Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kung Fu Knitting... by Joe


There's a story told in China (it's told on the History Channel too- but mostly it's told in China) about a boy sent to live with the monks of the Shaolin temple. There, it was expected he would be taught the art of kung fu. Yet the only training he receives is an order to fill a large pot with water, and splash the water out using only his hands. He repeats this process all day long for many months.

When the boy is allowed to visit his family, they are eager to have him demonstrate his new skill. The boy, thinking he does not know any kung fu, becomes furious with their pestering, and slams his hand down on the table in front of him, just as he had brought his hand down onto the water countless times before. To all of their surprise, the table shatters to pieces.


For me, this hat is somewhat of a table shattering experience. I learned to knit on Melynda's slipper pattern, and for many months getting pieces ready for felting was the only knitting I knew. Yet during that time the basics of knitting were trained into my hands. Knit stitches, purl stitches, increases, decreases, casting on; even the elemental task of holding on to everything while manipulating the piece, were all skills mastered by cranking out slippers. When the time came to make my hat, I didn't have to think about what I was doing. I knew the basics well enough that even my first experiences "tinking" and picking up dropped stitches came naturally.


So this hat stands in tribute to Melynda. For her ability to focus her gifts into something people can enjoy. For showing me how to smash tables. She won't know what she means to me until we are sitting face to face with the one who made us.


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(The hat is "Ullared Cap" from the book Hats On! by Charlene Schurch)

15 comments:

  1. Oooh, I am in love with the hat. Is there a pattern that we readers can purchage/download/find-somewhere?

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  2. Awesome JB. What a great blog post. Your hat is sweet, as are your sentiments about Melynda. Go break some more tables Harj.

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  3. What a wonderful post - and a wonderful hat!

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  4. "She won't know what she means to me until we're sitting face to face with the one who made us."

    I think that is probably the most beautiful thing I've ever heard. Just beautiful.

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  5. Such a fantastic post. Thanks, Joe!

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  6. awesome hat, and I love the parallel you drew between smashing tables and knitting...

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  7. "She won't know what she means to me until we are sitting face to face with the one who made us." ----Way to make me cry Joe! You're an awesome knitter and clearly an awesome husband. Your awesome is wife is a lucky lady!

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  8. I just found your blog today and loved it.
    The tutorial and pictures were great.
    As a beginner knitter I have a few questions;
    What does m mean?
    What is dpns?
    Did you use a marker on the cowl also?
    Thanks for your help.

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  9. Very cute Joe... It is great to "hear" you on here once in awhile. Thanks for hijacking it. So fun to read. By the way, great hat... I'm going to have to try one for myself someday. Amanda

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  10. That's quite a moving post! Thank you for it.

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  11. I am impressed with your kinds words to Melynda and your AWESOME knitting!!!

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  12. Joe...love the hat and your public expression of love for Melynda. This week our friend and Pastor of Care and Growth went to be with our Lord...he was young...healthy...beautiful family...A very real reminder to not let an opportunity pass to express our love to those we hold dear. Great post!

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  13. Go Joe! You are now my male knitting hero!

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  14. Awesome post, Joe! Your writing is great :)

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