Sunday, June 21, 2009

Should I care?

In needlework, especially in knitting and crocheting, one often encounters two kinds of individuals: those who are perfectionists and those who aren't. These individuals are often more intellectually and euphemistically referred to as "product" and "process" knitters and crocheters.

In the first case, the individual sets out in a project to produce a certain product, and that product is the priority. Either the process of making te product is viewed as unimportant or no effort is too great to make theresult perfect. The ends justify the means.

But in the second case, the needleworker simply wishes to enjoy the activity. The fact that the activity produces something is either unimportant or an added benefit. Such needleworkers rarely concern themselves with technique more than they absolutely have to.

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes I'm goal oriented, and other times I just want to keep my hands busy or play with beautiful colors.

Both types of needleworkers often produce beautiful work, with the perfectionists making the most intricate lace, complex textures, and visally satisfying patterns, and process knitters producing expressionistic work that satisfies the eyes and hands on an organic level. But in "real life" howmuch perfection is necessary?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Quick Tip

Knit-alongs are a great way to tie contrasting colors together, but they can also be expensive or draw too much attention away from the primary yarn. One thing I like to do is use size 10 crochet cotton along with my primary yarns. this gives a tweed effect to the fabric without detracting from the other colors and textures I'm using. It also avoids changing the gauge too much.

Another benefit to a neutral or coordinating knit-along is that it broadens your color choices for the primary yarn. Suddenly colors that seem to make too bold a contrast can be tied together to create a unified and intentional look. This is a great way to save money on yarn: if you can make diverse yarns in your stash go together, then you can rely more on your stash for larger projects, rather than having to buy new. Now, granted, buying new is a whole lot of fun, but it can be hard on the pocket book and time consuming when you have something particular in mind. It's also not terribly practical when you just have to start that new project at three a.m. on a Friday night. And even if you end up buying the cotton, it's one of the cheapest yarns out there.

And that's my two cents.