Knittinglife

Celebrating the imperfect

20171026_151232.jpg

It's something that I've noticed for a while and it's one of those things that once you've noticed it you see it everywhere. Women belittling their achievements be they large or small. Working in the science sector I'm well used to seeing women overlooked and also overlooking their own achievements but I see it in everyday life too and specifically in knitting.

I've noticed a recent "thing" where women are seemingly happy to show off their latest knitting project but feel compelled to point out its errors and "flaws". Why on earth do we do this to ourselves. Even worse, why do we post something and actively draw attention to it in a sort of "spot the ball" competition.

There's a well known knitting quote which I think is attributed to Elizabeth Zimmerman but has also been used by Stephanie Pearl Mc-Phee to the effect that if the mistake won't be noticed by a man on a galloping horse then it's absolutely fine to leave it. There is a 99% chance that it won't be noticed by anyone be they knitter or non-knitter (known as muggles to you and me).

I have to admit that I'm definitely of the school where frogging or ripping something back to correct a mistake is absolutely a last resort. Even things such as a mis-crossed cable I can generally live with unless it is really 'front and centre'. But whilst I'm happy to live with it I certainly wouldn't go around pointing it out to friends and acquaintances. 

Flaws and imperfections are what makes us human surely? Handmade objects are made with love and care and yes, the odd imperfection (or design element, as I prefer to think of them) is part and parcel of what makes them special. Anyone can have an Aran sweater, but only you will have one with a slightly wibbly cable on the left sleeve.

Hurry up...

If force of will alone were sufficient this shawl would have been finished days ago. It has reached the point where I am willing it to be finished. Willing those last 20 to 30g of yarn to form themselves into neat little garter stitches just so that I can whip the thing off my needles and wrap it around my neck.  As the end of a project approaches there are usually a variety of emotions which include, but are not limited to relief, frustration, joy or pride.  With some projects you are having so much fun knitting them that the end almost creeps up on you and catches you unawares. Some you finish with a sense of relief, a sense of duty done and you can finally set it aside and work on something more joyful. But never, I don't think have I wanted to cast off a project so badly.  Not because I'm not enjoying it - it is fabulous easy and soothing knitting. Not because I don't like the yarn or the project - both are lovely and a delight to work on.   It's just that this shawl sums up everything about this fleeting season that I love. Bright sunny days (sometimes), beautiful cherry blossom, fresh vibrant green buds and slightly grey, misty mornings. All summed up in garter stitch goodness just waiting to be wrapped around my neck.  So, armed with strong coffee and a packet of chocolate digestive I've set myself the task of getting to the picot bind off by bedtime tonight. Wish me luck...

If force of will alone were sufficient this shawl would have been finished days ago. It has reached the point where I am willing it to be finished. Willing those last 20 to 30g of yarn to form themselves into neat little garter stitches just so that I can whip the thing off my needles and wrap it around my neck.

As the end of a project approaches there are usually a variety of emotions which include, but are not limited to relief, frustration, joy or pride.  With some projects you are having so much fun knitting them that the end almost creeps up on you and catches you unawares. Some you finish with a sense of relief, a sense of duty done and you can finally set it aside and work on something more joyful. But never, I don't think have I wanted to cast off a project so badly.

Not because I'm not enjoying it - it is fabulous easy and soothing knitting. Not because I don't like the yarn or the project - both are lovely and a delight to work on. 

It's just that this shawl sums up everything about this fleeting season that I love. Bright sunny days (sometimes), beautiful cherry blossom, fresh vibrant green buds and slightly grey, misty mornings. All summed up in garter stitch goodness just waiting to be wrapped around my neck.

So, armed with strong coffee and a packet of chocolate digestive I've set myself the task of getting to the picot bind off by bedtime tonight. Wish me luck...

Things I learnt from my Festival At Home

Don't get me wrong, whilst I thoroughly enjoyed my #bedinburghyarnfest day I'll be the first to admit that the day didn't go entirely in accordance with my nice neat plan.

  • It didn't start well, when immobile DH insisted on coming on the grocery shop with me. I had planned on a quick, military style operation to get the necessary snacks. Shepherding a bear with a sore head(knee) around a crowded Waitrose full of intolerant and grumpy people slowed me down somewhat.

And my quick browse in Ravelry threatened to derail proceedings. Chronic indecision struck and not only could I not decide on a sweater pattern I also couldn't find a single pair of 4mm needle tips in the house. Faced with the choice of pulling the needles out of an existing project (don't judge - we've all done it) or settling down with an existing project I opted for the latter.

I made good progress on my colourwork hot water bottle cosy but then had to search for something easier for rugby watching. My stash search produced 3 skeins of Blacker Yarns Cornish Tin 2 which would have been perfect but on closer inspection one of the skeins had an almighty tangle in it. I decided that untangling it wasn't in the spirit of the day so it went back into the stash.

I did manage to locate a beautiful yarn cake - bought at EYF last year from The Wool Kitchen. A ready to knit gradient yarn from the Urban hints range. This has been cast on into a nice simple shawl. For now I'm just working simple stocking stitch and I'll decide on a border later on.

For next  time my learning points would be to

  • Wind yarn ahead of time
  • Plan a new cast on properly and amass the necessary materials - don't try to do it on the fly
  • Buy more snack - and don't forget the cake!