Off to the Pokey, Knitter!

What would you do if knitting were against the law? Can you imagine?! It was once. I just learned this fascinating bit of information today. Apparently, in the early 1600s, Channel Islanders were forbidden by law from knitting during harvest season. On the Island of Jersey, knitters actually had to turn their knitting over to the authorities when it was time to harvest the corn. And the seaweed. What the what?! The mind reels.

Was it that the community was so small and interconnected that the legal system could afford to be personal in this way? Something along the lines of, “We’re all in this together, so your knitting might affect my supper.” Or was knitting so widespread and all-encompassing that legal intervention was considered necessary? As in, “With everyone off knitting, there’ll be no one left to mind the store while civilization crumbles.” Imagine! It certainly turns the image of the mild little knitter person on its head, doesn’t it? It fits, though. Personally, I’ve always felt a bit subversive when I knit.

And speaking of subversive. . . In the knitting-while-I-should-be-grading category, we find the cutest ever doggy sweater. It’s all but finished. Just a couple of ends to weave in, and it will be ready for action – and pictures! I didn’t actually manage to get it done on Sunday (see the post on “The Book in the Drawer”), but almost.

Meanwhile, I’m working on the third and final section of my Lin-Lin Shawl. The Lin-Lin Shawl is extra special because I’m knitting it with yarn from Nicki the Llama, someone with whom I am personally acquainted. We didn’t have first-hand knowledge of llamas in Chicago, so this has turned out to be one of the joys of moving to the country. We know the llama who grew the fiber (and her person, of course), and we’ve also gotten to meet the owner of the mill where the fiber is processed. Incredible stuff.

Putting all of these pieces together—llama to fiber to mill to yarn to me . . . to shawl—has been immensely satisfying, so much so that I purchased a fleece at SAFF this year with the goal of processing it myself. This will be practice, but someday I’d like to do the whole thing and take a fleece from the animal all the way to the finished knitting with my own two hands. Can you imagine? I certainly won’t be the first person to do it, but I may well be the most excited. Hopefully, there will be no need for the police.

Talk to me!