilitate role competence.’ Often these tools have been put aside on the cushion of a chair. Having to then hunt out my knitting as other family members would have moved them from the chair so as not to have the stabbing sensation from the needle. 

Ambience & aesthetics

Sitting, pondering in the quiet luxury of my lounge, feeling the texture of the wool, smoothing a piece of the knitted garment provides me the ambience that encourages me further to pursue my project. A disturbance in the environment from a family member is given "a frowned look" when comments are made by ‘adding a new colour or a change in the design’ may be a better option. Yes everyone has a comment to make when someone else is making an article.  Collingwood (2009), states "the aesthetic procedure is one whereby the artist and spectator jointly come to realize, come to know, certain mental states"My craft of knitting is a development of my practical, aesthetic skills of creativity.

Crepeau (2007) state that 'spirituality is the fundamental orientation of a person's life; that which inspires and motivates the individual'. Solace of my own company, the spirituality of creation of the craft, providing an end product for family or friend gives the opportunity of connection.
Why do I need this activity? It is a choice of work and not labour.
Evokes memories
Provides an end product
Product is wearable and provides warmth
Expectation toward the next garment 

Fingers ache over time spent holding the needles
Could be doing another job (assignments)
an error in the garment and cannot be bothered attitude to repair at the time.

What will/could happen if I couldn't do this activity?
The activity of knitting would not give me the feeling of achievement.
Pride in the product.
Grieve in absence of touch of the texture of the wool. 

Crepau, E., Cohn, E., Boyt Schell, B., Willard, H., & Spackman, C. (2007). Willard and       Spackman's occupational therapy. USA: Lippencott, Williams & Wilkins.

Fisher, M., & Yeats, M. (1995). Interview with Martin Fisher - violin maker. Occupation, 3(2), 25-33.
Hagedorn, R. (2000). Tools for practice in occupational therapy: A structured approach

       to core skills and processes.USA: Elsevier Ltd.


Kemp.G.(2009). Collingwood's Aesthetics, Edward N. Zalta (ed.) Retrieved from <>.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

My fit with ergonomics and knitting is the fit of the knitting needle and the manipulation of the wool in my hands. Even though on cold days I find manipulating the wool in my fingers a little difficult, but once warmed up they are under way in a will of their own.

The Greek word 'ergos'  and 'nomos' means laws of works (2010). My knitting is done while sitting in one of my best places of relaxation - in my lounge or outside sitting in a warm spot taking a break. Caulton & Dickson (2007) state "to constantly make slight invisible adjustment to an activity to adapt to the needs of those taking part and ensure that it continues to work for its intended purpose". Once seated in one of the comfy chairs, I can watch television and see what other family members are doing in our home - generally the coming and goings. The knitting carries on without concentration. In my subconscious I know that at some stage I have to measure the article.
When my grandchildren are visiting they delight in sitting watching the knitting grow. Or some days my eight year grand daughter will pick up a once long ago article of trial and remember the skills taught, placing the needles to fit her small arms and arrange the wool over the fingers. Occasionally the cat will try and share the space and catch the wool when it passes over her body or face. She grabs quite efficiently and pulls the threads with her teeth and covers the wool in cat saliva.

woman in rocking chair knitting with cat
Caulton, R. & Dickson, R.  (2007).  What’s going on? Finding an explanation for what we do.  Cited in  J. Creek & A. Lawson-Porter (Eds.) Contemporary issues in occupational therapy (pp. 87-114). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.   

Cartoon Animation knitting picture. (n.d.) Retrieved from

Ergonomics (2010) Retrieved from

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Knit or Knot!

This semester our blog is to record our involvement in an activity that is personal and meaningful. After a personal debate with myself I have chosen the craft of Knitting. My mother had wool stored in her cupboard (reasons unknown as she is unable to knit any longer). So the treasured wool will be made into a hooded jumper for my granddaughter.

This is just a really cool tattoo, it has nothing to do with my article, really.Knitting was taught to me when I was very young (age unknown). Being over 50+ in age now, I have been able to produce many well designed articles that have lasted beyond years and others that have been laughable and not worn, some accepted (sheepishly) by family members but passed on to others.

I’m WAY into              
knitting….Posted on September 2, 2011 by egnilk66brokeassstuart.

To achieve meaningfulness in an occupation, a balance between the challenge in the activity and the skills of the individual is required (Moneta & Csikszentmihalyi,1996,).
The challenge and skill of knitting has given meaning in the ability to maintain control of the needles and the wool in my fingers will bring a rewarding product.

For those that have little knowledge of knitting the task can seem complex and confusing or if the person is skillful in the craft it can appear relaxing. 
All of these skills are a donation of labour of love, appreciation, pride  and the odd wrench when their has been an error made are all culminated when the article is produced as 'finished'.
My craft of knitting provides relaxation of mind and body, company of people, conversation, enjoyment and joy as the article slowly continues to become a completed article.

History: Her Excellency’s knitting book appeared in August 1915. The craft took on a new meaning during the war. ‘Sock day’ was held in May 1915 after soldiers reported that a pair of socks only lasted a fortnight when the wearer was on active duty.
Was this a production of labour/work or craft. Labour has been defined by Caulton & Dickson (2007) as "mere activity characterised by necessity and futility or work as activity producing an enduring object. Work requires self-investment, skill, craft and personaljudgement.Work is purposful and meaningful. Work is distinct from labour, and must often be discovered independently from ones job". At the time  of the war the need for the work and labour was indictative, the skill of their craft was essential and made valuable of the womens input at the time of the event.

Caulton, R. & Dickson, R. (2007). Whats going on? Find an explanation for what we do. Chichester. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Her Excellency's knitting book, 2011, September 4, retrieved from
Knitting, 2011, September 2, retrieved from 
Moneta, G.B. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). The effect of percieved challenges and skills on the quality of subjective experience. Journal of Personality , 64, 2, 275-310.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Tutorial Seven

This is an amazing piece of technology that will enhance individuals with not only dystonia, but areas of cerebral palsy, muscular dysfunction, disability in speech - cerebral vascular accident, or just communication dysfunction.
This relates to a presentation of technology assistive devices as shown by Star Mobilityon 6th April 2011. One that highlighted a lot of attention was the Big Mac recording device, that has a sequential messaging system for communication. The Gotalk was also a highlight when used in the process of cooking. By preloading instructions into Gotalk we were able to cook pikelets.

Talking tins were another favourite in the class, with the availability and size to put them anywhere within the household. Examples are when cooking and you have used the last of a product, you can load the item into the talking tin to take with you when grocery shopping.Price of talking tins very approachable at $35.00.

Assistive or Adaptive Technology commonly refers to "...products, devices or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities...", according to the definition proposed in the Assistive Technology Act of 1998.

Assistive Technology products
can enable people with disabilities to accomplish daily living tasks, assist them in communication, education, work or recreation activities, in essence, help them achieve greater independence and enhance their quality of life. Assistive Technology devices can help improve physical or mental functioning, overcome a disorder or impairment, help prevent the worsening of a condition, strengthen a physical or mental weakness, help improve a person's capacity to learn, or even replace a missing

Definition assistive technology. Retrieved 2 May 2011. from:

Definition of Assistive technologies are an aid that contributes to individuals with a disability that will contribute to a successful function within everyday life

Tobii C8 Communication is key Tobii C8 allows people with communication disabilities to achieve their full potential. They can communicate via text or symbols to generate synthesized or digitized speech for face-to-face interactionTobii C8 Communication is key Tobii C8 allows people with communication disabilities to achieve their full potential. They can communicate via text or symbols to generate synthesized or digitized speech for face-to-face interaction...The Tobii C8 is Medicare approved and easier to obtain than you might think. Just give us a call and we will walk you through the funding process.
Kathrin Lemler and her MyTobii P10
.Welcome to the first blog entry from the CAGS group.  CAGS is the Communication Abilities Group. We meet at TalkLink Auckland every six weeks. We are a group of people...

Assistive communication device. Retrieved 2 May 2011 from:
The Tobii C8 is lightweight and can easily be carried between home, school or work, or can be mounted and used on a wheelchair. It allows users to be active on the playground or in their community by offering hot swappable batteries, a moisture resistant construction, silent operation, powerful stereo speakers, and a flat and easy to clean screen.
With no protruding USB sticks, cables, or adapters the design is not only sleek and attractive, but also less distracting, and less susceptible to damage.
Communication is key, and with the Tobii C8 a variety of communication methods are at your disposal. When you want to speak what’s on your mind the C8 can function as a speech generating device;  text or symbols can be used to generate synthesized or digitized speech – perfect for asking or answering questions, having a conversation, telling your favorite joke, or simply saying hello. And if computer access is required, the Tobii C8 offers the flexibility of e-mail, text messages or chat.