Are you fascinated by numbers? I am. This does not mean that I am in to numerology or especially guided by the numbers that show up in repeating patterns in my life – but my “lucky” number is 13. Do you have a “lucky” number?
If you are a Knitter you are a number person – even if you are unaware of it. Knitting is shaped and drawn by numbers: Gauge – stitches and rows: Pattern repeats: Sizes – needles and garments: There is an ongoing live relationship between numbers and what we create with our knitting needles.
Most designers are numbers people – they have to be to create their patterns and make them work for other knitters. Norah Gaughan, for example, is a designer who has taken many of the numerical structures of nature and recreated them with her knitting designs! Her interview about the book Knitting Nature and how nature and science influenced her patterns is fascinating.
I try to spend as much time as possible walking around the parks and paths of the Island. I love to see, and now photograph, the world that I live in and draw inspiration from.
Yesterday we were supposed to get snow – well Vancouver and Victoria got snow – we got the most incredible day. You could see the line of clouds that covered Vancouver – the break in the clouds was somewhere over the straight of Georgia – we had glorious, clear blue skies yesterday morning. So instead of trying to take pictures of the non-existent snow we went for a walk around Buttertubs Marsh.
It has been cold enough to freeze the surface of the water in the Marsh, most of it anyway. There were some clear areas where the Ducks could swim and the Heron could groom. The path was mostly frozen when we started our walk and starting to thaw as we finished our walk. The sun was warming up the day very quickly.
I am always surprised by how extensive the Marshlands are – right inside the city – they cover a very large area and are now mostly completely protected. The City of Nanaimo is doing a great job of creating more and more walking paths and access points so that everyone can enjoy the wild spaces.
The network of paths that connect many of these parks is amazing. For example, you can walk from the Seawall to Bowen Park and then through Bowen park. Once through you can then cross Bowen Rd and you will be just a short walk to Buttertubs Marsh.
The walk was a great start to a wonderful day.
The rest of the day was simple enjoyment as well – knitting and playing with yarn and design ideas. The last retreat project is well underway and will be more than half done by bedtime tonight. I’ve been winding the possible yarns for the KAL and twiddling my fingers, waiting for my beads to arrive. Patience is not really a strong suit!
I finished the day by cooking Veal Parmigaiana. I had not prepared this meal in a long time and it was fun to take the time to prepare the sauce and meat the way it should be done. My husband was most impressed. I think that I surprised him. Sometimes cooking can be pretty ho-hum during the week – there is no time to prepare or enjoy what you are doing!
Cooking involves more numbers, every recipe is controlled by amounts of this and fractions of that. The artist as cook, plays with those numbers to create his or her unique flavours. Just as a knitwear designer plays with numbers to create a unique design.
Numbers in nature, numbers in cooking and numbers in knitting, we cannot escape the role that numbers play in our lives. I am constantly amazed by the knitters who come into the store and state, unequivocally, that they “hate” math. Every time they knit anything they are dealing with mathematical relationships! Apparently that isn’t math – that is just knitting. So all of the knitters who think that hate math, think again, math is something you practise everyday, every time you pick up your needles.
Love numbers, embrace your knitting and realize that the math class you hated as a student, now enables your knitting. And you thought that I was the only enabler you knew!