Saturday, 18 September 2010

Flow

Sometimes I wonder why I am a knitter. Why do I enjoy the thousands and thousands of small movements that slowly build up a piece of work layer by layer such that rarely a day goes by without sitting down and adding a few rows to one project or another? I quite often ask myself that question myself when I get bogged down in a project that never seems to end or doesn't seem to be turning out to look like it did in my mind's eye. The yarn may not feel comfortable in my hands, the needles too long, too short, too grippy, too slippy.

It is wonderful, therefore when a project defies the odds. It helps to take a yarn in one of my favourite colours, bright, golden yellow, in a gorgeous fibre, merino and silk in lace weight that is neither too heavy or too light. This is Gloaming by the Yarn Yard, an 80% merino 20% silk lace weight yarn which gives 800metres to 100grammes. Light but not insubstantial.

I decided that I would make another Bitterroot from Knitty as I have given away the purple one that I made at the beginning of the year to my friend Cathy in Australia - the colour is perfect for her. This colour is much more me. It helps to have a pattern which whilst rarely static for long has enough predictability and readability for me to really start to relax, enjoying the feel of the yarn through my fingers, devouring every stitch, eager to make progress but also wanting to savour the experience. I've heard this feeling of being completely at one with whatever you are doing is called Flow.

Wikipedia describes it as 'the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity'. Whatever it is, I think it's the feeling that we as knitters and crafts people strive for and are lucky enough to achieve.

Apparently it has all sorts of benefits . Who knew?

As with all lace, at the moment the shawl looks somewhat indifferent whilst under construction. I will have to wait until it is blocked for it to transform itself into something rather special.

Mind you, it will be a shame to lose these textural elements as they appear on the wrong side.

Another positive dimension to this shawl is,just when I think I might get a bit bogged down and lose my Flow, I get to add beads! Luckily I found I had these beads on hand which should blend in pretty well.

And finally, in case I need any more motivation....

I need a shawl to match these shoes.............

Friday, 17 September 2010

A Clean Start

I really have no explanation for why it has taken me so long to return to this blog - probably the longest interval since I started writing. Blame the summer and the lure of the great outdoors.

I think it is fair to say that summer in London is drawing to a close. I believe I have eaten my last home grown red tomatoes and the morning was chilly enough for me to reach for a pair of warm woolly socks from my sadly depleted sock drawer.

Some rummaging in the laundry bag later the reason became clear - a significant backlog on the sock washing front. I know that much sock yarn is perfectly safe to be machine washed but I prefer to wash my hand knitted socks by hand - I think they do stay looking better for longer and having spent so much time in making them I do feel a great deal more responsibility towards them than if they were shop bought.

So there you have it - celebrating the turn of the season with 25 freshly washed, line dried pairs of socks. I think I might even be looking forward to autumn - just a little bit.