Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A surfeit of exuberance

It's not that I haven't been knitting - I have, every evening.  But I don't have a lot to show for it...  yet.

I really want to finish the half done WIPs (I really do) but I began by un-ravelling.  The Araucania cardigan, begun months ago, was over half finished (back and fronts done, side seams sewn and shoulders grafted) but when I tried it on I knew it was all wrong.  And it's to do with The Problem.

The Problem does not only affect my choice of pattern, and my propensity to further embellish the pattern with little modifications of my own but also my choice of yarn.

When choosing what to knit and what to knit with (or lets be honest what-yarn-to-buy-never-mind-what-I-shall-knit-with-it) it's all about superlatives - gorgeous, beautiful, soft, fluffy, intense, rich, jewelled. Then there is beaded, indy-dyed (and spun) BFL*, alpaca, silk and simple good merino.  Buying yarn is a little like buying sweets or cake - I have a tendency to go for the bright and fancy with lashings of cream.  Patterns are no different - I go for the frills and furbelows. It's my undoing... It's The Problem

Yet if I go to a shop to buy ready made, restrained is my watchword.  I look for elegant lines, cool neutral colours, natural fibres and most definitely no fancy trimmings.  No wonder sometimes I finish something with a big fanfare and much rejoicing only for it to come out very rarely as once more I pull on my old fine cashmere crew necked sweater. Or cotton knits in cream and grey

And so it was that last week  I ripped out my Araucania, marmalade** coloured jacket with its contrasting garter stitched stripes in a slightly different weight and colour yarn, the peplum and the planned button band made of applied i-cord.  The colour is fab, all the colours of  Seville orange deliciousness; the yarn a beautiful blend of hand finished fibres but why was I tempted to embellish?

There's another connection with marmalade as well as colour.  Have you seen how many ways there are to mess with the original, simple stuff made of oranges, sugar and water?  You can buy it with added whiskey, spices, nuts - even marmalade made without oranges!!  But the best way is surely plain and simple, just as with this yarn.

And so I have reined in my imagination and chosen a simple sweater pattern with a shawl collar.   I am not absolutely sure I shall have enough yarn so I began with the sleeves and will knit the body in the round up to the armholes so if necessary I can make it a little bit shorter.

 And so the Araucania is sorted, that just leaves the multi-coloured, multi-textured stash (some with beads) much of it in very small amounts - there might be a lot of hats and scarves (and several pairs of socks!)



(I bought this today, isn't it pretty?)

*BFL - Blue Faced Leicester, a breed of sheep whose fleece spins into the perfect knitters yarn
** Marmalade - after last week's blog a twitter friend @KismetIslander suggested one could not combine Marmalade and knitting.  Ho Hum... 


Knitrageous said...

What a beautiful color that is! And I can't believe you make marmalade! I love it but wouldn't even know where to start!

My problem with yarn is that I usually don't have enough. I too buy what speaks to me without a project in mind so I 'guestimate' and it's almost never correct! I should take that as an omen! ha ha

Truly Myrtle said...

I love the colour - it will be stunning in that collared sweater. Looking forward to seeing it on :)