May 23, 2012

Amost until that minute

I love knitting.  I think I've probably mentioned that at some point on this blog. 
I really love knitting.   I like all sorts of things about it.  I like how ridiculously cool it is to use such incredibly simple tools to make such incredibly complex things.  I love how you can make three dimensional objects.  I'm head over heels for how bizarre it is that every stitch pattern is driven out of the idea of one stitch- made so it faces the front or the back.  I can't get over how great it is that knitting uses yarn  (I love yarn) and that there's so many kinds of yarn.  I love that it's an act of creation, when you knit you're literally making something that was not there before, and how cool is that?  I even love (most days) that knitting is sort of slow. 

What? You don't? C'mon.  Knitting is a time container.  You knit something, and it's this huge investment of your time, and when you're done you can look at it and be all proud that you did it, and it took so long and there's like - a hundred of the hours of your life jammed into that thing, and you did it all.  If society had proper built in respect for knitting, or we lived in a culture where every time you finished a pair of mittens and showed them to your friends they all said "Holy S**T! Look at that! Those took THIRTY hours to make.  Can you even believe that? Thirty hours.  This is art man.  You're a craftsperson.  Knock me down and keep me from kissing you knitter, because you are so made of awesome that I am moved to ardour. "  - If we lived in that culture, you wouldn't mind how long it took to make mittens.  You really wouldn't.  (Well, maybe you would around Christmas, but that's a delusion I can't help you with.)

All I'm saying is that usually, I don't mind how long knitting takes, and in fact, I mostly like it.  When I finish something I say all that great stuff to myself, and I know exactly what I made is worth, and I feel totally proud that I stuck with it, and that I'm the sort of person who is happy to put a hundred hours in something and bring something that valuable into being.  Every phase of a project brings something new into focus, and holds me in its thrall.

I totally think that.  I think it all the time, and it's something I love about knitting.

Right up until I have to repeat a single chart four times.  Then it's all dumbass.
Almost two repeats done, almost two to go, and I'm out of my mind with how slow it is and can't wait to be onto the next chart.  Thrall, shmall.  I've already been on a journey of discovery with this chart, and I've already stinking brought it into being almost twice, and that's long enough for anyone.  The whole time I'm knitting it I just keep thinking NEXT.  It's part of the problem with second sock (or mitten) syndrome.  There's something amazing about making something. Less so making something again.  You've already done the magic, and doing it again is like watching Soylent Green for the second time.  It feels a little pointless.  You know it's people, and you can't unknow that stuff, and that's what repeating a chart four times is like.  Like re-watching Fight Club, or The Sixth Sense.  You know the plot twist, and there's no way out.
Four repeats of a chart is like that. Exactly.

PS. The new shawl on the needles is Omelet - as per several suggestions in the comments.  Good thinking knitters.  I'm trying to get used to the name though.  I didn't know there was an American spelling of Omelette until I saw this pattern, and to me spelling it omelet makes it sound like it's a young bird.

PPS I'm in North Bay this weekend - just briefly.  I'm pretty sure the class is all full, but I'm giving the "This is your brain on Knitting" talk on Friday night, and then there's a pub thing. If you're in Canada's near north, I'd love to see you.  Details are here.

Posted by Stephanie at May 23, 2012 2:53 PM