It struck me this morning as I sat and played with a colourwork design that there is only so much time to knit.
I’ve commonly read that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master craftsperson. That’s the equivalent of three hours’ practice a day for 10 years. According to that theory, I’m still a few years away from become a master!
Knitting has so many dimensions. Lace. Cables. “Gansey”. Fair isle. Then there are all the many stitches in ‘ordinary’ knitting that need understanding (all a combination of knit and purl). Not to mention mastering the intricacies of tension, garment design and general theory relating to knitting, yarn and fibre characteristics. To become a knitting master – to have mastery over all these facets is going to take me a lifetime. I know it.
I decided at the beginning of the year that to advance my goal of becoming a master knitter, every project I do must teach me something new. If I didn’t learn something new, it would be hours wasted. Knitting for me is as much about intellectual stimulation as it is relaxation. The learning part is just as thrilling to me as that of finishing a new project and wearing it or seeing it being appreciated by its recipient.
So what does this mean for the fair isle piece I was playing with? It means that I realised pretty quickly that I still need to learn a lot about designing colourwork. I need more practice in colour theory before I go there.
It also means that although I want “to knit all the things” I will have to choose my projects carefully if I want to maximise my learning opportunities.
The past few days have seen me agonising over what to knit next. It feels like I haven’t been knitting at all. Although I must have been, because I have sore, plastered fingers to show for it…
The reason for the agonising is because I know that next winter, we’re going to freeze if I don’t get more knits done for the kids and I. So the planning has to start now because I only have two hands and only so much time, and there are so many considerations to take into account. Learning. Function. Beauty. Design. Taste (some people in this household are fussy.) What I have in my ‘stash’ that matches with what I want to knit…
On a related note, did you know about the Ravelry queue feature that allows you to print out your queue so that you can match a pattern to yarn? (I’ve only just discovered its useful potential). Now I have a list that I can use to browse my wool collection to see what I have that matches with what I want to knit. It would be easier if I had all my ‘stash’ on Ravelry of course… Still, the feature is very handy!
I’m off to do some ‘stash diving’ now.
I’ll leave you with some photos that I took on a recent beach walk which have me thinking: