Life and Knitting

BSU Rug  I am a mad knitter. Always got more projects going then I should but I somehow in the end manage to get things done. I am always having projects in various stages and trying to make sure that each gift is unique and special. Life and knitting kind of go hand in hand in some ways. From choosing the right wool (yarn) and knitting needles, to the stitch you want to use, to the pattern. Let me try to explain a little.

When starting to knit something you need to look at if it’s a gift or a just because. I call a just because gift cause that’s what it is, I do it because I want to. You could use that thought process in making decisions about something. Is it for me or will it have an effect on those around it. It’s the positive/negative flip. Will the gift or decision turn the negative to a positive? OK  you have chosen the gift. Now you need to choose the wool.

Here in Australia we have 4 different plies of wool to consider. 4 if you include baby yarn. We have 5 ply for the light weight things like baby Afghans and scarfs. 5 ply decisions are the easy things. They don’t hold much weight, and the outcome might not be noticed but it gets the job done but it works up easy and quick. Simple stitches are better in 5 ply. Then there is 8 ply, standard the 8 ply in America is heavier then the 8 ply here in Australia. It has taken a little getting use to the difference.  Those are the decisions that take a little more consideration and look at the possible outcomes. This is where I tend to look at color and seeing if the gift I’m making needs specific color. Is it going in the lounge room or is it team colors  This is where the positive/negative comes in to play again when applying to life. What’s the good and bad things about the decision that need made? How would the possible outcome change things? Make things better or worse? If I don’t choose the right combination of colors  why did I spend all that time on the project anyway? Then there is 12 ply, the heavy-duty wool. Good for jumpers (sweaters) and what I call blankets,(here its rugs) or afghan. Things become a little more difficult. You need to take a little more time in making the choice, make sure you have all the bases covered. Have you considered all the little things in make the choice you need to?

Once I choose the wool, I look at the size of needle I need. I stick close to the pattern when doing a sweater. You have to or you have one sleeve longer than the other, or you can’t get your head through the neck line. This is where the tool you have gathered over life comes in. Can you make a good informed decision? Have you really looked at it from all angles and can you truly deal with the outcome? Are you prepared for what may happen that it could turn out totally different from expected? If knitting with 12 ply wool with size 5 needles it’s going to be a struggle. It will take twice as long as if you use say a size 9 needle. Might take a little longer but you can see the results a little quicker.

Then there is the stitch pattern. Do you want it simple or a design? I normally determine that by how much time I have to complete the gift. Is it something that needs done in a short amount of time. So I tend to choose the garter or seed stitch. I can do it without much thought but the job is done. Quick decisions that don’t hurt too much and need made pretty quick. If I have time then I tend to go for the hard stitch like a cable but that can be simple or complex. Simple cable stitch, a simple decision but a pretty firm outcome. Complex cable slowed down decision’s that need time to make. You might not see the outcome of the decision for a while but as you keep knitting you see the pattern or answers start to appear.

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You get to see your work in progress as you go which can be encouraging BUT it’s the dread mistakes you have to be care to avoid. You rush into it and you’re ripping it out to fix things. Make the decision too quick and have you left yourself room to fix minor hiccups or is it too little too late. Finally you get to start binding off that rug, the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re so close to finishing you stay up all night to finish. You see the decision you made finally pay off. By taking the time and considering all the issue, you make an informed decision and you get the outcome you hope for. The knitting project you have spent so much time and love on has turned out the way you wanted. You’re proud that what you have taken the time to do, consider all the options, use all the correct tools you had at your disposal — produced something you are proud to share.

Here’s the question — How’s your life knitting going?

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