Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fiber #43 :: Selbu

It's a bit ironic, but ever since making my Paper Dolls sweater, I've been "dreaming and scheming," as my friend Jamie calls it, dreaming and scheming more stranded colorwork projects to knit up. Only the yarn I ordered online in October has been backordered and so I couldn't actually get to any of the projects! Finally I couldn't take it anymore and bicycled over to one of our LYS in Oakland to grab some gray that I paired with the leftover baby blue from Paper Dolls.

This is the free "Selbu Modern" pattern, probably the first stranded colorwork project I swooned over. Course, knitting colorwork in the round on size 0's sounded intimidating, so I opted for a sweater first (*snicker,* yeah, an entire sweater on size 1's just sounds so much more doable, don't we think? For those of you who don't knit, the lower the needle size, the smaller the needle. I think they maybe make 00's and that's as small as it gets. For reference, this hat comes out at 7.5 stitches/inch).

Mmm ... I really like this color combination. It reminds me of Alicia Paulson, who writes one of the very first blogs that got me into the crafting blogosphere in the first place. It has evolved through the years but I still visit regularly because of her beautiful sense of color, her firm belief in the power of handmade, her skill with the written word, and the way that she slows down and notices what's going on around her ... celebrates the small moments in life ... that's a mental place that I'd like to be. So, reading her is aspirational, you could say. (then again, isn't so much of magazines and fashion and lifestyle blogs aspirational?)

I don't know about anybody else, but I find that there is a definite rhythm to colorwork (and also lace) charts. It definitely took me one hat to figure out that rhythm, so this one is full of mistakes, although I love it anyways and wear it a lot because really, who can tell? As with lace charts, I'm guessing that as I do more of this kind of knitting, I'll get better and faster at picking up the rhythm of the pattern and charts, so that it becomes more and more intuitive.

They say that when you start learning you don't know what you don't know, then you know what you don't know, then you know what you know, and then you don't know what you know (it becomes so ingrained, so intuitive, that you almost "forget" that you know it and what the learning process was). I love learning new things and getting to that place of not knowing what I know. Right now, in relation to colorwork, I feel like I am tottering between knowing what I don't know and knowing what I know. It's kind of fun that there are so many subspecialties within knitting, let along within crafting, that allow for repeatedly going through the learning curve.

My brother helped me photograph this hat, so I spared you all but the sanest of the goofy photos. I do love the way he's the only one that can coax a normal expression on my face for these blog shots. He's a really funny guy, and with only 18 months separating us, he's also one of my closest friends. When he was back from med school on his winter break, we tried for occasional photography forays together, and once, while looking through the photographs I snapped of the prolific bounty that is my parent's Meyer lemon tree, he turns to me and says, "you should really work for a lemon magazine." Yes Michael. I think that would be a steady paycheck for sure. But you know. When you're busy laughing about the lemon magazine photography gig that's looming in your future, it's easy to forget to be self-conscious about getting photographed for your blog.


Sigrid said...

The hat is lovely, I like the subtle colors you chose. I remember thinking your photos from New York looked very "you" (even though i don't know you) and as I remember your brother took those too. It's funny because my youngest son takes the best pictures of me. Although his framing is sometimes a bit odd, he always manages to make me feel like laughing.

Violet said...

Getting my photo taken is always a horrible strain because the camera does not love me at all. But I guess if the person behind the camera really loves you, that might help.