Friday, February 13, 2009

A Real MacGyver of Fiber

I have to say, I was very entertained by the idea of myself as some knitting MacGyver, on the strength of my high-tech nail-file and wax-paper solution to a broken bamboo needle.

For anyone who somehow missed it, MacGyver was an American TV series in the late 1980s. I only remember seeing it a couple of times myself, but even so I quickly grasped the essential premise. Here was a guy who, when he found himself in a tight spot, through resourcefulness and wits, would build just the clever contraption needed to get out of a sticky situation and save the day. Out of something like toothpaste and pocket lint. I may be exaggerating, but according to this list of MacGyverisms, not by much!

All right, I may have some mild MacGyver-like tendencies. I may do some improvising once in a while to save the day when the chips are down.

Or maybe just to save the chips when the day is done. Here's an example of my amazing resourcefulness. I was finishing up a meal at a sandwich place and realized I wasn't hungry enough to eat my whole bag of delicious kettle chips. But how could I take them home when the bag was already open? I had no bag clip or rubber band! I'd have chips strewn all over the car or the inside of my handbag. The soundtrack started to swell and I looked around in desperation, starting to sweat. Would the bad guys really win?

Then, with no suitable tools at hand, inspiration struck! My brilliant solution?

I tied up the bag with the empty wrapper from my drink straw. My afternoon snack was saved. My car and handbag were safe. MacGyver would be so proud.

Still not convinced? OK, then, how about this?

Improvised ruler on the back of my knitting pattern when stuck on an airplane flight without a measuring tape?

Or this?

Eyeing the bamboo kitchen skewers covetously because they sure look like you could knit a big pile of socks on them if you sharpened the other end?

OK, I admit it. These are MacGyver-like tendencies only in a small way. A very small way. As a MacGyver, I've got a long way to go. I'm not really cut out for it. I actually like to have a nice array of proper knitting tools.

But if you want to see a real MacGyver of fiber, have a look at Rosemary Knits. Check out the spinning wheel made of a bicycle wheel, pieces of soda-bottle-plastic, and scraps of 2x4 lumber. Watch as the woman spins cotton from a cotton ball. Nothing is as humbling as the real thing.

I bow before her.


Anonymous said...

You are definitely on the creative / inventive edge here, my friend! A couple of years ago, I swapped some of my soap for some bead spindles. They were made from ---- wooden kitchen skewers like you show on your blog and nice fat beads. They actually spun fairly well!

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, memories. I always rather liked MacGyver.