Monday, 7 September 2009

Musings on Knitterly Stuff

A few weeks ago I saw some yarn listed on a website as 'this season's new colours' and couldn't help smiling as my first thought was is there really a need for 'seasonal' colours when it comes to yarn as it's probably only going to be added to the stash and not used until the knitter who's bought it matches it to a pattern?

But then, I started to wonder if stashaholics (and, with my 25-ish km of stash-yarn I must surely qualify for this title) are the norm in KnittingLand, or if, in fact, the majority of people who knit have one item on the needles at a time and only venture out to buy yarn when they want to make something and then get pattern, yarn and appropriate needles (if required) all at the same time.

Now, to me, having several projects available to work on seems perfectly reasonable. After all, I might want to watch a film or programme on TV and be able to knit at the same time, so something in plain stocking stitch is ideal, or, I might be in the mood for something more architectural, which usually includes cables; or, I might want something that requires concentration, so it will take my mind off the various stresses of the day, which usually means lace. However, for many knitters, does my many items on the go methodology/approach seem haphazard or weird, especially as although I rarely frog anything I start, it can sometimes take me months to complete something (my Ishbel springs to mind).

Now, of course, I've opened up a new train of thought as I type this. I mentioned my Ishbel. I'm assuming that as this is a knitting blog and that there's little chance that anyone not interested in the craft of knitting will read this, those who do stumble across this rambling entry will know what I'm talking about (it's a knitted shawl designed by Ysolda Teague - that's for the poor soul who's mis-typed a web address and has ended up reading this). With such resources for knitters as Ravelry and other forums such as Phoenix Knitting where we can browse patterns and yarn and discuss our hobby to our hearts' content, saying the name of a pattern in knitting company means immediate nodding of heads and discussion as to the merits of that pattern and what changes we'd make if we were to make it ourselves. Pre-Internet, starting a new project meant going to the local yarn shop and choosing from what they had available (does this mean I can blame the Internet for my yarn-stash?).

Is there a spectrum upon which knitting folk have their place? At one end, the knitter who makes things with a specific purpose in mind (i.e. a child needs a new school jumper) and at the other, the knitter who indulges in the craft simply for the joy of creating something out of needles and yarn and who separates patterns and yarn that attract him or her, with a view to matching up the two at some point (when, of course, the other bazillion WIPs are finished)?

Just some thoughts........ I'm off to research chunky/bulky-weight yarn in brown so I'm set for my copy of Made In Brooklyn arriving in the post (Quincy's the first design I'm planning on making - it's a hat, for those not in the know!!!).