Thursday, April 06, 2006

I have been waylaid

I love knitting, the reflective meditation of sitting quietly with one's thoughts while manipulating yarn with needles, the calming effect of the mantra of the stitch pattern, the tactile comfort of smooth yarn and the joy that comes from creating.

Yeah right...I am machine knitting a lot at the moment - designing,trying to translate the images crowding my head out onto paper and into reality, but the problem with designing is that the garment hasn't been knitted before, no-one knows the pitfalls yet... that neckline looks great on paper, but in that stitch it won't go over the head...aaarrrggghhh...back to the drawing board. My strategy for dealing with the self-imposed disappointment and failure is two-fold - knitter know thyself.

  1. spend a day knitting things I have already designed, which work, so I have that feeling of success.
  2. learn a new creative skill, and do it at least halfway ok.

to that end I dragged (yeah sure - more like sprinted) myself to Kinokuniya and perused their fine selection...I found a Japanese/English book on Domino knitting...interesting, Mary has some delightful mitred squares on the go,gorgeous colours and satisfying lines, I love the geometry of mitreing - but it is still knitting and I am presently the anti-knit...but into the basket it went - for the reference library. The next book to come to my attention was one on making buttons from scratch...wool buttons, fabric buttons - fascinating history and useful skill all in one book, silly, silly Jussi...I put it back on the shelf for a few moments while I looked at origami books, and someone else nabbed it...if you are reading this I congratulate you on your book taste - and your speed.

Finally I found this "The new crewel" woohoo! it fits all of my carefully considered criteria (in other words it's not knitting) the author Katherine Shaughnessy has dragged embroidery out of the 19th century, the rules have changed and while I daydream of being a Merchant Ivory heroine, in a diaphanous gown, swooning over my emboidery hoop, the reality is that I am neither tubercular nor prone to fainting, so will have to make do with sitting cross-legged on the couch attempting to reproduce her organic shapes and delicious colours, I also get to indulge in new materials, crewel wool in a multitude of colours, tiny hoops for tension, crewel needles and a box to put it all in.I am happy with the result, it is a sweet addition to a lacy singlet, although next time I will use lace weight yarn for embroidering on knitting, so that it won't disappear into the knit structure quite so much.

And the net result? I am ready to face that metal monster again, ready for failure and disappointment, success and the unmitigated joy of knowing - "I created that"