Thursday, April 05, 2007

Knitting The World - Willa's creation myth

Willa Cline (Willa's Journal) (Knitting Zen) (among others) gave me her permission to post her absolutely wonderful knitting creation myth.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Willa is my wonderful web mistress, talented creative soul, and friend.)

Knitting the World

First Daughter was in a foul mood. She and her sisters had drawn straws, and she had gotten the short one. Consequently, she had been given the task of knitting the earth, and it was going very slowly. The stitches would not come easily; she seemed to knit and knit and knit, and never get anywhere. Miles of stitches. And the brown and green yarns were boring—yard after yard of greens and browns, endlessly spooling from the needles. She yawned. Why couldn't she have gotten to knit the sky, or the sea?

Second Daughter was knitting the sky. Stitches of blue silk flew from her needles, punctuated with fluffy tufts of cloud and the occasional jeweled bird. She laughed to herself as she duplicate-stitched a flock of geese into the fabric, creating tiny v-shapes with silvery gray thread on top of the blue sky.

Third Daughter was knitting the sea in pools of emerald and sapphire, spumes of foam rising from her clicking needles.

The Mother walked among them, fingering the cloth, occasionally correcting a stitch, pulling it straight, and stroking her daughters' smooth heads as they bent over their work. Second Daughter smiled into the sky, pulling a length of white wool from her workbasket and knitting it together with the sky blue silk to make a cloud. With sudden inspiration she selected a shiny silver yarn from her workbasket and began fashioning the lining for the cloud.

Third Daughter looked up as the mother approached, and leaned her head into her mother's hip. The Mother smiled down on her and fingered the fabric that was rolling off her needles. Third Daughter was working a cable into the fabric, creating an island in the center of a gleaming silver sea. Miles and miles of sea pooled around her, green and blue and silver; she looked up and, seeing Second Daughter knitting the sun into the sky with golden wool, she chose a lighter shade of gold and began to knit the sun's reflection into her sea.

First Daughter threw down her needles. "Why do I always get the boring jobs?" she asked.
"Second Daughter and Third Daughter get the pretty blue and silver silks, and I get the boring, lumpy green and brown wool. It isn't fair!" The Mother walked toward her. "Why do you complain so?" she asked. "Every job is worthwhile. The sea is beautiful, and the sky is beautiful, but the earth is beautiful, too."

The Mother picked up the bolt of fabric that was First Daughter's knitting. The knitting was lumpy and bumpy, having been knit of roughly spun wool on heavy needles, so unlike the smooth silk of the sky and the sea. First Daughter tried, but she couldn't help comparing her knitting to her sisters'. "Can you fix it for me?" she asked her mother. "Will you?"

"It was your job to knit the earth, Daughter," the Mother said. "You have to do the job that is given to you, no one can do it for you."

"Then I quit!" said First Daughter, and flung her knitting down and flounced away. Without a hand to smooth it, the knitting lay where it fell, in lumps and bumps and piles, forming furrows and hills and valleys. And that is how the mountains were formed.

~ Willa Cline, February 23, 2006


Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Hey, at least, the Mother didn't make First Daughter knit socks...

4:09 PM  

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