Knitting away…

June 22, 2008

So, apparently knitting is my code word for something else… somehow, people find it hard to believe that I knit as a hobby. The truth is, it’s more than a hobby–it’s an addiction. It started out simply enough many, many years ago, an hour a week during craft class in school. Then, about a year back, I picked it up again. And just like swimming, it all came back. So I tried a few simple things, plain caps and mufflers. Then one day I looked up a pattern online  and tried it out–all of a sudden, I was knitting cables. That’s when I realized something… it wasn’t half as difficult as it looked, though it took thrice as long to make as I estimated. And then it all just exploded.

First, I bought a stash–yarn in various shapes, colours and textures. The sheer visual and tactile pleasure of handling the yarn was overwhelming. Next, I scoured the internet for patterns–and I found a treasure trove of designs. A few months more of knitting, and I had another realization that changed everything… I had picked up enough basic skills, and more importantly had developed enough confidence in myself, to go beyond the constraints of a pattern and innovate. I couldn’t find a free pattern for an argyle sweater, so I designed one–I had never tried the intarsia technique, so I found the instructions and learnt as I went along.

Knitting is both technical and creative. When constructing a sweater of the correct dimensions, using a modified pattern, I have to ensure I work out the required stitches and rows and then count them at every stage–that I check the guage and visualize to make sure everything fits, then keep doing quick checks as I progress. At the same time, I love the first phase of choosing yarn type, matching colours, comparing different designs and knowing the aesthetic appeal of the finished piece depends on my creativity and eye for colour.

Till this point, it was a hobby. Now, alone in Singapore with some evenings and most weekends free to do with as I choose, it has become an obsession. Any free time I have is spent knitting. I can knit simple designs without looking, so I do it while watching TV, surfing the net, even while reading a book. As with everything else, I have to multitask. The same way I usually read 3 or more books of different genres simultaneously, I work on 3-4 varied projects using different yarns/ colors/ needle sizes at the same time.

This blog entry is very unlike the overall tone of my blog, but I was chatting with a friend and it sparked off this train of thought. And, 6.45 am in Singapore (lightning, thunder, rains and still as dark as night outside), I felt the urge to blog. I’ve been meaning to start a knitting photoblog, and I probably will when I have finished a few more pieces to display. For now, I’ll content myself with this ramble and (shortly) some photos of finished pieces.

Right, back to my knitting for now…


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