To knit to ideas

I have gotten to a point with my knitting where I can sit in perfect silence and just knit. I am happy for the noise of the needles and the yarn sliding on my fingers to be the only sound. Often, I can reach a level of calmness I can only get when I meditate. However, these moments of quietness with just me and my knitting are rare.

More often than not, I knit and do something else, like watch a film or TV show, listen to a podcast or music, or even read. I think that is true for many knitters. We knit when we find the time and often that is not time exclusively dedicated to knitting. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Especially, when it is long stretches of stockinette or a very repetitive pattern I like to divert my attention to other things. For this reason, I am changing my ‘Currently Reading’ posts to a segment I am calling ‘To knit to ideas’ (at least until I can think of something better). I want to use the posts to share with you things I enjoy knitting to. This can be (audio) books, films, music, tv shows, podcast and anything else I can think of.

For this first post, I have included a book, a podcast and a film.

The Book – The God of Small Things

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I started reading The God of Small Things before Christmas but for various reasons (nothing to do with the book itself) it took me until the middle of January to finish it but I am really happy I returned to it to finish it. The book by Arundathi Roy is the brilliantly told story of an Indian family dealing with events that have a lasting impact on the people involved.

I tremendously enjoyed the beautiful, warm and often poetic language which paints a very rich story. The characters are very well developed and even the secondary ones don’t seem flat. Clever storytelling results in a lot of suspense that makes you desperate to find out what actually happened that led to the disaster that shaped the characters’ lives so profoundly.

On the surface, it is the story of a family spanning three generations but it carries a much deeper message about the impact of prejudice and what happens when we place more value on characteristics we assign to and believe groups of people have than on the individuals making up this group themselves.

I highly recommend this book not only for its own merits as a very well written and thought through story but because the story warns about the impact prejudices have. I think that this warning is especially important when we seriously consider building walls again and think it perfectly acceptable to refuse refugees because of their religion.

 

The Podcast – Der Lila Podcast

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Unfortunately, this will only be accessible to German speakers as the podcast is in German but I think the quality of this feminist podcast is so good that I had to share it.

The Lila Podcast is produced by Susanne Klinger, Katrin Rönicke and Barbara Streidl and belongs to Frau Lila which is a feminist Initiative with the aim to connect women especially digitally and to offer them educational opportunities.

The podcast covers a range of political topics from a feminist perspective and deals with current political issues such as the ‘Alternative für Deutschland’ (which is a German right wing party) and what impact they might have on the upcoming German general election later in the year.

The first podcast I listened to was also the first one of 2017. The podcasts are a little over an hour long which allows for quite in-depth discussions. I really enjoyed their talk which made me re-consider a few of my own perspectives and believes.

The podcasts go live approximately every two weeks. So, if you know German and are interested in feminist I highly recommend listening to it while you knit!

 

The Film – Hunt for the Wilderpeople

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Lastly, I want to recommend this amazing film. It is both funny and heartwarming and the stunning New Zealand landscape is just another bonus. You can watch a trailer here.

The story is about a foster kid who together with is foster father (who he calls uncle) become the subjects of a manhunt through New Zealand’s wilderness. This is the result of a misunderstanding and an overzealous social worker. Both characters are outcasts and have a ‘bad boy’ reputation which is the result of a prison stay for unlce Hec and the behaviour of Ricky during his life in the city as a foster kid. Unsure of each other at first, being the subjects of a manhunt provides a unique opportunity to bond in order to survive in the wild.

Sam Neill, who plays Hec, and Julian Dennison, who plays Ricky, are brilliant together. Their acting and timing is great. Even if Sam Neill is the big name attached to it I think Julian Dennison often steals the show. The rest of the cast is, to be honest, just as brilliant. Especially the social worker and her police ‘sidekick’ offer funny scenes as a result of their obsessive behaviour. Overall, the director did an amazing job of putting this film together without making it to dark or letting the humour loose its cleverness.

I really enjoyed this film and think it is suitable for most ages. You can certainly watch it with kids even though there is quite a bit of shooting.It is currently available on the UK site of Netflix. I don’t know about availability in other countries but it is definitely worth checking it out.

 

This concludes this month suggestions. I would love to hear what you think if you check out any of them.

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