Friday, April 29, 2011

Simple Can Be Good

I got me some new yarn in the mail. As if I have time to knit anything else while working on that big ole blanket! But I saw this stuff and really wanted to make something out of it--it is Sprout by Classic Elite and it's 100% organic cotton. It's very light and has a fun texture. Plus it comes in these beautiful colors, which just happen to go very well in my home decor scheme. I got this from Kaleidoscope Yarns, which was the first place I ever bought yarn online, many years ago. I got free shipping and a free pattern for a baby blanket, which is what I intend to make, only I'll use it as a small throw. 

The pattern is pretty much "knit in garter stitch and change colors every other row until you are out of yarn," with the addition of leaving a fringe on the edges. Very simple. Some would say mind-numbingly so.

But, I don't say that. I am going through a phase where simple knitting feels good. I like building those easy mitered squares in the color-changing yarn. And I have a feeling I will like knitting a nice rectangle with this lovely textured yarn, too. And why not? Just because you CAN knit complex things doesn't mean you always have to. Knitting is not a race, as I tell students, nor is it a competition. My wish for all knitters is that they make projects that bring them joy and pleasure.

I was making so many complex things in the last few years that it was beginning to feel like a job, and I felt pressure (mostly internal, I assure you--no past knitting associates need get upset) to do better and better--to knit fancier projects in fancier yarn. I was being pretty hard on myself when I failed--like when I tried ten times to get that lace shawl to transition to the next level, or when my Shetland shawl self-destructed and I fell apart. Why do that to myself? I like knitting. I like using knitting to zone out and meditate. So, why not make some projects in garter stitch? It can be fun, and the results can be beautiful--I think this color combination will make for beautiful stripes. 

And I am making a sock when I need to do something portable. It is toe up, and with NO patterning on the foot. Just knitting. But look at this yarn! Whoa! It's Creatively Dyed Calypso, with 15 different colors that don't repeat regularly. Stockinette is what looks best with a yarn like this.

I'll probably do a simple rib for the legs. And I will enjoy it, especially since I also, on a whim, got two new types of size 0 needles to see if I like them. One's Kinki Ambari circular bamboo needles. They have a very flexible, clear cable and the bamboo is very, very nice. Haven't started using it yet (thus you see the old Hiya Hiyas in the photo--my Knitpicks size 0s broke when I um, accidentally whacked them in the hospital). The other ones are little teeny Addi Lace turbos. I hadn't tried the little ones yet. I will use those on my other socks in progress, shown here with broken needle and started many months ago:

It's Cookie A's Devon, in Fleece Artist Somoko. I started these last July, then went into knitting hiatus, so there has not been much progress. My bad. Can't do anything with them at all with THOSE needles, anyway! If I get a hankering to do something with yarn overs, I can switch to these, though.

(Ignore the Foo Fighters CD and mosquito repellent in the photo. I didn't style much. We can't find where all the mosquitoes are coming from in our house, but I am SICK of them, I tell you.)

I did want to share one more simple knitting idea for any of you who also want to see what you can do creatively with garter or stockinette stitch. One of the members of an email list I am on but am a bad ole lurker for send the link to this blog post from Annekata. It shows experiments the blogger has done knitting with sewing thread. Doesn't it look ethereal and different? And all it takes is simple stitches--it's the material that is interesting!

OK, I blogged again. I am so proud. Now I think I shall knit.


  1. Simple knitting can be very good. I call it meditative knitting, and I've been doing a lot of it lately. It's helped keep me sane the past few months. Glad you're back online.

  2. I completely relate to your internal pressure to make bigger, better projects! It has been such a joy as I have recently embraced garter and stockinette stitch again! The pressure is gone ... and the pleasure has returned.


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