"If it's not fun, why do it?"

Posts tagged ‘Acrylic’

Yarn Follies

Cats and knitters* share a mystical superpower: they can suss out yarn anywhere, whether hidden behind walls of lead or at the bottom of a bargain basement sales bin. This attraction to long fibrous materials harks back to sunnier days when hanks of yarn grew on trees and children fell asleep when put to bed. Or maybe it’s a throwback to the days when we needed to hunt wool in the wild, tracking the crafty little fibers, and capturing them before they could get away and warn the others.

Caught in the act. © JustHavingFun

Caught in the act. © JustHavingFun

Cats think everything is a toy … or the enemy. They approach a ball of yarn with stealth worthy of a World War I infantry patrol. Their whiskers twitch and hindquarters shiver before pouncing on the unwary acrylic. Their victories depend upon how much yarn there is to unravel or chase around the room. Cats know when the babysitter’s bag contains mixed skeins or all the same yarn. Then they go for whatever is most convenient, closest to the mouth of the bag, not digging for the most rare or costliest fibers. The cat wages war on string from racial memory, an animalistic urge without sense or reason.

Vanquishing the enemy. © JustHavingFun

Vanquishing the enemy. © JustHavingFun

Exploiting her superpower to the max, the knitter, however honed her yarn sense, will seek out the hand-dyed, single lot, rarest fibers. Her war is personal: acquire the most you can and die happy. Today, yak, alpaca, angora, merino, silk, and bamboo replace yesterday’s limited choices of Wintuk and Sayelle. The size of her stash trumpets victory. Prizes won at the Battle of Rhinebeck and war trophies from the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival campaign embolden the warrior’s stashing efforts. She with the most yarn WINS!

With different types of approaches, cats and knitters acquire their desires by stealth, persistence, and sheer dumb desire.

Yarn. Ya gotta have it.

* “Knitters” includes crocheters, too.

Not Perfect

I’m attempting to knit a lacy shawl, my first really big lacework piece. I’m relieved because…

The Problem

Not Perfect

Not Perfect © Just Having Fun
(The green yarn simply holds a stitch)

Something’s not right. I can’t see it, but I can tell. It’s not symmetrical, I can’t see the pattern emerge. Nine rows into the piece, before I start the next section of the pattern, I have the certain recognition that I need to start all over. Again. What is this, the 20th time maybe? There are supposed to be a certain number of stitches on the needle at this point and I keep ending up with one less than what’s needed. Grrr!

Persistence and perfectionism, perfectionism and persistence: these two perverse sisters taunt me. On the one hand the project lacks the clear definition of stitches that I would expect to see. On the other hand I feel like I am learning something, mastering this thin, woolen yarn and these slippery circular needles. My drive for persistence reinforces my yearning for perfection. And on and on. But doing the same thing over and over, no matter how patient I am, does not get me the results I need. Something’s not right. 

I Could

I should do something different. I could get a different set of needles, ones less slick. Plastic or bamboo? Ugh, not pleasing. I could watch some tutorials on YouTube and try to get a handle on what I’m doing wrong. I could go to a LYS (local yarn shop) and ask a human being to observe me while knitting and dropping stitches. I could try the pattern with different yarn—a thicker one, maybe acrylic—to see if this lovely wool is confounding me. There are a lot of things I could do… but don’t. I should do something different.

What I Did

Baby Blanket In Progress

Baby Blanket In Progress © Just Having Fun

I’m relieved I didn’t torture myself any longer. I put the lacework away for several months. In the interim I picked up something easier, a baby blanket made with leftover acrylic yarn that I don’t want to use for anything else anyhow. Despite my eyeballs burning from the red red Red yarn, the rhythm soothes my jangling nerves and lets me be less perfect, less precise. This project doesn’t laugh at me in the face and make me knit the same mistakes over and over again.

Sometimes I just have to get over myself and stop trying to be so perfect all of the time. I enjoy the process of knitting more than having a finished item. So it’s OK to have a simple piece to work. This is just a modified basket stitch in some random colors I have in storage. The baby won’t mind, whoever he/she is. The repetition provides the relief; the soft clicking of the needles and the shuttle-like motion of my finger wrapping yarn around them provide a focused mindlessness. From here I can soar, race, crawl, or rest. I don’t have to be perfect.

I shouldn’t think it over too much. I may destroy the magic.

Tag Cloud

The Flying Squirrel Studio

living a creative and adventurous life

In Stitches

made by Bec

The Interior of My Brain: A Knitting and Fiber Arts Blog

Unlocking the secrets of the universe, one knitting project at a time

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aging, families, stupidities, the back-up plan!

Mum's the Word Blog

Lifelong friends sharing experiences & selling our book - 'Mum's the Word'

Rina Means Joy

Mental, Physical & Spiritual Health for Moms w/ Rina Bethea

Inspiration from Zion: This is a Love Story

"An age is called dark not because the light fails to shine but because people refuse to see"

The Temple Mount Sifting Project

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