Thursday, July 27, 2006

Obsessing

Knitters are a crazy, funky, anal group, aren't we? How many other 'hobbies' (if you can call the insanely addictive practice of looping long stretches of fiber together with pointy sticks something as innocuous as a 'hobby') do people expect to do 100% perfectly every time? I mean, no chef ever assumes that the dish will come out looking exactly like the picture in the cookbook. No gardner ever assumes that every plant they stick into the ground will live. Why oh why do we demand that we must be different? Sheesh, with some hobbies it's the imperfections that give the hobby it's zest and excitement!

I was thinking of obsessing because I met yesterday for my 2-3x/weekly knitting visit with my friend K, and she was working on her Birch shawl............still. Again. She's ripped and re-ripped this sucker within an inch of it's life a grand total of five (?) six (?) times now - and she's finally got it. And she showed me her current progress with the crowing and (understandibly) gleeful sentence "IT'S PERFECT! It has NO mistakes in it!!!" And I looked at it in awe (she's right, it's PERFECT) - - and the crazy part was that I totally understood. I totally got why she had ripped when she did before, and why - at the end of her second ball of Kid Silk (it's made w/ a total of three skeins, so she's *so*close!) if she had really screwed up - an un-tinking, un-tweaking kind of screw-up - - she'd have ripped it all the way out and started again. Again. Despite the fact that ripping out mohair, much less mohair/silk is an absolute migrane-causing nightmare. (And K? Beautiful shawl. Seriously. The hell that the multi-coloured KS has put you through is totally worth it. Next week I'm taking your picture with it!)

When I ordered 2 skeins of Sundara sock yarn (her 'cedars' colourway) I was bound and determined to find the perfect sock pattern for it. I went searching everywhere I could think of - in Nancy Bush books, in Knitty, in Magknits, in Interweave Knits, online............and eventually I stumbled upon Theresa's website and her incredibly amazing Here There Be Dragons socks and knew that I had finally found it. But was I content with that? Ohhhhhhh noooooo...... I had to search and see who else had knitted the socks. And what changes they might have made and if I liked those changes better or worse than the original........ Which is how I stumbled across Claudia's blog and her version of the socks and a picture of her "detailed short-row toe". So that started an obsession if I should e-mail Claudia and ask her by what exactly she meant by *detailed* so that I could do it exactly the same.....................

................and then I thought "good god, woman, is this really what you spend all of your free-time thinking about????"

Uh, yup.

Below is a current WIP - my silk/rayon clapotis #2 for a co-worker friend of mine made from some Limited Edition (Turkish Carpet Silk/Rayon) Interlacements. I think (think!) I'm about halfway done, as I've dropped 5 rows worth of stitches, and I'm thinking I'll only want to drop about 10 stitches worth (the pattern calls for something like 13, and I did my Silk Garden one about 16, and it turned out what I think will be a bit too long for my friend to ultimately manage) so in my mind that makes it halfway done despite the fact that the decrease section must follow after that 10th dropped row. I don't know how truly in love with this yarn I am. When I first got it in the mail it was all I could do not to run off to a deserted tropical isle with it as I loved it that much......but then I got working with it and realized that is really, really stringy. It's not spun at all - there's NO twist - it's just silk and rayon being neighborly. And woah but that is a pain to work with. And it has this very odd feel in your hands when you work with it. Gritty isn't the right word. Neither is squeaky - that's acrylic yarn to me, so it's not acrylic-y squeak-y. It's something else. And when I think of what that something else is I'll be sure to let you know.

Oh, and why the clapotis story at the end of my obsession story? Because honestly - how long do you think I trolled every living blasted website looking for non-animal yarn with which to make this sucker? I'm not even going to venture a guess - concretely realizing how much of my life got sucked away as I clicked and squinted at skein after skein after skein would only be too depressing....

1 comment:

Laura said...

My grandmother tats too but it's something I could never get the hang of! :)