I have a co worker who is heavily involved with the local Relay for Life cancer fundraiser and the events that go with it. If I sound a little distracted over the next couple of weeks or so it’s because every free minute (when I’m not baking, sleeping, cat comforting, doing my laundry, etc, etc, etc.) I’m planning on knitting as fast as my ten little fingers can manage. Thank heaven for big needles and chunky yarn. The goal is two prayer shawls for the auction at the fund raiser dinner.
Trying to come up with a description of the how and why of these shawls got me to thinking about some of the half baked ideas still popular among some of our elected hired help and the freaky deekies on Fox and talk radio. Still popular in spite of the unlearned lessons from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the so called war on terror. Especially the idea that each of us is autonomous. Individuals can stand alone. Our country can stand alone. We should stand alone. Our country should stand alone. We can do it on our own with no help or support from anyone else.
Obviously too many of these individuals have never knitted, crocheted, baked, sewed, canned or tried to raise a garden. In fact, I suspect that most of us are insulated from the “how” of something is created in a way that used to be true of only the very rich who could afford to pay someone else to do these things, preferably out of sight and out of mind.
When I knit a shawl the first stitch is just as important as the last. In fact I couldn’t get anywhere without it. And if you don’t cast off and tie off the last stitches properly the whole thing will unravel. Every stitch depends on every other stitch. If I drop a stitch along the way it affects every row below it and throws off the pattern of every row after it.
Ever had bread, especially white bread, where the salt was forgotten? It’s awfully bland, isn’t it? And you can’t add if after the bread is baked and expect it to be successful. And don’t even think about forgetting the yeast in the recipe. You can follow every other step in the recipe and all you’ll have in the end is a brick. And the yeast has to go in at the start, you can’t get good results with certain types of bread without it anymore than you can leave out the flour or water.
I’ve miscounted the amount of sugar in a jam recipe and ended up with very good strawberry syrup. Useful, but not what I planned on. And you can’t sew a shirt, leave out part of the pieces and expect to get anything that looks like a shirt. Each piece depends on the others and they really need to go together in order.
How successful will a garden be if you try to plant the seeds before the ground is prepared? Can you harvest a crop before the seeds are planted? Some crops even work together. Before farmers knew what fertilizer was, they knew to rotate their crops. Grains one year, legumes like beans the second year, and allowing the cows or sheep to graze in the field the third year. Maybe they didn’t know why it worked, but it did.
Maybe part of the problem is that too many of us don’t make or grow something, anything, from beginning to end anymore. We pay someone else to do the work, raise the crop, create the garment, and all we see is the final, completed product. In the end too many of us have no more idea of the steps that were followed than a fish knows about astronomy.