Thursday, June 26, 2008
Rites of Passage
A little more than 100 years ago, a Belgian anthropologist explained that all cultures have ways of marking major life transitions - and he defined these as being rites of passage. Many of these rituals surround the transition of a child into adulthood; often revolving around puberty (what a great time to remember, right? Aren't you glad I'm bringing that up?).
When I think of rites of passage, I think of the Jewish tradition of bar mitzvah. I'm personally more familiar with the idea of confirmation, but I think of them as being somewhat similar. The end result is the formal admission to a community.
So, what is the rite of passage for a knitter? At what point are we formally admitted, or at least feel formally admitted, to this community? Do we need to have accomplished a certain number of sweaters or socks; or completed a difficult pattern; or deciphered a ridiculous chart?
I feel like I'm a fairly accomplished knitter, in most respects. I like to stay in my comfort zone, but I can knock off some pretty crazy things (have you seen Cat Bordhi's socks?) and I think I could probably attempt most things thrown my way.
However, the one thing I've never knit is a Baby Surprise Jacket. To me, this feels like my rite of passage. I can't consider myself a truly proficient knitter until I've done one. I'm not sure why I have set this as my standard, but I have. It's likely due to the mythic nature of the pattern and the designer.
So, once I complete my Hanami (I'm currently on my last basketweave repeat...almost half-way) and the Tour de France KAL (go Team CSC!), I think I need to do this. To complete this rite of passage.
What's your knitting rite of passage? What project do you have set in your mind that once you complete it you will feel like a truly accomplished artisan?