Just Knitting

March 2011 204Sometimes I get so very tired of knitting. No, I do not tire of knitting - that simple enjoyable activity that involves a ball of string and two pointy sticks - but I do tire of certain aspects involved in knitting.

I tire of the one-upmanship I see in the knitting community. That you need to be knitting the latest viral pattern craze in precious hand-spun unicorn yarn from a small island off the coast of Chile to be a cool knitter. Or that coolness equates you knitting crazy Estonian lace at knitting group whilst shrugging off its difficulty with a modest "oh, it's straightforward, really" and frantically counting in your head. I'm currently that last knitter (although my stitch pattern is straightforward, honestly) and I'm even knitting my crazy Estonian lace in an expensive designer yarn. Where is this one-upmanship coming from?

I tire of the idea of "a knitting community" too.

I was recently contacted by another knitter who asked me to share a copyrighted pattern "to support our knitting community". Really? Just because I knit, I am not automatically your new best friend. We share a common interest but I am not just a knitter. My identity has so many other markers that I do not feel automatic kinship with anyone who knits.

Besides, the very idea of a "community" is ridiculous when I see these self-confessed 'yarn snobs' and 'knitteristas' roll their eyes at seeing someone knitting a baby jacket on straight needles using cheap mass-market yarn. Isn't "the knitting community" just another way of saying "exclusive club"?

So, honestly, I needed something to cleanse my palate. I wanted to be reminded why I love knitting so much.

March 2011 210 I took my inspiration from the recent Rowan magazine - it is actually turning into one of my favourite resources together with Knit1 Fall/Winter 2008 - and specifically Kaffe Fassett's Unwind Wrap. I looked in my stash, uncovered some yarns that went well together and I sat down to knit. I had no plan, no pattern, and I just used up some spare balls from the stash. No fuss, all freedom.

It felt great. I felt great.

I'm going to weave in my gazillion ends now and then get my partner to shoot a few photos of me wearing my newest project - but I'm not going to make out that it is the most exclusive, most amazing, or super-difficult project ever. Knitting it made me feel good and wearing it (despite the many loose ends) makes me feel good.

But at the end it is just knitting, you know?

Hello, it's Me Again

junedoorI have had the strangest weekend ever. Okay, maybe not ever ever, but it was strange. We went up to Aberdeenshire and strangeness ensured. I'm home now, thank heavens. My partner, Dave, is away at Dr. Sketchy's and it's quiet here. I have ripe plums waiting for me and I am enjoying having bare feet. It's the small things, you see. Two things, though, before a brief spiel about another Finished Object (pictured left):

1) Yes, I speak excellent English. This is not the result of me having met David and lived in Scotland for a few years. You do not need to compliment me on how fast I've picked up English. And do take note when I talk about having lived in the UK on and off since the mid-90s and having a degree in English. This means I'm not an illiterate foreigner who moved here because Scotland is flowing with milk and honey. Yes, really, I get that my English is surprisingly good for a non-native speaker. I KNOW THIS. I DO NOT NEED YOU TO KEEP TELLING ME.

(wow, that felt good)

2) We travelled from Aberdeen to Glasgow on a bus filled with tipsy Aberdonian mums-off-the-leash going to see Take That in concert at Glasgow's Hampden Park. That was slightly .. unsettling. I tried to doze to shut out the painful conversations behind me, but to no avail.

Finished object, then.

I was making a cardigan out of two different colourways of Kauni yarn. The idea was to make a crocheted top-down yoked cardigan (these words make sense if you are a knitter or crocheter, believe me). I finished the main bit of the cardigan, crocheted buttonbands and .. it looked frumpy. No, it looked more than just frumpy: it looked like something taken from What the Hell Is This? modelled by Monica Lewinsky. So, scissors came out and fiddled around with the fabric until it dawned on me that I was holding a rather cool top. I just needed to crochet it together and leave enough room for my big head to pop through.

Thus the Kauni top (also known as Sun Ray) came into existence. I'm rather fond of it as it warms my always-cold backside whilst leaving my arms free to do whatever my arms do. I am already planning a few more - possibly in Kauni, but definitely crocheted in the round. The photo is rather arty and doesn't show the top well, but I was having an awkward photo day and this one is at least semi-presentable.

Next: another crazily busy week interspersed with knitting and hopefully some relaxation. Ha.