Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Knitting Along - Organically

The knit-along. A group of folks knitting the same thing. And comparing notes and stuff. It has always seemed a little keep-up-with-the-Joneses-y to me. And I find knitting to be a very personal thing. Do I really want to make the same thing as 5 or 10 or 20 of my closest friends? (FYI: that's funny because I call so few folks "friend".) At the same time?

Until recently my answer to that was, "Hell no." Until recently my only experience with kniting along had looked like this: my friend Dianne decides she wants to make something. She looks at the pattern and sees a chart.

Knotty Chart_150x150_p1
Chart for the Knotty glove - which we made

Because she cannot or will not read charts she says to me, "Let's make this." I look at the pattern and say, "Ooh, that's beautiful!" because it invariably is something really cool. "Okay!"

So we buy the yarn. We do our best to print the (hopefully) free pattern from the world wide interwebs (thank you again for this, Mr. Gore) because there is no better pattern than a free one - especially when you're unemployed. Then I figure out the pattern and explain it to her. Sometimes this means writing out the chart into words that she chooses to understand. But sometimes (breathe) it means sitting together for hours with me reading each line of the chart to her as we knit it. I'm sure this sounds much more fun that it actually is. Okay, maybe it doesn't sound fun at all. Which begs the question: "Why do you do it?" To which I can only answer: "She's the boss of me."

Back in June (or was it late May?) a group of us were at our regular Wednesday night knit-in at At Tangled Skein, and, on a whim, we decided to do a knit-along. But we wanted there to be no pressure. It was summer, afterall. That carefree season. We all already had multiple projects on our needles. And everyone was just busy with life.

The pattern we chose was Okmin Park's "Every Way Wrap" published in Interweave Knits' Fall 2009 issue.  The wrap is gorgeous.  The pattern is relatively easy. And the whole thing is reversible - which I really love in a cabled scarf - it really is just a giant scarf, isn't it?

So, we decided to make this an "organic" knit-along. Get started when you want. Finish when you want. Make all the mistakes you want. Don't fix 'em if you don't want. Feel the yarn. Feel the pattern. Feel the project. Feel the glow of the knitting sisterhood. Whoooo-saaaah . . .

Of course, it’s difficult to be completely organic when you’ve brought together a group of highly accomplished, perfectionist, knit-prolific women, so immediately we came up with some rules - or guidelines, if you will - that were made to be broken. The knit-a-long came to be known affectionately as the “Inorganic-Organic Knit-along.”

Every Way working
Every Way Wrap in progress 

We were, most of us, a little slow in getting started - which is just fine: organic - but once I wrote out the chart in words for Dianne and organically e-mailed it to the entire group, things really took off. Some of us were already nearly half done at that point. Many of us got started then. Some didn't. And that was okay.

Every Way working
This yarn is perfect for a nice, drapey wrap
Me, myself, personally, I am keeping it really organic. It will get done when it gets done. I’m not going to worry about the fact that I knitted the whole chart on the first repeat when I was supposed to stop at row 18. I didn’t even frog back, but rather just figured out a good row to start with to keep the pattern working. organic. It’s all good.

I may be about halfway done, but i’m not counting the chart repeats. I think there are supposed to be 16 total. But I'm just gonna keep on knitting until it’s the length my soul feels it should be. Organic.

Every Way working
My cable needle is getting a workout

I haven’t even thought about button choice yet. I figure that once my soul tells me I’m done, I’ll just saunter into an LYS - may this one, maybe not - with the wrap in hand and see which buttons it picks out. Organic.

Anywhoo, on with the wrap . . . or not . . . whatever.

Every Way working

1 comment:

HRH Princess Buttercup said...

I feel the same way! This "Organic" project will be the first of many. Who am I kidding all of my knitting is 'Organic" and I love it!!!! And I know that you all love it too!!! And if you do not.....PRETEND!


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