Thursday, July 25, 2013

Think twice, knit once

A few weeks ago, I said to myself that I wouldn't start anything new (read: the new Jane shawl) until I finished at least two things.  I meant Fuchsia Wave and Aurora Borealis, because starting another shawl when I already had two almost finished seemed like madness.  However, as I finished my Lacey in Red socks yesterday, I realized that I HAD reached the required "two" projects. 

So I gave myself permission to start the process.  Not start knitting, of course.  We are several steps away from that.  I am now allowed to fondle the yarn.  Pet it, as it speaks to me and tells me what it wants to be when it grows up.  I took the yarn to work, but didn't work on it.  I am not sure how this is a necessary part of the process, but it always seems to happen, so it must be. 

I have looked at the pattern, read the pattern several times, and skimmed other's comments about the pattern on Ravelry.  (Really, how did we ever function before Ravelry?  Oh, I remember, scores of knitters experienced the same issue with a pattern, then had to either give up, whine to a knitting friend, or muddle through on their own.)  I have tried not to be TOO distracted by other potential patterns, while keeping an open mind about what the yarns wants to become.   

As I become a more experienced knitter, I like to think that I am becoming a smarter knitter too.  A smart knitter doesn't blunder forward casting on with whatever pattern, yarn and needles happens to be closest to their hands at the time.  A smart knitter thinks about whether the yarn and the pattern will be right for each other.  Will this yarn work with the guage?  Will the yarn drape as the pattern intends?  Will the yarn color and pattern designs work together? 

Thinking, in theory, reduces the likelihood of knitting a few rows, then ripping them out entirely through tears of frustration. 

Even as I am going through this process with Jane, I blundered my way into a very small little pretty out of one lone partial skein of mohair.  Very small.  Hardly counts as a work in progress at all.  Row 3.  Major issues. 

Excuse me while I go rip out a very small piece of mohair.  No, I am not crying, the wind is making my eyes water. 

Today, it is all about the thinking.   

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