Tuesday, November 08, 2005

something happened

Nothing to worry about, nothing serious, just a re-shaping of my world.

You see, I used to watch a movie, and focus on the story, the acting, the editing, the special effects, oh you know, the usual stuff. And I would rewatch a movie, because it had a special little something. And sometimes a movie would make it into my collection, because you never know when you might want a whizz-bang blockbuster, a tearful documentary, or a rollicking comedy. Because I'm a firm believer in doing something again, if you enjoyed it the first time around (knitting, anyone?). And there is something comforting in the anticipation of the known.

So, feeling in a 'I want a bit of nothing too dramatic, but with subtle deep currents', and possibly feeling just a tad peckish, I thought the starkly beautiful Babette's Feast would fill the hole. (A word of warning - if you are a little squeamish about your food preparation, or if you don't eat the animals, then this may not be the film for you.) I've never read the original Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen story, of life in an isolated late 19th century Jutland village relentlessly, but tenderly, colliding with the wider world, but I've always found the film entrancing, as it carries me to times past and times lost.

Previously, I've waited for the feast, the pay-off as it were, and let the opening acts wash over as they set the scene. But not any more. Because now the film (at least the first half) is all about knitting. Want to see shawls in their natural habitat? Here they are. Want to see no-nonsense matter-of-fact every-day dpn use? There they are, worked casually in a lap, or left for later use in a dpn(not)fruit bowl. And I watched, yarn and pattern and idea spotting. A simple lined mainly garter-stitch faroese-type shawl - with the dove-grey lining showing through the lace panel on the deep warm brown topcoat. Okay, hit the pause button, crawl up and press nose to screen, taking mental notes. Oooh, an open work stole - now is that knit, or crochet? And how thick is that yarn, being worked into socks, or are they mittens? And the feast? Still enticing, but tempered with just a hint of disappointment, as the knitted lace was left at home in favour of the bobbin kind.

Is this what happens? Does the yarn tangle down into your soul? Do you watch a movie for the handknits, rather than the actor? Do you cheer when Gromit whips out his needles? Nod in approval (and recognition) when Dumbledore mentions reading old knitting patterns? Is everything about the yarn? The pattern? The knit? So tell me, did Copernicus and Gallileo get it wrong, and just when did they make the sun out of wool?

On the actual I might actually have been using needles front. Well, although mother no. 1 might have said she didn't want anything in your traditional pastel baby colours, I don't think she meant she would be happy with something that looks like it came out of a diaper. So froggy went a courtin' there. And cold hands the other morning pushed mittens to the top of the list, but I went for Estonian, rather than finished, so I'm barely off the 'lets try that again' braid cuffs. Still, tonight I have the night off from the world, a bag of yarn at my feet, and ideas.

Happy knitting, to each and every one.