20 February 2007

Rhapsody in Dark Blue Mohair Kidsilk Haze

It is generally true of knitters that if s/he is not buying yarn, s/he is thinking about buying yarn, or fantasizing about the yarn s/he has just bought. There are no limits to a knitter's yarn fantasy. It starts off innocently enough, with visions of a pair of cozy socks, with a snug, simple ribbing up the ankles. Well, perhaps a simple cable meandering to the calves. Although, if one is to go about cabling, one might as well put that cabling needle to good use and show off one's ability to yarn over and k2tog, too. A sort of cabled lace on the calves, like so:

(photo from knitspot.com, "Waterfall Sock")

About that point, the knitter realizes that s/he does not knit socks. There was a traumatic incident in late 2006 with attempting to knit a pair of baby socks on US0 as one's first attempt at knitting in the round, which has left the knitter rather frightened of sock knitting. The very idea of having to divide stitches between needles brings up painful memories of attempting to knit a veritable cobweb on unbent paper clips, of having angry red depressions on one's fingertips, and--with no small satisfaction--of ripping the whole mess back onto a ball which has lain ever since in the deepest, darkest corner of her stash where forgotten yarns have sat moldering and will continue to sit moldering until they have passed from human memory.

Of course, the time when knowledge of their existence will pass from human memory is probably not far off, given the knitter's early advanced state of dementia.

The idea of cabled-lace socks having gone right out the window, the knitter's fantasy then turns to lacework--and promptly runs up against visions of old ladies in musty shawls, of the horrors known as Victorian interior decorating, and of a finished piece that will forever sit folded in a drawer with only the cedar blocks to keep it company.

What else could one possibly do with a beautiful, soft, fingering-weight yarn? As in other moments of quiet desperation, the savvy knitter consults his or her knitting library. A shiny, patent-leather looking black binding winks at her. She picks it up (she has had enough of this s/he business. The pronoun for the knitter is now she. Change can be painful, but it brings its own pleasures. Don't worry, kitten; you'll learn to like it). Ah, the siren call of DomiKNITrix: Whip Your Knitting Into Shape. (amazon link)

Knitter's fantasy takes a few non-knitting-related turns, eventually returning to a few ideas quickly sketched out. No old lady shawls for her. The thing about lacework is that when knitted properly (e.g. in a skin-skimming garment with little to no ease), a dark color creates a lovely contrast against pale skin. You have to make the lacework work for you. No sense in investing all that time and effort unless the end result is what you want.

In a final shift of pronoun/tense/yarn agreement, I leave you with the point of my story:
I bought 3 balls of Cascade fixation at my LYS yesterday in Wisteria, a slightly variegated lilac-purple color. 99% cotton/1% lycra. There has to be a better use for it than socks.

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