Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Knitting Post

Because I don't mind the dark, and don't have children or pets who are oblivious to clock time, the day the clocks go back is my favourite of the year. This is my season and I embrace it, not only do I love the extra hour of today, but it's enough of a change to really improve my sleep patterns.

I've spent the day pottering, admiring books, and knitting, so it seemed a good time to share my latest knitting projects. It's basically the Scalloway Shawl (or is it a scarf?) from Maria de Haan's 'Uradale Shawls'. The Scalloway is a sort of scarf, shawl, wrap hybrid (its long even for a scarf, widens to a central point like a shawl, and is a cosy thing to wrap up in). It's a simple pattern with a medative quality to it, it's also big enough to take a slow knitter like me a while to get through. The 2 I have knitted so far have seen me through the almost 4 months of the redundancy process at work.

They've been perfect for that because I've been in no mood to concentrate on anything which would demand more attention, but the stripes stop it from getting boring. Knitting is a godsend at times like this.

For the first Scalloway I stuck as close to the original Uradale colours as I could, mostly using Jamieson's Spindrift from my yarn stash. Still, they weren't exact and I made a couple of changes along the way. I also found myself messing around with the order of the colours too.

For the second Scalloway I picked colours I'd thought about putting in the first one, and that were more autumnal. Because I'm lazy about switching there are a couple of shades that I'm not entirely convinced by. I also decided that I'd definitely move everything around in each sequence apart from one colour which would always mark the start/finish each set of stripes. I'm happy with that decision, whilst knitting it's fun to mix them up - and I'm always fascinated by how differently the colours behave next to each other. I also started with less stitches so the ends would taper more, and so it would be a marginally quicker knit.

I've now started a third project inspired by the Scalloway but using only 2 colours, different textured yarns, and in a different shape. It might end up with tassels on it. Which leads me to the question - when does it stop being somebody else's patterns and start being mine?

Knitting invites plagerism as well as adaptation. The more competent the knitter the easier it is to reverse engineer something that you've seen and liked - it's a natural thing to do, though rightly contentious when people are selling patterns. My third project is the result of weeks of what ifs, it won't look anything much like the first Scalloway, or feel like it, but it wouldn't exist without it either.

Anyway, the Uradale Shawls book is a lovely thing, the Scalloway a great project for even the most inexperienced knitter. It's an excellent chance to play around with colour combinations (it's an object lesson in colour theory) and I can recommend it as a project for uncertain times.

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