I'm thinking that the knitters who learn the most are the ones who invest the most, whether it's time, money or both. They aren't content to just sit on the sidelines, cheering on players, they jump the pointy fence, stumble on the dirt knees first (ouch!) and play. If they fumble with the bumble, help the opponent score a point, it doesn't matter, they're learning. It's all about the journey, which clearly needs to be the topic of a t-shirt, if it's not already somewhere, somehow.
I think I have that hunger to just make lots of mistakes fast and quick with sewing. I've tossed out dozens of projects. I've gots lots of unfinished projects in shopping bags throughout my home. A closet collection collaborating and planning future growth. Pins dangerously poking about on the bedroom floor, rolling in laughter on the living hardwood floor.
Meanwhile, the knitting needles are lined up nice, prim and proper behind a glassed in bookshelf. Ditto the knitting needles. The yarns are sequestered in a beaten-up shopping bag on a hanger in the front closet. There's nothing remotely knitting-related on my to-do. No "go to Arcadia today," or "test out lace pattern this weekend" or even "stock up on Malabrigo for bolero jacket." There's a bit of lingering fear, a fear of commitment - like how long will it take to make the cute 1930s knit hat in Romantic Hand Knits? Or the pom pom peds - how quickly can I master the pattern to the point that I'm cranking out a pair lickety-split without thinking? I just want to get to the point where I'm done in the way I am with sewing. Materials? Check. Pattern? Cut, cut, and CUT. Stitch, stitch, stitch. A little pressing. Steam here, steam there. I'm done. I'm wearing the sewn garment hot off the iron in a matter of hours.
Knitting seems like it's a lot of pre-crafting plotting. Get enough of same color lot yarn. Swatch. Rewrite pattern that so that it fits you and not your sister. Start project in fits like you're hand-cranking a Ford Model T. Speed only comes after you add ethanol. If you're lucky, you'll have something in a matter of 48 to 72 hours. Nothing, nothing, not even Tinker Bell, comes overnight. A lot, from what I read, gets done within months. Some gets aside and finished a year later. Gosh, what a slow-cooker hobby. Where's the instant gratification - but not a straightforward knit-and-purl scarf - that can be accomplished without enlisting an army of experts in person or online? I just dunno. Hence my hesitation.
Then again, knitting is a portable project as I've mentioned many times before. I'm not quite ready to give it up just yet. But I'm not in love. I don't swoon over skeins of yarn. I'm not ready to buy a drop-spindle let alone a spinning wheel just so that I can say that I not only carded the fiber but I spun the yarn. That's too much, although it does appeal to me in a Tasha Tudor sort of way. I feel the same way about hairpin lace. I've got the tool, but I hem and haw at the edge of the pool. (A fitting analogy given that I'm always in the warm-water pool for aerobics thrice weekly). Will it be cold?
With that in mind, I'm ready to sign off the computer and do something crafty. Will it be Vogue Fabrics or Arcadia Knitting? Vogue is a cheaper fix, Arcadia feels more like I'm signing up for Pre-Cana classes and the pre-wedding jitters are already kicking in. What about you? What hobbies are you ready to try but not quite ready to carry out?
Enough on my knitterly anxieties. A little bit of this and that:
- At Judith M Millinery - a wonderful leopard print beaver hatbody, not always available apparently.
- Upcoming Vogue Fabrics sale. Go Saturday afternoon to beat the rush and hit up the bargains. Also Kwik Sew patterns are 20 percent off (!!!) through Aug. 9. Go. Buy. Now.
- Pattern Poll Results. Forty percent of you love McCalls, 40 percent love all big four patterns (McCalls, Vogue, Butterick and Simplicity) ; 20 percent of you like Vogue. I'm the lone star in this crowd: I mostly love Simplicity, seemingly a small-shouldered girl's beeeeest friend.