Monday, April 18, 2016

If At First...

Success in knitting, you see, is a relative thing. There are times when I "try, try again" because the pattern is rubbish (my own or someone else's even) and times when it takes me forever to finish because I'm just not feeling it.

It's not that I don't knit at a relatively decent speed, it's more that I keep remembering something my great-grandmother made or showed me how to make, stitches she used, cast ons and offs, the way she told me to hold my yarn -- these things are treasures buried in my memory. Lost for years, they tend to come to light half way through a project, changing everything.

Suddenly the perfectly fine way the modern pattern or youtube video says to do it isn't nearly as neat (Granny was strict about having a neat back and front to your knitting), or easy (you simply cannot beat years and years of accumulated tricks and tips that get handed down from knitter to knitter), or right as the way she taught me all those years ago. I become dissatisfied with the work, rip it out, and start again.

In the end, I want my finished pieces to look like they could have come off of her needles. Like they carry on the traditions she learned as a child at her granny's knee and passed on to me when I was a wee one at her knee. As though these American born designs of mine have that soft, slightly Scottish accent tying them to my heritage and the long line of talented women who somehow knit my DNA from their own.

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