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


  1. 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 :)

  2. 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.

  3. Awesome poem Lynn, I was able to connect with it and it brought back many happy memories, thank you for that.

    Are there anymore pictures to come? I feel this will brighten your blog.

  4. 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.

  5. Afternoon Heather,
    Thanks for the input on pictures. Have taken your advice. What a selection, this takes longer to choose than the article. Many vintage photos have been taken of knitting as a craft and the importance of knitting in wartime effort.

  6. 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