Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Knitting - it's a lot like writing

Last Friday I bought some beautiful yarn that is soft and dyed in the most lovely shades of green, and reeeeeaaally expensive. More so than Malabrigo. As much even as the qiviut Karen tempted me into, though I got four times more of this new yarn for the price. Still. What I have been knitting with this yarn looks awful, and I am faced with ripping it out and try something else, and I fear that now I have this wonderful yarn I will not be able to do it justice and will somehow squander it or leave it unused.

I've had the same problem plenty of times as a writer - the unfolding of a tremendous idea that I know perfectly well is the product of months if not years of reading, thinking, interpreting, and doing - precious and expensive, you could say. And then I mangle it with the wrong words, delete them and try new words, and delete them and try again - not infrequently killing the idea altogether. Then I have to put it aside, or give up in fear of killing it, and leave it unused in favour of a steady stream of other ideas. I have never been able to recover one of these old efforts, but I find they inform the new ones.

So I am going to take this as a learning experience and in the spirit of Binnie's most excellent reflections on this subject I will feel I have done something useful, and go back to thrumming mittens while I wait to think of a better project for lush green wool.


Karen said...

What kinda lush green wool? Sometimes you have to just find the right stitch or technique for the yarn, and suddenly it comes alive.

Mary Keenan said...

It's Iona from Colinette... Welsh, a blend of wool, kid mohair, and silk, and named 'Velvet Leaf' - does it get any more yummy than that? And I just realized it does come with a pattern for a hat with flaps, but it looks too pedestrian for this yarn. WAY too pedestrian.

Kathleen Taylor said...

yarn and ideas both percolate at their own speed. The right direction will come when it's ready. That's why you need a stash, so you're ready to roll when the time comes. (that works with words too, though the stash analogy doesn't exactly work)