Rhona Miller is my next door neighbour, she and her sister Isla run The Knoydart Pottery and Tearoom. It is a very special place to have here on Knoydart, like stepping into a cute french film. There is lots of bunting and pretty handmade things, not just pottery and cakes, but monkeys made from scrap fabric, bracelets from buttons and knitted things. I work on my own at home most of the time, writing proposals and workshop plans and editing films, so it feels like a vital service they provide. Good coffee, local news and friendly banter. They cheer me up on a bad day (teasing me about my messy hair, strange filmmaking habits and disastrous love life) and help to keep everything in perspective.
I asked Rhona to draw something that sums up activities in the winter months here in Knoydart, when it is cold dark and there are no visitors and she came back with this picture of me knitting. I learnt to knit not long after I arrived in Knoydart at the Knoydart Ladies Knitting Circle and for a while became obsessed. There is no TV reception here, so knitting is a good activity for the dark winter evenings (and you get jumpers out of it too). Me, Isla, and Rhona sometimes spend an evening together sitting by the fire playing scrabble and knitting. I find it quite therapeutic I like the idea of knitting as a metaphor for life. If you get caught up with the imperfections you’ll never finish anything and ultimately it is those very same mistakes it yours, but sometimes you just have to face the truth that it isn’t working, unravel the whole thing and start again, and (Isla thought of this one) if you use cheap wool no matter how well you knit you will always have a cheap jumper – unless you are really very clever.
Making this film is not unlike knitting. I can’t go back and do any of the days again and they can only be put together in sequence for the whole thing to work. I just have to accept that some days I do better than others – I am more present, the light works, the focus is there, and some days things are not so perfect. It rains and I look wet and miserable. By returning to the same spot again and again at the same time I sometimes feel like I am knitting time, creating a series of moments identical but not quite the same. See my Poem Doodle post . . .
PS. Still hoping someone will knit me a response to this film!
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