It amuses me to think as I finish Wholehearted II that I’ve come a full circle in my knitting.
In fairly typical fashion for the times, the first things I knitted when I learned to knit were scarves. They were “avant-garde” creations, with inexplicable holes (I now know caused by accidental yarn overs), and sides that grew alarmingly in width (see said holes), but my efforts were very kindly supported by family members, and worn anyway. And after a few months, I moved on to garments, also with funny results like waistcoats with fronts on unequal length (bless my mother for actually wearing it!) and jumpers that were supposed to be size 10 but came out at a size 16… (wrong tension, probably) until one day it all came together and I produced something that actually looked how it was supposed to.
After a 20 year break from knitting, I began again with scarves. And more scarves. They were my ‘zen’ knitting I realise now – the thing to ease the stress of moving countries, a new job, finding a place in a new life. These scarves didn’t have holes. They were straight-edged and evenly tensioned, but unconsciously, I used them to learn new stitches. All sorts of patterns went on to them – squares, cables, ribbing. It was fun. Until one day, I branched into garments.
And now, I find myself once again knitting neck wear. Not the basic rectangle this time, and slightly more sophisticated. Once again, I find myself learning as I knit. This time, it’s lace and triangular shawl construction. I wonder what it is about scarves/shawls/cowls?
Perhaps it’s because they’re almost immediate gratification – most scarves/shawls/cowl things are only 100 – 200g in weight, maybe 300g at the very most. That’s just one or two skeins of yarn most of the time. Perhaps it’s the snuggle factor? And the ability to cheer up an otherwise dark winter outfit? Maybe it’s because they are so versatile: handy in air-conditioned offices, and a little whisper of beauty to cover the shoulders on a cool summer evening. Perhaps it’s because they’re interesting to knit as well, in lush lace, or with pretty stitch patterns. I’ve also realised that knitting neck wear is the thing I unconsciously do when I’m not feeling entirely at ease with the world.
Shawls have become a bit of a “virus” among knitters (as evidenced on Ravelry and noted recently by the inimitable Yarn Harlot) – particularly this one.
The pattern was gifted to me (it sounds like I get a lot of gifts doesn’t it!?) a few weeks ago, and I love it because of its shape and the colour changes, and the fact that it is not lace. I like that I can drape it around me like the pashminas that were all the rage a few years ago. Because it is so popular, many of you guessed I was planning one with this yarn combination:
Clever girls. I am indeed planning a Colour Affection with it. I really want to knit it for the main reason that the gift came from a special friend whom I do a bit of swapping with, and I felt bad that so far I have hardly knitted any of the yarn she’s given me (I love it all too much), while she’s knitted all the stuff I’ve sent her!
However, the garter stitch thing is really putting me off. I did a second swatch for it this week, and I have to say, I really do not like the look of garter stitch. As an element of interest it’s fine, but a whole shawl in it?? I’m wondering if I could adapt the pattern to have elements of stocking stitch in it? It will be pretty much reversible, with a garter look on the other side… I think I will do some experimenting and see how I go.
In the meantime, there are other exciting projects lining up for their turn on the needles. So much more to tell you about!