Sunday, 24 July 2011

It Winds The Yarn Out From The Skein Or Else The Ball Unrolls Again

I am probably the last person who should have taken up knitting.

Not because I'm a menace with the needles or a danger to myself or find the mechanics overly challenging. It's a soothing and hypnotic pastime once you get into a rhythm.

But knitting is a craft of patterns and following patterns is not my strong suit.

Well, patterns in language I can follow: recurring words, favoured sentence structures, particular devices, pacing and the like.

Anything visual or to do with numbers though... well...

As an example, this year I've been doing a lot of walking. There's a block near work that I like to do my laps around:
  • it's a known length so I can record the distance I'm walking,
  • it's long enough that I don't feel like I'm going in circles but short enough that I can get back to my car in short order if I need to, and
  • because of its length, adding on an extra lap is a gentle, incremental increase.
And for every lap I complete I have to mark up one of my fingernails with a lead pencil otherwise I will - no lie - forget how many times I've gone round.

The first lap I remember, the second I'll know isn't the first, but anything after that could be anything from the third to the seventh and without a physical record I could end up going around for hours in a walk trance.

And this is the mind which is now expected to remember how many stitches, how many rows, when to knit, when to purl, when to stop.

It's going to be tricky, it's going to take a lot of stopping and checking, will probably involve a bit of counting aloud and at least once I may end up with a cardigan that has arms long enough to fit an orangutan but unless I want to just keep churning out an endless supply of scarves, I'm going to have to bend myself to the task.

I think I'm up to the challenge, even if it might require me to mark up more than just my fingernails to keep my place.


Erin Palette said...

The first thing you knit absolutely must be a Jayne Cobb "Cunning Hat". That way, if it turns out awful, no one will care, because it's *supposed* to look awful.

And if it's too awful for you to wear, well, I'll take it!

WV: duchain. "You know what duchain of command is? It's duchain I go get and beat you with 'til ya understand who's in ruttin' command here!"

Anonymous said...

It's always nice to read your blog and find there is someone with the same eclectic tastes as me in the world. Knitting can be dangerous though -

Ricochet said...

@Erin Palette Comments like this are why I continue to adore you :-D
A Jayne Cobb Cunning Hat is right at the top of my list, and considering my current level of skills I'll probably make several before I get one that fits me so you're on the list if I end up with a surplus of shrewd headgear.

@Anonymous Knitting is always dangerous. They don't even let little old nannas take their knitting on planes any more just in case they're part of a terrorist cell that practises a yarn/needle-based martial art.
Any product which features the instructions 'add some knitting' gets my respect :-)

Erin Palette said...

Hey! Update your blog, you ol' slacker!

WV: Bompot. No, YOU'RE a bompot!