Thinking With My Fingers

I have been thinking about what unites all the things I do and the things I care about. It struck me that I need my hands in order to translate (or transmit) all the things in my head. I am far more eloquent when I write than when I speak. I express my ideas better when I draw or knit them than if I try to describe them. And I sit down to tap away at a keyboard when I feel I have a nebulous notion brewing away in my head. The Greek philosopher Plato once addressed the mind-body problem and how the mind and body can be connected. Plato was a great fan of 'the soul' and thought our bodies inferior. Philosophers have discussed this ever since (it's known as Dualism) - when I was younger, I'd scoff at my body and be firmly in Plato's camp. The life of the mind! Pure soul! These days I definitely cannot imagine life without my fingers acting as transmitters or translators. We all mellow as we get older, don't we?

Anyway, I began thinking about this because I am just back from a work trip to Yorkshire. I had my camera with me and I snapped a lot of photos - but mostly unexpected photos.

June: Yorkshire Trip

Who knew I'd ever take an arty photo of a horse grazing in a field as a way of expressing my innermost thoughts? But there you go: life is bright and sunny with a tinge of blue. Beautiful things are in focus, bigger things are rather blurry (but I'm pushing those to the back for the time being). And everything is good.

I want to thank everybody for the lovely stream of messages concerning Doggerland. When I first started talking about my idea for the collection, a few people told me it was a bit too “out there” so I didn’t know what to expect .. but I have received so much great feedback and so much support over the last week. I have been particularly thrilled by emails from strangers who told me about their own connection to the Doggerland area - if I can make people think about their personal/emotional connections to landscapes and knitting, I have done my job well.

This would have been an excellent time to insert a photo of sheep grazing on Yorkshire hills. Unfortunately I had to take those photos from a moving train and this is the best one. Try to spot the sheep:

June Trip: Yorkshire I'll write more about my work trip to Yorkshire later - it was essentially a three-day knitting & yarn mini-conference at this place:

June: Yorkshire Trip

As I said, everything is good. I am meeting interesting people, I am being pushed out of my comfort zone, and I am thinking a lot with my fingers.

A few links &c:

  • You can still pre-order my Doggerland collection and get 20% off. Hurry, though, as the offer only runs for a few more days.
  • Stories In Stitches is a new venture from the amazing Donna Druchunas. Stories in Stitches combine so many of my favourite things: story-telling, knitting, writing and social history - not to mention that strange (but so exhilarating) sense of continuity and connection across places and ages you get when you combine all those things.
  • A very interesting interview with Harry Potter star, Emma Watson. Yes, really. I was struck by her take on feeling insecure and trying to balance her own self-perception with how others perceive her.
  • Finally, a great article about how the Eurovision Song Contest can be read as something other than just a way of life six-months-long week-long fun evening. It's a way of nation-building in the 21st century.