Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Moods of Knitting

From Kitty Knits by Donna Druchunas.
Yes, those are black cats by the cuff.

In case you didn’t know, I love knitting. I could spend my entire day doing nothing but knit.  However, not all knitting is equal. My knitting has moods.  Not sad or mad knitting – to me all knitting is joyful. My knitting moods are different.

Mindless knitting mood. I always have at least one mindless knitting project going. These are the projects that I can do blindfolded. Yes!  Blindfolded. I do these projects when I am at a movie theater, in committee meetings at church, in conversations with friends, in any situation that my hands work completed separately from my mind. It could be, and usually is, a hat with just a plain stockinette or rib stitch but it can also be a sock in a straight stockinette. Now, mindless does not mean boring. I like to use colorful yarns, usually striped for these projects. I love working on a hat with a red strip, and a few minutes later, I look down and the color has changed to blue.  I don’t like variegate yarns as much because they tend to look too muddy.

My design

Thinking knitting mood. This is a step up from mindless knitting. I like to do these project while watching TV (which is mainly listening), listening to music or books on tape, or even having the radio on. (I am addicted to progressive and liberal talk radio).  This may be a hat or sock with a lace pattern or a sweater with a cable pattern. I have to watch what I am knitting. It is a fairly repetitive pattern so I don’t always have to watch a pattern as I go along, but knitting is not automatic.  I like going through a row reading the lace row below in order to knit the next one.  This is then followed by the ‘resting row,’ which is the all purl row, and a straight knitting row when working in the round.

From 60 More Hats

Concentration knitting mood. Every now and then, I have an overwhelming need to do a complicated lace pattern, intricate cable work, or intarsia.  It’s like my mind needs to be totally immersed into the project, marking each complicated row with a highlighter or a sticky note, multiple markers to break up the pattern, and row counters set up on an app on my phone.  I might work on this for a weekend and then go back to mindless or thinking knitting to let my mind rest. It is better to do smaller projects such as a scarf or hat when I am in this mood, because I flit from project to project too much to make a large project such as a sweater.

Attention-span-of-a-hummingbird knitting mood.  I want to get the project done in a couple of hours, or less. Sometimes, you just want to make a pile of stuff.  My crocheted scrunchies and knitted baby hats fulfill this need.

What? They can't be eaten? What good are they?

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