Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The search for origins.

You'll have to bear with me for a moment here, Reader: I'm feeling nostalgic. Nay: sentimental. Pull up a seat to the fire and pour yourself a glass of sherry; the impulse will pass, and we'll come back to our senses.

Upon investigating the closet of my childhood bedroom this past weekend, I discovered the wreckage of my first knitting project, the predictable garter stitch scarf. The fees for our knitting class got us a ball of worsted weight yarn (I got light blue; at some later point I acquired a ball of dark blue) and a pair of size 7 straights. Reader, I confess that my mind was not on knitting that evening; rather, I had attended the class in order to make some friends. I lucked out on that score, but less so on the knitting--I was the last person in the class to figure out how to cast on (or so I remember) and my efforts were...imperfect, to say the least. It's hard to imagine now, having knit so many stitches on so many projects, how I repeatedly failed to end up with the correct amount of stitches at the end of a row. There's a point in knitting where a new technique just begins to make sense, and that was true for me from the basic knit stitch on.

Eventually, I put that shapeless blob in a drawer and learned to knit other things, and by "other things," I mean "hats." I believe I made about a dozen hats by Christmas, and occasionally those hats have turned up, like so many bad pennies, to haunt me. My enthusiasm for hats waned eventually and I returned to what I will generously refer to as a "scarf," but really had about as much in common with a scarf as this blog does with Anna Karenina. So the first thing I did was to start over, although I preserved that initial piece of knitting for a long time and may have it somewhere still. I decided to jazz up the garter stitch by doing stripes of the two blues and I worked at it diligently--or, at any rate, I must have; I don't remember how long it took or when I finished it. But it did get finished, and I seem to have gotten to wear it a few times before the scarf began to return, dust to dust, to a pile of yarn. I had, you see, Reader, simply tied square knots at the color changes and blissfully snipped off the ends. I did not know any better, and I did not have to vocabulary to find out more about finishing techniques or weaving in ends in a book or online. The weight of a garter stitch scarf knit on size 7 straights is not inconsiderable and the square knots came out quite easily. Now that I know a bit more about these things, I could probably try to fix the scarf, or reknit it, but I think it's probably better to leave it as it is. I'd like to say it's for the poetry of the thing, but the truth is that I've rather lost interest in garter stitch scarves.

Oh, dear. I actually meant to blog about the mysterious bag of afghan squares I found underneath the scarf; those I have decided to reclaim and put together properly. I even had a picture for you, Reader. Well: coming soon to a multiplex near you.

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