Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Knitted Brow


Maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's lying in bed, unable to sleep because of the heat. Regardless of the why, I 've found myself lately thinking about my knitting direction - the Why-I-Do-The-Things-I-Do.

I have a confession to make. Twice in the last couple of weeks I've started projects doomed not to be completed. The What's aren't important - they are no more, now in the pile of other discarded items. I'm not sure why I do that, start a project that is relatively simple, and find it dull, and not worth my time. I should be content to simply realize that fact, and move on; however a part of me still needs to actually go through the casting-on motions before realizing that it just ain't my cup of tea, Knitsters. Why must I stubbornly stick my hand in the fire, and say to myself - hey, you're burning - before pulling it out? Perhaps only knitters can understand when I say that this remnant of an old knitting life pisses me off to no end! This is probably why I've made the commitment to de-stash my stash, as it were.

I know that my interests are squarely in the realm of the traditional. The timeless works of Fair Isle art, the complexity of the Aran twists and turns, and the unique, original designs that I know incorporate traditional materials and techniques worthy of my time.

Does that make me a yarn/knit snob?

Quite frankly, I could not care less if that's how it's labeled. It's what I like, it's what is worthwhile, it's what gives me pleasure and a sense of true pride in accomplishment.

I'm a Virgo. We think too much.

I suppose in my mind I was rationalizing why I can't focus on something that falls outside of that box. Some would say - aren't you narrow-minded in your knit focus? No, because the possibilities within that huge box are endless. Level of difficulty is irrelevant to me. I rarely pay any attention to the rating. I'm confident enough in my abilities not to be scared off by the prospect of trying something new within the framework of the tradional old.

I applaud anyone who picks up two sticks and a ball of yarn, and attempts to turn it into something wonderful. So long as you remember your own "raison d'etre", and are doing what gives you true satisfaction - you're creating your own little work of art.

I think I have it completely out of my system now. I've taken a good, long look at my WIP's - and will concentrate solely on them. They seem to be all I gravitate towards, so why waste my time on something I'll never finish?

Here they are, my long suffering WIP's:

1. Ophelia
2. Amphora
3. Western Seas
4. Arangenser
5. Seaweed scarf

Of Ophelia, Amphora, and Western Seas - I've shown pictures before. So, here is a shot of the lovely Arangenser, from the stunning Norsk Strikkedesign:

She has been neglected of late, simply because she's particularly heavy, worked on 5.5mm needles. The lower hip sections are worked separately, and joined. The rest of the body is worked completely in the round until the armholes, when it is then worked back and forth. I've done approx. 8 rounds of the body, and it is not a difficult knit. I'm looking forward to starting back on her... but not when it's 35C, merci beaucoup.

I will admit to having started something else, however I have every intention of finishing this one as I'm enjoying the pattern immensely.

This is the Seaweed Scarf, from Alice Starmore.

What's that? Lace? (Damn, I'm even sarcastic with myself). Hey, for every repeat of 12 rows you see, there are at least 4 frogged rows. I want this scarf to wear with my winter coat, which is why I'm starting now. There are 50 repeats. I've done 4.

But, I'm getting the knack of this lace thing, and the results are stunning. I'm going to make some kind of hat with the Selkie shade as well, not sure what (no eyelets...that's just plain dumb in a Canadian winter). I'm thinking a bucket hat, worked double stranded throughout. I should have more than enough Selkie, having traded a bunch of Machair for some Selkie with Lorraine.

Well, thanks for sticking with me through this post. We all have an opinion - let me know what yours is on the issue of staying true to your knitting styles.

Oh. And socks don't count!


Lorraine The Knitting Hammy said...

Brigitte- I agree with you- socks don't count. But the fact is, as we progress with our knitting, tastes changes, we gain more skills- we need different things at different times. Guilt should not be part of the equation.
The good news is: FALL is coming! And the new knitting season is gearing up. I'm cranked already.

Pam said...

Too hot here to think; thank god for socks. I think life is too short to worry about justifying the choices you make in what you do. I feel my knitting is my art as well as my hobby and it deserves the best materials I can afford and the care I can give. I agree with Lorraine...there is no room for guilt. Enjoy the knitting moment and BTW, your work is beautiful.
Pam from CT

Marina said...

Fair Isle, for me is like "home". I love the boringness of stocking stitch. The emerging pattern and the wonderful colours provide just enough excitement to break the monotony.

And just like life, it's nice to take a vacation from it and do an Aran, lace, miter square ;-), etc.

No guilt but I do appreciate it more when I get back to it.

Jewel said...

Brigitte - there's nothing wrong with knowing what you like and don't like. Regading the heat, I feel for ya. So, stay cool, chickie!

Carrie K said...

Well, I'm a Leo and I'm constantly starting, abandoning and finishing up projects.

Sometimes I just like to have something new to knit, just to try it out, even if I'm pretty sure it's not going anywhere but the Frog Pond.

What the heck. Nothing wrong with going outside your comfort zone (or Like Best zone) and then coming back to it.

Dipsy said...

I agree with everything you wrote but for one thing: Socks DO count. There's a lot of them out there with patterns that ask for quite some concentration - plus they are projects just like everything else, just like a sweater or a cardi or whatever, perhaps done in way less time, but projects nonetheless - something that we have to draw our attention to, that we make mistakes with, that we go through and in the end have a finished project that we have every right to be proud of.
Apart from that, the thoughts that go through your head these days seem to be in close connection to the progress you made in your knitting. The work you do is by far not something simple and easily done, in the contrary, your projects seem to get harder and more complicated each time. That's the learning progress we knitters seem to go through, at least some of us - with attempting harder patterns and managing to make them look good, our self confidence towards our ability grows and patterns that we would never have dared to tackle suddenly become a challenge. This is growth, personal growth - and that kind of growth is always connected with guilt. It shouldn't be, but it is all the time, in every aspect of our lives.
Plus, something that I learned the hard way: Do never attempt to justify what you're doing - in normal life as well as in knitting life. Do what you feel like doing and feel happy and content with it - it'll make life so much more easier!

Marji said...

as in everything in life, you have to make choices and narrow the field of possibilities or nothing ever gets done and you are starting down endless pathways never to get far on any. I think it's great that you've determined your focus and can let the rest go.

Wendy said...

I too love the traditional knitting best. To me, knitting a fair isle is like reading Jane Austen. Knitting a plain sock is like reading a trashy detective story. Both have their place in my repetoire. :-)

Cynthia said...

I love traditional knitting, although I realize every kind of knitting has its place. (Ok, maybe the world doesn't need too many more novelty-yarn scarves knit on huge needles.)

Having said that, it is fun to break out occasionally and try something completely off the wall - even if you don't intend to finish it. It sometimes gives those creative urges a jolt to do something different.

Chris said...

I think you're lucky to know what you like and to be good at it. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Brigitte -- you never have to justify yourself to anyone else -- you may need to rationalize to yourself -- that's ok. I went through the phases myself -- got rid of a lot of yarn that I just had to have (at the time), but as Dipsy pointed out, as my confidence grew, my projects changed. I still like mindless knitting sometimes -- but I have focussed on the kind of knitting that makes me happiest -- life is too short!