Thursday, May 17, 2007

Such Great Yarn..

Quick bit of shop news: The Skacel and Bryson orders have been placed. Vast quantities of needles should be arriving by the end of the month, maybe a little after. If they don't, I will resign myself to knitting with fallen sticks from the trees across the street and will personally give a class on how to prepare them for such usage.

I finished my sideways-short-row-garter-stitch-sport-weight hat and it's sooo beautimous that I am loathe to put it on, because then I can't see it. This photo has washed out the green and made the blue more prominent. The effect is much springier than aquatic in real life. This yarn is some hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester, sport weight. Yay for yarn swaps!

I modified a pattern I had already knit to knit 8 smaller wedges instead of 4 larger ones. I like it, because the way the colours striped mimics the appearance of 8 decrease points around the crown of the hat, even though the grain of the fabric is obviously sideways.

I was asked for a pattern. And the truth is, I'm not sure I could write a pattern for this. It's very simple. I would leave things out because I would constantly be thinking "Well, of course you do this next - What else would you do?" I knit very intuitively, and I don't actually like following patterns because I find that they frequently contradict what I feel to be the natural progression or growth of a project.

For instance, I am knitting little building blocks which are constructed of mitered squares all knit off of one another. The direction that the pattern tells you to pick up in had me tearing my hair out, and finally I gave up and just did it the way I thought would work. It did, and it looks fine. I am sure that the pattern works, but it doesn't work in my head, which is unaccustomed to following a pattern anyway. I'm sure that Hannah or Jenna or Stevanie could pick that pattern up and knit it beginning to end without any moments of frustration.

There is a moment where the construction deviates from one of my practices for my own designs in order to preserve a certain appearance. There are two ways I would have done it, one to preserve the appearance and one that would have one face of the block looking different. Either way, I think it would look fine.

The point is that this is my weakness in knitting: I don't like patterns, and I don't like fussiness without reason, and I especially don't like needless seaming. I can do all of these things, because I believe that there should be nothing that I cannot do - Only those things which I choose not to do for my own dislike of them.

I would be very curious to know what other people feel about patterns, or their own weaknesses in knitting. I don't consider ignorance of a skill or method to be a weakness, we all learn things as we need to.

1 comment:

Kabira said...

Bee-ooo-uuu-tous hat! I can't wait to see it in person!

Patterns - I happen to be one of THOSE people who happens to be comfy following written instructions of whatever genre -- but as you know, I knit mostly from my own ideas (actually the yarn talks to me and tells me, nay, orders me what to do). But when I'm knitting into 'uncharted' ;-) territory, I often refer to Zimmermann writings or either of Ann Budd's books with tables of measurements and proportions for all sizes. And I read through patterns to see how someone worked a particular thing out. I think there's value in pattern-following and I also love to know of intuitive knitting by others. We've only had written patterns for what - 150-200 years? - so knitting without a written pattern is DEFINITELY part of the larger knitting tradition.