Meditational knitting is a good way to travel –either out of or back into real life. I’ve been doing this recently and have hit upon an attractive mutation of a little shawlette pattern in the process. In a previous post I mentioned knitting “Citron” (designed by Hilary Smith Callis and featured in Knitty.com, Winter 2009). I started this pattern in Mountain Colors Winter Lace weight yarn some weeks ago and found it to be a very relaxing social knit. Everything is knit or purl with occasional make 1’s and K2tog thrown in.
I knit and knit on it, enjoying being with kindred souls. It was wonderful, and I loved the yarn, Mountain Colors Winter Lace (Jr.) “Harmony Plum,”loved the feel of the needles, and enjoyed not having to think about anything.
In fact, it was so relaxing that I apparently went on auto-pilot knitting, skipped a decrease round in the ruching pattern (which essentially doubled the total number of stitches), and drove on, very happily knitting. There came a point, however, when I came back to earth, feeling that the project had gotten out of hand–had almost taken on a life of its own. The shawlette was much bigger than a normal 360-degree circle—and Citron isn’t even a circle– and the ruffles rufflier. But who knows, I thought, this could result in something very special–or worst case it could continue growing (were I able to obtain more yarn) until it filled out entire condo. It could go either way, although I was leaning toward the former likelihood–you may know by now that I tend toward optmism! And so I kept working on it, going with the flow.
Several days ago I finished (i.e., ran out of the Mountain Colors yarn) what became the body of the shawlette and added a final additional ruffle to the outside edge. I chose Rowan kidsilk haze laceweight yarn—in shade 579—which to me looks like “ELECTRIC FUSHIA/PURPLE!–to make the final ruffle. It is pulls out one of the colors in the handpaint lace yarn which looks very much like Zephyr (50/50 merino/silk) to me. I love
it! If I went out more often, I would keep this to wear to musical events, to the theatre or to special dinners. I can see it floating over an elegant fitted dress—maybe black–but navy and purple would work just as well. I see this in the future of one of the special younger women in my life…..there are several— and they’d all look great in it and most definitely get more use from it than I would.
When I diverged from the Citron pattern, I’d been knitting meditationally as a way of grappling with a project that means a lot to me—-creating special socks for a friend. I’ve been thinking about this for a some months now and putting a lot a pressure on myself about this having to be the the perfect socks for the intended reipient—or at least the most wonderful ones that I can execute! I’ve so often heard myself say to students that we don’t want perfectionism to get in the way of our enjoyment of knitting!!! Right!!
One of my good friends said to me the other day that I needed to “just do it,” and I am following her sage advice. Last night I sat down, and after thinking endlessly about possibilities, decided how I’d proceed to sketch them out this morning.
I love the planning and design part of any project. I am surrounded by baskets of yarn in all colors. They speak to me, and my soul sings. This music began a number of years ago when I heard Sally Melville say that having a yarn collection (i.e., stash) was OK, not something anyone should feel ashamed about. It’s not really different than having any other sort of collection, and it’s so therapeutic to surround ourselves with what we love.
Tomorrow is going to be a good day as I dive completely into this project. Maybe I will knit very fast as I sit with my husband who will be watching activities that lead up to the Indianapolis 500 this weekend very intently!