I spend the summer in the garden, but in the winter, I spend a great deal of time knitting--not wardrobe knitting, you understand, but test knitting--knitting to try out ideas.
Most of the test knitting starts OUT as project knitting, yet test knitting and garment knitting don't intersect around here as much as they should. Once a technical problem has been worked out, the solution tends to turn into a TECHknitting blog post, while the garment which birthed it tends to fall into the UFO pile.
Few items larger than a hat have escaped the gravitational pull of the UFO pile in years--not since TECHknitting blog started in the knitting season of 2006 and gave its process knitter author (me) an excellent excuse for never finishing anything. Worse than that even. The blog gave me the excuse to start lots of new things to see how they'll work out. Thus adding to the pile. Sometimes on a daily basis. Of course, I can't pull the needles out of a work in progress, or re-purpose the rest of the yarn bought for the garment. That would be against the rules. That would be admitting defeat. Consequently, not only do I have a black-hole for garments in my UFO pile, but the pile also eats knitting needles. Meanwhile, its gravitational twin is developing from the ever-increasing stash of no-go yarn.
|open loop boucle--what was|
Sometimes, test knitting goes so well that I'm tempted to recreate the garment several times--the pocket hats were like that, I think there were 7 in a row, and innumerable little felted purses have been worked up around here. Then I'm reminded of a study I once read. Turns out that making faster and bigger lawn mowers didn't reduce the time folks spent mowing. No indeed. Instead, their lawns got bigger, and they spent the same amount of time mowing, or even more. Faster knitting and better patterns translates to 7 pocket hats rather than one or two; a fleet of little change purses waiting to be wrapped as gifts, but no more progress on the UFO's, alas.
Project knittingAt the end of April, I am going out to teach my first knitting class in over twenty years--Yarnover in Minneapolis, a project of the Minnesota Knitter's Guild. All my existing wardrobe sweaters are ratty and are themselves experiments--no two arms of any one sweater have the same kind (or even same rate!) of increasing, no two socks in the for-wearing fleet have the same kind of heels, my wardrobe features mostly not-fully-successful garment designs (prototypes of sweaters either improved--long since knit and given away) or abandoned after the one prototype. In short, my wardrobe consists mainly of ratty experimental remnants--great for the supermarket, not so good for my first professional knitting outing in two decades (Lord, where does the time go?)
It is clear, is it not, that I must have a new sweater for the occasion?
I've been rummaging the UFO collection, looking for a sweater pretty near completion. Yet while there are three leading candidates, I don't hold out a lot of hope.
|I-cord edging by some method|
|prototype of pleating|
|prototype of beading|
Franklin Habit on his Panopticon blog featured an imaginary conversation between Albert Einstein and the Queen of England, neatly encapsulating a nearly-circular dialog between a knitter and a knitee. I can go Franklin one better in concept, if not in execution. My internal dialog in the matter of actual project knitting--of actually declaring that I'm done messing around with a technique and it's time for finishing sweaters? That's a dialog between the Red Queen, so logically illogical, and the Mad Hatter, so stuck in time, with no resolution in sight and an ever-growing UFO pile.
Bottom line: if you'll be at Yarnover, and you see a knitting teacher in a sweatshirt? Stop and say "hi" to me, OK?
* * *
- This is a "humor-style posting" of the "exaggeration type."
- I expect to arrive at Yarnover in a sweater.