I don’t blog much about either relationships while I’m in them or knitting. There are a couple of reasons for this reticence about relationships, one being respect for the privacy of whoever I’m with, another being that blogging about a relationship is a form of commitment that I’m not always ready to make. I don’t blog about knitting so much because, well, for one thing, I’m not the most hard core knitter out there. For instance, I have yet to knit a sock, a fact which raises the eyebrows of more serious knitters, who assure me that is a life-changing experience. I have heard enough people tell me this that I’m pretty damn curious to see if my life will be changed this way. I even tried to take a class on sock-knitting last fall, but it was full.
But another reason I don’t blog much about either knitting or being in love is that they’re among the few things that, if I have the choice between doing them or writing about them, I’ll almost always do the thing itself. That’s not true of shoveling the driveway or being homesick. It’s not even true of making cookies--lately I’ve been hankering for my favorite chocolate chocolate chip cookies but it just seems like too much bother to make them. It’s certainly not true of having sex--some sex I’ve had was way better than anything I could write about it but some wasn’t. It’s not even true of reading Jane Austen or watching Buffy.
Lately I’ve been knitting a fair amount, and maybe that’s one reason I’m more willing to blog about it now--perhaps I’ve reached a certain saturation point. I guess I’ve also found a project I’d rather write about than work on: this lace shawl.
It’s just the most annoying pattern. It’s so intricate that I have to stay very intent on each stitch, but the stitches aren’t so interesting--just lots of increases and decreases--that I really enjoy what I’m doing. And if I drop a stitch or forget a decrease or something, it’s a real pain in the ass, which is why there are those strands of yarn in there: they’re called life lines, because if you end up having to rip out stitches on something this complicated, you’ll have to rip out clear to the beginning unless something keeps stitches secure at an earlier point in the work. I was supposed to have it done by Christmas 2007; I think I’ll be lucky to have it done by Christmas 2008.
I’m also making a basic cardigan, nothing too fancy; the challenge in this project is that I’m designing it myself. I want to see if I understand sweater construction well enough that I can come up with gauge and a look and make something that fits me. Elements will be borrowed from patterns in books I own, but it won’t be based on any single pattern already in existence. This is due partly to the fact that I couldn’t find a single pattern that was what I wanted--if I had found one, I would simply make that pattern. And that’s one of the differences between knitting and sewing that I find hard to adapt to: in sewing, you just change patterns. You just alter things and substitute fabrics and it all usually turns out OK. That’s not true with knitting. It’s much more complicated.
Anyway, here’s a photo of the back of the sweater:
the bottom border is seed or moss stitch, one of my favorites. The body of the sweater is in a very easy stitch I just discovered. The book I found it in called it “the woven knit stitch,” but I can’t find any other references to that. Anyway, I think it looks cool, and it’s very easy. It’s worked with an odd number of stitches, and goes like this:
Row 1: knit 1, * yarn forward, slip one stitch, yarn back, knit 1; repeat from * to end.
Row 2: purl.
Row 3: knit 2, * yarn forward, slip one stitch, yarn back, knit 1; repeat from * to last stitch, knit 1.
Row 4: purl.
It is, of course, almost stockinette, but this slight and very easy change to the stitch gives it a subtle increase in texture and visual appeal.
I like the way the purl side looks too:
I have one other major textile project going, but it’s really special and I think it deserves an entry all of its own.