Time was when I could have called myself a monogamous knitter: one project at a time. Okay, sometimes two; but the projects always knew about each other and agreed that an occasional tricotage à trois* added spice.
Now, much older and denuded of anything like wide-eyed innocence, I can no more claim fidelity to a single project than Empress Messalina could have sung “I Only Have Eyes for You” at karaoke night without raising a bumper crop of eyebrows.
I think it’s due to a difference in the way I approach my knitting. Once, I worked from patterns, and casting on was like cracking open a Dickens novel. The beginning was full of intrigue, the middle veered from high comedy to grim despair, and the end wrapped up with nary a loose thread. Off with one hat, on with another. Neat.
Working as I do these days, the clear narrative is blown to smithereens. I sketch, I swatch, I rip, and pieces have a disconcerting tendency to shape-shift in mid-flight. I’ve gone from Charles Dickens to William Burroughs.**
I already wrote about the winter hat. Was supposed to be for me, is instead for somebody with enough moxie to pull off a cloche. Since so many of you liked it (thank you!), I’m refining the pattern and I’ll be releasing it in a new yarn to be determined.
Likewise, Abigail’s Pink Thing started as a poncho and has become a cape and hood.
It progresses, by the way–or will, when the rest of the yarn arrives from the nice lady at Cascade. Turns out I didn’t ask for enough; I confess I’m being rather prodigal in my lavish use of 220 Sport. More fabric in the right places makes for a better twirl.
I still want to knit something for myself, and was going to attempt another hat. But a set of needles were thrust at me that changed the game. They’re called Blackthorns, and the suckers are made of–are you ready for this?–carbon fiber.
Things that are made from carbon fiber:
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
My knitting needles
You know I’m not given to stereotypically boyish crowing over new industrial technology; but this gave me the shivers. Even adamantly non-knitting males in my social circle have been forced to concede that carbon fiber knitting needles are Pretty Freaking Cool.
And they handle, my dears, like a dream. Pointy. Light. Bendy as wood but not prone to snapping under the brute force of my manly fingers.*** And they have the perfect (to my mind) balance between slippy and grippy.
They’re US 00, which means socks, so I’m making some from Cascade Heritage Sock.
The pattern is a pretty little motif in Bavarian twisted stitch. It fit perfectly (one repeat on each needle) and is taken from Twisted-Stitch Knitting, the superb one-volume English edition of Maria Erlbacher’s Uberlieferte Strickmuster–an out-of-print trilogy revived with much loving care by Schoolhouse Press. (Dear, dear Schoolhouse Press–if you were not fighting to rescue these books that would otherwise be lost to us, who would?)
So, socks. I think. For all I know, next week they might have turned into a soft-sculpture giraffe. Harry continues to suspect this is the pernicious influence of Wool Pixies; but that’s another blog entry and I’ve got to go make dinner.
*I have no idea whether this is decent French or bullpuckey, but I'm too lazy to look it up right now. It will have to do.
**Without the sex. Not that some of the silks I’m playing around with haven’t tempted me.
***Hey, share the fantasy.