Monday, August 15, 2011

A Philosophical Discussion

Today is the 15th and that means I can start Camp Loopy's Project III. I'm using 2 skeins of Dream in Color Baby (linked to the Loopy Ewe's page since they are the wonderful founders of this Camp) in Happy Forest. I LOVE it so far. The colors are wonderfully subtle but enough to keep my attention. I'm knitting the Gail Shawl. This project you just have to use at least 800 yards of yarn. I have 2 skeins of this yarn and it's 700 yards/skein so I have PLENTY to knit a lovely big shawl to wrap up in.

Here is my start. It doesn't look like much of anything yet.

You may remember that I knit a smaller version of this shawl, a shawlette earlier. I really liked the pattern and was only disappointed that I couldn't knit it larger because I didn't have enough yarn. Well, this morning as I was sitting here knitting and trying to get back into the pattern, I was thinking.

I thought about the last time I knit this pattern and I made a mistake. There are a couple of rows where the pattern calls for a double yarn over in the center to start two repeats. I don't like the look of the double yarn over. I think it makes too large a hole so I would do a single yarn over and then purl into the front and back of it on the wrong side. Something went wrong when I was quite far into the pattern and my attempt to fix it looked awful, I had to rip and reknit. I managed to do it with very little struggle and I was thinking of it this morning.

You know how when you start a new project you think about how you could execute it absolutely perfectly? With no mistakes? I was daydreaming about that while purling across a row and thinking about the mistake I made in the other version and how I could avoid making mistakes in this shawl. I thought about a lifeline and I nearly laughed out loud.

Remember back a few years ago when I was knitting Mystery Shawl 3? I hated doing those lifelines but I was so scared I would make a mistake and not be able to fix it! I did MULTIPLE lifelines. I marked carefully on the pattern where they were located so if I should have to pull back to there, I knew where to start again. The thought of doing them this time was ... funny?

I was momentarily confused and then I started thinking some more (I know it scares you every time right?) about knitting and how far I've come.

Those of you who know me well, know that I have been knitting for a long time. I learned when I was 10 from my great aunt. She taught me to cast on and to knit while visiting one day and then she left. She taught me no more after that, even when I did see her again. I spent several years knitting and ripping and knitting and ripping and then figuring things out for myself. I managed to figure out purling and backward knitting and all sorts of things. I eventually found a book and continued my knitting education with learning to do other things like other cast ons and lace many other things.

It got me thinking about how long it has been since I mastered all those basics and yet, I still find things that challenge me. Not only that but just a few years ago I was scared of lace, scared of losing my place in a pattern, I've come so far since then, knitting and frogging with little care and I wondered about my lovely readers.

What have you knit that even a few years ago would have scared you beyond belief? What still scares you? (Steeks, I haven't done any yet. I should really try it someday.) How far have you come in your knitting and how far do you still have to go?

1 comment:

JennaKate said...

Great discussion idea! I remember when I started knitting socks, I thought I was SO COOL. Now, I'm knitting a steeked bohus-style sweater on size 2 needles - and I'm a little freaked. A little :)