Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

The first day of the year is off to a mellow start, 18 degrees outside but nice and warm in my cozy apartment. It feels appropriate to be talking about knitting today because that is how my return to art and craft began. Eight years ago my little sister taught me how to knit and my obsession with fiber grew from there, eventually leading me to study design at ASU and now, to move to Rhode Island and get my crafty on, full time. I'm not the first to wax poetic about the wonder of two sticks and one long string being twisted and knotted into a whole and complete piece of cloth. It is an elemental process - the making of cloth to warm, decorate, and express ourselves.

But let's not get too serious, because it is also tremendously fun and creative to knit, as well. My personal knitting style is best described as "fiber first." I fall in love with a ball of yarn, it's color, touch, and smell, and then I try to figure out how I want to wear or use it. A lot of the time it stays in this loosely wound ball for a long time before I am willing to knit with it! What I wanted to show off here is a one-ply teal yarn that is kettle dyed for rich and subtle variation of highs and lows. It's a worsted weight, so I knit this on #9 needles (Crystal Palace bamboos, if you must know) in a simple double moss stitch.

Besides all this techno-knitting jargon, the point is that I get to wear the yarn around my neck! I made a really simple flat piece of cloth with no shaping. I knew I wanted to have the cowl button up (buttons are my newest knitting obsession) so I did some yarn-overs to make button holes. In a flash of inspiration I decided to make a ruffle after these button holes because I thought it would accentuate the "scrunchiness" of the wide cowl. And sure enough, it looks fab! I've been wearing it around the house ever since it got finished because it makes me feel both warm and fancy. Perfect!

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