Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On to Knitting

Well, next to it, anyway.

That's where it sits. In a wicker basket, lined with green fabric embroidered with birds, next to an over-sized armchair.

Don't ask me what type of birds. I couldn't begin to tell you. Maybe they're knitting birds. They sit there, unmoving. Content to be in the same spot for hours on end. Doing the same thing over and over. And over again.

Like knitting.

Honestly, I do enjoy knitting. It's incredible to have the ability to design and create something practical, stylish and unique. The feel of the fibers while witnessing string turn to cloth can be cathartic.

Several years ago, I fell in love with a pattern for a sweater, for myself. It was an entire book of sweater patterns, actually, printed exclusively in color, displaying colorways that were simply stunning. I finished one for my husband, and he wore it in public, even. That was the true test. Now my turn. So out came the needles, here came the stitching for my personal creation.

And there, in the basket, it sits.

I remember learning how to knit. It was a hard craft to pick up, especially considering I've been involved in fiber arts as far back as I can remember. So difficult for me, it would be years later until I took the time to conquer it. My cousin taught me, standing in the living room one hectic holiday, grabbing a pair of plastic yellow needles and a spare ball of yarn from some forgotten project. I remember it well. Purl one, curse two.

Or three times, depending on how many stitches were dropped and found five rows later.

I developed interesting, never before seen stitch patterns in the process. Who knew that skipping, dropping and combining stitches actually has a name? And if that "spontaneous" lace knit project is a little more eccentric than hoped? I try to look at is as something suitable for an incredibly unique gift.

Unless it's too unique.

Then I hope I knitted it with wool. A few rounds in the washer and dryer sometimes shrink and combine all the holes and haphazard stitches into felt. It worked for that brand named sweater tossed in with the towels last year.


Why is it that something I enjoy so much never seems to end in anything but a coaster? Pile upon pile of small gauge swatches, meant to test stitch length and width for any given project have found a home, though.

Just look in the linen closet.

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