Monday, May 08, 2006

And that must have been summer.

At least that's what it felt like. Three or four warm, sunny days and now we're back to damp and gloom. I do have tangible, er, painful proof that I saw the sun: no work done, lack of blog, sunburned shoulders, and a 'green bin' (compostable waste) full of the cleavers aka goosegrass that would otherwise be smothering one of the borders. There's more of it running rampant in two other beds, but I can't see them from here so that's ok. I did finish the next moebius cowl. 'Mineral' is very apt for the colourway. The plant nestled in the 'rock' is Sweet Woodruff. It's a relatively desirable relative of that blasted cleavers, which is spreading nicely to provide ground cover. The flowers smell lovely; according to Grigson (The Englishman's Flora) the entire plant smells of sweet hay when dried and was traditionally used to strew floors, stuff mattresses and scent linen. I want to know how they managed to dry it in a traditional English spring!

Within minutes of finishing the cowl I had cast on for The Second Felt, a summerweight moebius shoulderbag in Manos 'Granite' with 'Citric' stripes from A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting. Lovely wool. I had an accident on Amazon recently that included a copy of Alterknits. I feel even more compelled to knit the laced armwarmers now I've played with the Manos. It's very soft.
I also like the scarves that lace together to become a wrap. I haven't cabled for a decade or more, and the urge is growing stronger every day. There's a lovely top with velvet edging, too. I've already bought the Jaeger Trinity to make the Modern Bustier although I'm not sure why I want one -- I don't wear tops 'like that', or at least I haven't done so in the past. Perhaps 4 years of Pilates and regular gym attendance (>6hrs/week) has finally convinced me I'm not fat. A friend whose fashion sense is admirable spent considerable time trying to work out why she thinks it's ugly; I think it's because it's too big for the model, whose collarbones could serve as coatracks. I may summon the courage to change the pattern, though. The straps look too narrow and I think I'd prefer a slightly curved top.

I find my reluctance to consider altering knitting patterns interesting. I'll gaily substitute ingredients in a recipe, even if I'm making it for the first time. I can be creative with pen&ink on paper, no problem. But I really, really want to blindly follow a knitting pattern even when I know the pattern as written might not fit me. I know how to assess possible problems, I understand the relationship between stitch gauge and fabric produced, and am capable of doing the math to alter patterns. I'm just too scared to try it. Even yarn substitution makes me extremely nervous. So... I have resolved that I will devote the rest of this year to overcoming my fear. For example, the bustier has to fit. The curve for the hips has to curve where my hips curve, not a couple of inches lower or higher. I have to think about this and even take measurements before I start. It's not rocket science, and it's clearly not the end of the world if I have to rip back and do it again: the blogs I read prove that many people do so, time and again. I'll just start a shawl at the same time, a refuge that requires blind obedience to a chart. Birch? I must be the last knitter with access to KSH who hasn't done one...

2 comments:

Dawn said...

Whew...you mean I'm not the only one??? I've been listening to podcasts and reading blogs where people are changing the yarn and patterns it seems at whim! I wish I could do that...though I have to admit that unlike you I do follow recipies to the ingrediant!

Anyway, I take heart from your attempt...maybe once I'm done with my degree and I've figure out how to do the math....which I can't do at the moment...maybe then I'll try to do as you and spend time trying to overcome my fear. I'll be reading your blog to see how it goes...there now you have to stick to your words!

Dawn www.craftyorcrazy.blogspot.com

sarah said...

aargh. I mean, I intended to keep this resolution (that's why I posted it), but now I HAVE to because you've read it...

thanks. I think :-)