Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vacation -- the Booty!

What would a beach vacation be without a little bit of pirate booty? And, as a knitter, that booty most likely takes the form of yarn, of course. Between flying kites and catching hermit crabs, I did find a few moments (literally!) to stop into a lovely little yarn shop at the cape.

The shop is called the Ladybug Knitting shop, and it was chock full of luscious yarns and patterns. I picked up some odds and ends ... a shorter pair of straight needles for my red scarf (more on that later), a lovely Dale of Norway baby pattern (for some reason I'm totally hooked on those gorgeous little sweaters on size 1 needles that babies only wear for a few months before outgrowing!), and some sock yarn.

It's Madeline Tosh hand dyed yarn, and I got colors Pool (on the left) and Fireside. The colors are so much more rich and lush in person than they are on her web page! The site really doesn't do them justice at all ... hopefully my picture is a little closer to reality. I just noticed that WEBS has started carrying this yarn... this could be very dangerous for me.

I have another fiber acquisition that arrived when I was on vacation, does that count? I had ordered some roving from Linda Lee before leaving on vacation, and it was here when I got home. It's really amazing... pure Tencel, in her "Prairie" colorway. Just so silky and shiny.... I really love Linda's work!

And, there was knitting. Remember the wee baby scarf from last week? Well, it seems that our vacations include a fair amount of "car time" in getting to the spot, and then driving around looking for interesting things to do. And that time is just perfect for quick hit projects like the red scarf. As you can see, the "wee baby" is well into adolescence at this point.

The pattern is very simple, and memorized after just a few repeats, and the 26-stitch rows just fly by. I love the yarn (very soft and snuggly), but I can see that the merino/angora combination is one that will felt if you even look at it funny. I'm not altogether sure that this is a good idea for a college student (remembering my college-age laundry skills), but then I think about how frequently I would have actually washed a scarf (zero) and it seems like it may be ok. Or it may end up as a very soft scarf for a teddy bear... either way, it's all good.

I can hear some of you out there... "Are you crazy?! Making a garment of handwash yarn for someone who won't even care for it properly and probably ruin it?" Yeah, I'm actually fine with it. You see, I am a strong process knitter (as opposed to a product knitter). I rarely keep anything I make, and even if I do keep it, if someone says, "Oh, I love that," I'm fairly likely to just give it to them.

How can you tell which you are? Very easy. Imagine you are snowed in at a high-mountain cabin. There are plenty of provisions, fire wood and warm cozy clothes to last you, but you are definitely snowed in until spring. You have other distractions -- internet, telephone, cable TV -- just no way to actually leave for a few months. You also have one ball of yarn. Do you use the yarn to make something useful, like an extra hat or warm socks (and cherish your hand knit item until your spring rescue) or do you knit something, rip it out, and knit something else... over and over again until spring? Product knitters, of course, will make something out of the yarn and use it. For process knitters, the joy is in the making, more so than the finished product. I don't care if I have anything to show for it in the spring, but I want to be able to knit all winter.

I suppose most knitters are somewhere in the middle, but I tend to be strong on the process side. So, when I give my knitted items as gifts, I provide washing instructions and hope for the best. I'd much rather that something I make is enjoyed and used and worn out (or accidentally felted) than sitting in a drawer and never put to its intended use. But that's me....

What about you? Are you a process or product knitter?

1 comment:

knitnzu said...

Can I be both? (You were right on about the house contest... but so was everybody else!) I put you in my bloglines, so I'll be back.

/* Google analytics code */