HomeKnittingKnitting and the Energy of Chance by Caleb Talbot – Brooklyn Tweed

Knitting and the Energy of Chance by Caleb Talbot – Brooklyn Tweed

Every time I add a brand new skein of yarn to my stash or a brand new sample to my library, I’m confronted with the query of “why?”. Why do I purchase new yarn and new patterns once I have already got so many which are prepared for use to create socks or shawls or sweaters or… no matter?

The closest I can come to a solution that feels “proper” is to say that I do it due to the concept of chance. As a maker, once I see a skein of yarn my thoughts fills with the opportunity of what that little bit of string might be formed into once I seize it and a few sticks, pair it with a well-designed sample and get to work. On this method, what I’m seeing once I eye a skein or a sample is a future accomplishment, a way of self-sufficiency and skill, a reminder that I’m expert and gifted and artistic and that I’ve what I must craft one thing for myself with simply my two fingers and some easy instruments. All of those concepts are wrapped up in that concept of chance, and that one thought is on the coronary heart of my love for knitting.


A grinning white man with a dark beard wears a handknit colorwork sweater and holds a caked skein of grey wool yarn

[Otte by Jared Flood]


As I’ve acquired new expertise and grown as a knitter, my love for the craft, the yarn and the patterns that make that yarn helpful within the fingers of the knitter has additionally grown. I believe it’s because the world of potentialities has solely change into wider for me as I’ve change into extra assured in my talents. I take a look at patterns and often suppose “I can’t knit that” or “I’m afraid to work on that”… in essence, limitations that existed due to technical ability have begun to soften away a bit. However, the place that world of chance has at occasions continued to hit a roadblock (and people limitations have in flip remained) is on the intersection of style and gender. There I’ve usually met with a sample and requested myself “is that this for me” even once I cherished one thing about that sample, and this query has steered me away from a couple of potential challenge. Likewise, I’ve, at occasions, been disheartened by the truth that so many patterns are introduced as explicitly gendered making it tough to see myself sporting them in a method that feels genuine to me.


A bearded white man in a blue baseball cap pulls up the sleeve on his handknit brown sweater and regards the fabric

[Fehling by Emily Greene]


As a cisgendered male who comfortably presents in a usually “masculine” method, this has solely felt like an issue as a result of I’ve, at occasions, discovered it tough to discover a trendy and fashionable sample that will deliver one thing new to my wardrobe. When this occurs, my decisions really feel restricted relative to the sheer variety of patterns out there, and, in flip, I really feel restricted as a knitter. It’s in these moments that the sense of chance I beforehand felt so acutely appears to considerably diminish and this may be irritating and disheartening.

You will need to be aware that I do acknowledge that I’ve the privilege of seeing myself represented usually, and I additionally acknowledge that I really feel assured in my means to make many clothes work with my fashion no matter who they had been designed for. Due to this, I’m usually capable of categorical myself by way of knitting in a method that feels genuine even when working with patterns that weren’t designed with my physique in thoughts, in order that sense of chance that I crave appears to bounce again repeatedly for me with out subject. 

However I believe it’s additionally necessary to acknowledge that the gendered nature of clothes is a extra advanced subject for others, and, for these individuals, I’m wondering about what chance they may see in a skein and the way it is perhaps the identical or completely different from mine. And I additionally marvel if there are individuals on the market who’ve turned away from knitting and the enjoyment of chance that it may well deliver as a result of they could not see themselves represented. On the identical time, I’m wondering about who might be introduced in and made to really feel included by a rise in gender-neutral choices which are designed for all our bodies and introduced as such in a method that’s real.


A white man with dark beard wears a handknit green sweater and looks into the camera with a friendly expression

[Forbes by Jared Flood]

I wouldn’t advocate for a world the place an expressly female or masculine design couldn’t be introduced as such as a result of these issues are genuine and true to many individuals’s sense of self and private expression. However I do suppose we have now a lot to achieve from a world the place that inflexible gender binary is relaxed; the place extra gender impartial patterns exist so that every one individuals can discover garment patterns that enable them to create one thing by way of which they will categorical themselves in a very genuine method. In flip, I believe that nearly magical sense of chance could be extra readily obtainable for therefore many extra individuals, and I’d like to see who all may be a part of us on this knitting journey in that world.


A bearded white man wears a handknit colorwork sweater on a couch petting a super cute black and white dog

[Otte by Jared Flood]


By Caleb Talbot, a knitting software program developer who shares his love of creating on YouTube
Photographer, Mannequin & Stylist: Lev Boberg – IG @drowninginyarn



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments