...nor by hard endeavour knit

I began knitting a scarf over a week ago, and I lost count of how many times I unravelled the whole thing to begin again. Finally, out of those attempts, I began to be able to recognise what the stitches look like - to be able to rescue them if gone awry. I am fascinated at how that series of half-knots and twists creates texture, textile.
I have also noted how I begin to care for each stitch: I take care not to lose any as I work, as if the stitches were little sheep. The total number becomes something very important.
But as I learned how to knit, I found myself knitting without counting anymore, and I am fascinated at how the process enters the subconscious: I knit without thinking. I guess it's kind of like in martial arts, when you've practiced the moves so many times that your body responds in the moment, without thought.
Rilke wrote about knitting - he considered the craftsmanship of the knitting to be inferior to the amount of thought that must go in to crafting a poem. He renounced some of his poems he did not like as being similar to the low level of concentration like that of a woman knitting.
I suppose it is a 'lower level' concentration - but concentration nonetheless, even if 'lower' - because one is still observing a pattern (unless one is a pro, and creating something unique, but this is clearly something I can only hypothesise about).
These thoughts are gathered here as text to accompany the photo of the scarf I am knitting, which I wanted to be able to link to, so I can find out if I am knitting incorrectly. So, if you knit, you may wish to advise me on knitting tips for beginners, and if not, you may be interested in one more knitting metaphor, below the photo.  While knitting may be of a lower level concentration, it is the symbol of that which draws together - herds together. Knitting is coherence, and in this sense is a hard endeavour.  P.S. Click here for the post with a photo of the finished scarf.


 Elements: buttons: minitoko
photo background, doily, cabochons, shipping tag: pugly pixel.

The image of knitting is summoned in Rilke's poem Self-Portrait (trans. Stephen Cohn):

A steadfastness, his one inheritance
from old nobility, has stamped the brows, 
but in the eyes still childhood's blue, its fears. 
A waiter's or a woman's deference,
although not slavish, shows occasionally. 
The mouth is large and what a mouth should be,
not too persuasive, but quite eloquent 
enough. A forehead still all innocence
prefers its own shade, stooped reflectively.

All is conjuncture, none of it made whole,
neither by hardship, nor by hard
endeavour knit into a work achieved:
but as if out of all these scattered parts
there was projected something true and real.

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