Friday, September 11, 2009

A Poor Craftsman Always Blames His Tools

I came across this article this morning from one of my favourite financial blogs, "Get Rich Slowly." It talks about how to evaluate potential purchases and encourages us to think about our needs versus our wants. The author is building a new home, which will require a new kitchen. Or will it?

Having come across an article by food writer Mark Bittman entitled, "So Your Kitchen Is Tiny. So What?" it led her to question her reasons for wanting fancy new kitchen appliances. Do the appliances make the cook or is the art of cooking just that; an ability no matter how good your tools are?

Bittman, who writes The Minimalist column in The New York Times, describes in this article how he makes do with only 42 square feet of kitchen space. He writes:

[Chefs and food writers] know that when it comes to kitchens, size and equipment don’t count nearly as much as devotion, passion, common sense and, of course, experience.
To pretend otherwise — to spend tens of thousands of dollars or more on a kitchen before learning how to cook, as is sadly common — is to fall into the same kind of silly consumerism that leads people to believe that an expensive gym membership will get them into shape or the right bed will improve their sex life. As runners run and writers write, cooks cook, under pretty much any circumstance.

This got me thinking about knitting (just to make a change.) Are we really only as good as the quality of the tools we use or is the fact that we can knit really the most important thing?

Last week I attended the first ever meeting of our local Knitter's Guild. It was a wonderful evening and one of the funniest parts was the game, "Can You Knit With This?" Knitters were asked to delve into a brown paper carrier bag and pluck out two regular household items to knit with. What a riot! In the space of 3 minutes our valiant volunteers created fabric using everything from a wooden spoon to a whisk!

Frankly, I think this proves that true skill will prevail no matter what the circumstances. A real artist can create in any situation and it is the act of doing that is fundamental to developing that skill.

Now, I'm not advocating that you grab the turkey baster from the kitchen and set to with gusto, but don't let the quality of your tools and yarn stop you from creating wonderful objects. After all "sticks and string" really are all you need to create beautiful works of knitted art.

PS: I'm on the last sleeve!


Rudee said...

I agree 100% with your premises. That won't stop me from buying 7 skeins of Cashmerino Aran today, but hey, thanks for trying ;-).

Kathy said...

What a helpful blog post! This info IS valuable for any purchase. Happy Knitting (with spoons if you must!).
How about all those disposable chop sticks they stick in my take out. I know how to use them but prefer a fork. Ahhh, a recycle idea.

Rose said...

Enjoyed your post; you're so right, we tend to buy, buy, buy, and then wonder why we're overwhelmed in our homes with so much stuff! And the stuff takes too much time to deal with. And so on. BTW, did you finish the sweater?

Jane said...

Rudee - I', jealous of your purchase.
Kathy - some great alternative ideas for needles here. I particularly like the recycled chop sticks idea.
Rose - check out today's post for the rest of the Tomten story.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin