Sunday, July 4, 2010
The first path my thoughts wandered down was how freely portable knitting (or crochet) can be. Many projects, like socks, hats and scarves, can be tucked into a handbag and toted along to work on while traveling, waiting for appointments, standing in long lines, or sitting on the sidelines of a child's sports practice. Not many crafts allow that kind of freedom.
The next idea that came to mind was how easily adaptable knitting can, and many times should be, given the mind-boggling array of choices we have with every project. A designer may plot out a pattern in a specific yarn and color, but knitters are by no means locked into that look and can easily choose to substitute another fiber, texture or color of yarn. And considering that no pattern can ever fit even a majority of knitters perfectly since we are all unique shapes and sizes, adapting pattern measurements to ensure proper fit is often critical!
Moving beyond yarn choice and fit, we have the freedom to think independently from the designer and use the pattern as a jumping-off point by modifying a silhouette, transforming a pullover into a cardigan, adding a collar to a crew neckline, shortening a sleeve, or even removing a sleeve altogether.
Another change I made was button choice. I had first stitched on some antique cream pearl buttons in the same shade as the yarn in my top, but they seemed to jump out from the slate blue yarn and I wanted a more subtle look. Next I rejected some pewter buttons as being too shiny. I finally settled on these shell buttons in a subdued grey hue with just a hint of sheen in the polished surface.
I also fiddled around with the hem for a bit, since I wanted to coordinate the bodice and hem edge, but not draw too much attention to the hips.
Finally, after all the options have been weighed, the choices have been made and a project is progressing, I think that knitting can be mentally freeing as we allow ourselves to be drawn into the soothing process of making stitches. Even a challenging project can facilitate this as our brains release endorphins through new and exciting adventures in learning.
So this fourth day of July, no matter what country you hail from, celebrate the wonderful freedom and independence we knitters enjoy through our craft!