Monday, December 04, 2006


I LOVE stranded knitting--Fair Isle, Latvian, Swedish, Norwegian, South American, Fijian (I know, there's no tradition of stranded knitting in Fiji, but they have lovely tapa cloth patterns that I'm sure I'll find the time to recreate in wool...someday...about the same time I get all the laundry done which will probably be NEVER!!!) Sorry, what were we talking about?

Well, I done gone and joined myself another knit-along! The Stranded Colorwork Knit-Along!

I couldn't help it. Stranded knitting is magical. I first came under its spell upon cracking open Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting. It was mis-shelved at the library next to the silk-ribbon embroidery pattern books. I was not yet a knitter (though I had been trying to teach myself since I was 9--I had found a little unfinished pink baby sweater that my mother had started for me that was so tiny and sweet that I resolved to learn how to knit so that I could finish the sweater). I was transported, illuminated, enlightened by those stunning Fair Isle patterns. My fruitless attempts to teach myself had been very discouraging, but Alice Starmore seemed to hold out her hand to me, telling me to try again. Fortunately I had recently become friends with a knitting-Wendy (actually it's Wendi). When I found out that she was a knitter, I asked her to teach me. I didn't have to ask twice. THANK YOU WENDI! It was a glorious summer afternoon and she sat me down on her front porch, handed me a pair of mismatched aluminum Boye needles and a ball of squeeky green acrylic. It was eight years ago and one of the best days of my life.

The first thing I knit was a baby blankie in cream colored Lion Brand Homespun. I promptly gave it away. I have no pictures. It was shaped like a trapezoid. I learned a lot. The second thing I knit was this lonely little baby mitt. You see, Alice had convinced me that stranded knitting was my destiny--so I kept the mitt, though it never acquired a mate, to remind me that when the season of life was right, I would have time to knit something amazing. I'm not sure that I have arrived at that season, but I'm going to ease myself into it by doing something that accomodates the omnipresent needs of my children. (No, no--please don't misunderstand. I'm not complaining. Oh, all right, I am complaining. It's just that I wish that some little elves would sneak in and do my housework for me. But as Wendi has said, "There is no elf; do it yourself." See? She's not only a wise and gracious knitting instructor, but a poet and philosopher!) So I'm thinking of the beautiful Proper Colorwork Mittens that Eunny Jang designed and showed in this post. But until she writes up the pattern for them, I'm going to start with a pattern from Norgi.

1 comment:

Marly said...

So excited for you! I too want to do some colorwork but it will have to wait until the new year.

Good luck with the baby sweater....looks fun.