Wednesday, 7 October 2009

In which knitting brings out the worst in me

Now I have always serenely imagined that when I indulge myself in the fibre arts I am allowing my very best and most creative self to express herself fully as a way of compensation for all the compromises, frustrations and less than admirable behaviours I have to display in my working and domestic life.

With knitting and spinning I am artistic, creative, meticulous and productive. If I was allowed to knit all day I would be a far better citizen and human being than the flawed character who stands before you. As I was preparing to go away for the weekend to the Isle of Wight to see my dad (a euphemism for two days uninterrupted knitting and chatting time with meals thrown in) I could have been sensible and taken a couple of my many unfinished items and made substantial progress on them.The problem is that I just didn't want to. I wanted to take shiny new projects away with me and forget about everything in my to do pile gazing at me balefully. Then it dawned on me. I can do exactly what I please in my knitting - if I want to have 100 things on the go then I can, it doesn't have to always show my best side, sometimes it's a very convenient place to indulge my habits of procrastinating, starting but not finishing, being seduced by the new and shiny... certainly less risky than letting them out at work!

So my lesson for today is - do what you love - there is no such thing as the perfect knitter - be wild, undisciplined and enjoy yourself - I do!

Thus liberated I had a good rummage through my sock yarn and chose a couple of skeins in colours that caught my eye.

On the left is some Yarn Yard Toddy in the club colours from last month and on the right is some Malabrigo sock.

While I was at my dad's I went out into the garden and took a few random photos of indicators of the change of season such as these leaves...

and these horse chestnuts, shiny straight from their husks.

It occurred to me that I had chosen warm colours, in keeping with the shades that things are now turning and in warm tones to lift the spirits as the nights draw in.
My initial thoughts were just to knot a couple of plain toe up socks as a way of imprinting the basic toe up sock recipe in my mind but then as I started the first tow I got to wondering what the pattern would look like a bit jumbled up so I got out the simple diamond pattern that I had used in my horse chestnut socks and started playing around with it.

In plain stocking stitch the short colour repeats make for a very pleasing overall texture

But a very simple stitch pattern givessome interest without being overwhelmed by the colour repeats as there are no real jarring contrasting colours so they harmonise well.

As I wound the Malabrigo into a ball it struck me that the overall effect of the shades was by no means overtly feminine and therefore suitable for a mansock. I decided to have a go at Wendy Johnson's Mock Cable Socks sized for a larger foot.

I have to say I am totally smitten with this yarn - the shades that they have blended make such a warm and sophisticated overall palette.

and the mock cable make then a little bit more interesting to knit.

It was also a wonderful feeling not to be encumbered by my bag of unfinished items and to start everything from scratch. Naughty but nice....
Thanks to everyone for their good wishes for my trip - I fly out at stupid o'clock tomorrow morning but should be in New York City for lunch - how about that?
Have I packed yet? Of course not!


Anna said...

I'm loving the colour and design of that sock, can't wait to see the finished object!

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

the colours are stunning and I love how you've tweaked the plain sock with the pattern.
enjoy NY! Lucky you!

Ice Princess said...

I love the warmth of those colors, and the sock is looking very lovely!!! Look forward to seeing it finished.

LynS said...

I particulalry like the colour of the Malabrigo - so warm. I remember being really struck by how fresh and Spring-like the colours were of the socks you knitted in Spring...and now these lovely autumnal colours. Most seasonal.

Bells said...

that malabrigo sock is gorgeous!!

and I do rather like your take on letting the knitting sometimes show our less admirable side, because we can!

dreamcatcher said...

Gorgeous colours, both! I agree wholeheartedly about the knitting - it's supposed to be fun and enjoyable after all! Bon Voyage!

Roobeedoo said...

Hooray for liberation! It's so good to be reminded that knitting is supposed to be FUN and it doesn't matter what you do or when you do it! Lucky you re NY! o h - and lovely autumnal socks!

Jenny said...

Unfinished items can really weigh on the conscience but I think special time away deserves special yarn. Love what you are doing, yarn and pattern are fab.

Rose Red said...

Oh, New York for lunch! How fabulous!!

I'm with you on knitting projects - I feel no guilt at starting something new even if I have 20 other WIPS already. They'll all get done, in time, there's no real rush (well, mostly). It's my pleasure time, knitting, so I'm not going to feel guilty about it!

Linda said...

Lovely socks. i wish I could tweak patterns like that!

Anni said...

Gorgeous socks. And congrats on your mention in Let's Knit.