Wednesday, January 3, 2007

A Rooster by any other name...

Scanning over my previous posts, I came to the startling realization that I might have created the impression that my knitting collection only consists of a tacky hot pink apron… Allow me to clarify. I would never, in a million years, want to be known only as the woman with the hot pink apron! (That, or as a bag lady. Or a cat lady.)

Since showing up at my first ever KnitClub meeting, knitting a plain old dishcloth in plain old Bernat Cotton yarn (and feeling horrifically silly, I might add), my knitting has improved in leaps and bounds. I’m still a bit on the inexperienced side when it comes to things like sweaters and Fair Isle (my way too big and tent-ish Tubey sweater can attest to that), but overall, I can say with some degree of confidence that my knitting doesn’t suck.

One of my good friends celebrated her birthday a few days ago, so I suppose it’s only fitting that in my knitting defense, I feature some of my gift knitting for her in today’s post.

My friend has the sweetest one-year-old baby boy. On one of our altogether infrequent visits together, we went to return some cutesy farm animal wall hangings that she had decided not to put up in his room. Her boy may be only one year old, but he’s no baby! Anyway, when I happened across the patterns for Chinese Zodiac symbols in Knitty, I thought it would be perfect to knit up his zodiac symbol—Rooster—and felt it into a wall hanging. It would be sophisticated and symbolic, and it would be reflective of their cultural heritage. That was the plan, anyway…

I quickly knit up the Rooster symbol and felted it up.

Just when I was getting ready to mail it, though, an alarming thought crossed my mind: was I sure that this was the Chinese symbol for Rooster? Flashes of Britney Spears tattooing herself with the Chinese symbol for 'strange' when she really wanted 'mysterious' crossed my mind... I didn't want to end up delivering the equivalent of gibberish to this special child. (Nor did I want to have any more connections to B. Spears-- it's bad enough that we were born in the same year! Oh, who am I kidding? I'm a Slave 4 Britney!)

Well, it was a good thing I checked. The Knitty pattern featured the Japanese symbols for the Chinese zodiac signs. No good.

I went back to the internet, found the appropriate Chinese symbol, graphed it out and knitted it up.

Lesson learned: When you’re trying to be meaningful and symbolic, it’s best to make sure you’re representing the right culture… (Or you can tattoo yourself with Kabbalah symbols backwards... but who am I to judge?)

Anyway, my friend’s boy now has his sophisticated and actually symbolic wall hanging above his crib, and I’ve got the leftover one in my meditation corner (Luckily, I happen to be a Rooster, too!) When I get back from Calgary, I’ll post some other non-hot-pink knitting projects. I promise there’s more than one…

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