Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Yarn for Thought

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged as well! Answer the following questions in your blog, and leave a link in the comments. Here's where it all started. I was asking myself something like these very questions when I was walking Pepper last night. Something about dog walking leads me to ruminate. Hmmm.

#1 Is it about the finished item or about the process of knitting? Some of both? Has your focus changed one direction or the other over time?

It used to be about the FO. Getting it done, and if it was done imperfectly, or even bizarrely, that's ok. Now, it is still kind of about the FO. I still want something to show for all the time I have put into a project, but the journey really is half, or even more than half, of the fun now. I find myself enjoying the process more, and wanting the experience of new techniques. Not just learning them, but feeling the subtleties of a given technique in my hands.

What is really funny to me now is, I enjoy the long middle period of a project more than anything else. That part in which you are knitting and knitting and knitting, and finishing is really far off. It is my favorite part. Starting is exciting, but comes with frustrations, like trying to get gauge, or worrying that the yarn isn't working out as well as you'd hoped.

As I get nearer to finishing, I get antsy and obsessed about finishing RIGHT NOW, often struggle through the finishing (especially if there is sewing up involved). And then, when it is all done, I have sort of a post-project depression until something new seizes me, and the whole thing starts anew.

The only truly perfectly enjoyable phase for me is the middle. So, I think it is mostly about the process of knitting for me these days.

#2 How do you view mistakes? Do you think they give your project character? Is it important to have one, as my Aunt says, because only God is perfect? Or would you rip all the way back to row 5 of your husband's finished sweater knit on size 3 needles to eradicate a mistake no one else would notice?

I will let a mistake go if all of the following are true: it isn't structural (i.e., the garment won't fall apart because of it); it is unnoticeable; and it is several rows back. I don't shoot for perfection, but I do shoot for something pretty close to it. If it is worth doing, it is worth doing correctly, and to the best of my ability/sanity, that is what I try to do.

#3 Would you rather knit a project that is comfortable for your skill level, or do you prefer a challenge that requires you to figure out new things?

Challenge. I will ease into new things, but once I feel I am ready to try something new/more difficult I don't hesitate to do it in some form or another. I will often return to something simpler, though, and find that return very refreshing. I also try to do simpler projects in an innovative way to keep them new and interesting. EZ's garments are great for that, and I have (re)discovered how much I like garter stitch if it is done in an unusually constructed garment. I recently made a ribwarmer and was amazed at how quickly the knitting went because I couldn't wait to see how it all worked. I am looking forward to making a Bog Jacket for a similarly eye-opening experience.

#4 What is something you really want to make but haven't yet? What holds you back? Is it money, skill level, time, fear of the unknown or something else?

Nothing specific. I think I am on track toward making everything I feel I really have to make. I know I won't hit all techniques/projects in my lifetime, and it is unlikely that I will truly master any one in particular. I love the idea of being a master knitter, the one who knows nearly everything there is to know, but I started too late for that, I think. It makes me a little sad, actually, but I am realistic about it, and just keep knitting.

If there is one thing I feel I must do and haven't yet, it might be a wedding ring shawl. I don't think I am held back on doing it. I get a little closer with every lace item I make.

1 comment:

joyce said...

i love your answers. i think we see a lot of things the same way, although you are a far more talented knitter than i will ever be. your knitting is incredible!