Textiles: Everyday magic

I started learning to knit simply to give my hands something productive to do. I hadn't expected it to change the way I look at the world.

The thing is, textiles are all around us, and a lot of what we make by hand can be related to the fabrics we use every day. Before I started knitting, knitting seemed so far removed from my modern life. It was something people did in old novels. It wasn't something relevant to me, today.

The first time the magic happened was when I was knitting my second or third-ever scarf, and I noticed the tiny Vs on my t-shirt.

On the left, an everyday t-shirt. On the right, knitted stockinette: The same thing on a larger scale.
The Vs I was creating on my stockinette scarf were exactly the same, on a larger scale. Turn my t-shirt inside out, and I could see miniscule purl bumps. Examine the collar, and I could see it was actually ribbing.

Suddenly something that had seemed so far removed from me, hokey and old-fashioned, was connected to my everyday life.

It happened again and again after that: the stranding inside a store-bought cardigan. The short-row heel on a manufactured sock.
Going to museums, I always enjoy seeing examples of fiber arts and gaining extra insight about them from my own experience. But my crafts don't just connect me to the past, they connect me to the present as well.

The magic happened again when I was reading about weaving, researching to buy my first loom. I knew denim was made of woven fabric, sure, but I had never looked close enough to see the tiny twill pattern...
My weaving on the right isn't a twill, I'm not that skilled yet. But weaving is weaving

The more I learn, the more pleasure I get from experiencing the magic in everyday things. The mundane becomes extraordinary. I notice things I never noticed before: a beautiful float pattern on an old tablecloth, the thousands of delicate-but-sturdy knots in a Persian carpet, even the sheep grazing in the field as I pass by on the road.

These things have always been extraordinary, it's just that I now have the eyes to see them. The world is so full of incredible things: how many moments of magic do we overlook every day?


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