While we are all works in progress ourselves, I think we also hope that the works we crafters produce will improve as our skills progress. Sometimes it’s simply the practice that eventually leads to better and better results, but at other times, I have come to the conclusion that we may just invest in better materials as time goes by, if at all possible.
This is being brought home to me by my latest WIP. When my children were very young and I knitted for them, I wasn’t averse to a good proportion of manmade fibre in the yarns that I chose, knowing that children are bound to dribble, muck or otherwise dirty the lovingly knit garments I was churning out, so that being machine-washable was really absolutely essential. As long as the yarn didn’t actually remind me of plastic, and perhaps used polyamid rather than simple nylon and felt reasonably soft, I was happy to buy and use it.
Now, however, I pay far more attention to the fibre content of the materials I am willing to work with. Bar a little strengthening power from manmade fibres in sock yarn, which is almost a necessity (I’m not about to darn pure wool socks every other time I wear them!), I do like to spend a little more on various kinds of pure animal fibre, be it wool, merino, cashmere, angora or what have you. The market knows very well that we knitters aren’t averse to investing a little more in “nice” yarns, even if the quantities bought are smaller – so many patterns now are specifically issued with the single skein in mind: shawls, scarves, hats, gloves, socks…
Enter my latest project, Ysolda Teague’s pattern “Marin”, a cross between a scarf and a shawl, too simple and dense to be considered lace yet graceful in its lines and scoops and the sort of thing that will probably get a lot of wear as the weather cools rapidly into autumn. And my faithful readers already know I can’t pass a skein of MadelineTosh yarn without going faint with enthusiasm at the softness and the luscious colours…
Here’s a pattern that requires attention rather than skill (I keep telling everyone knitting only consists of two stitches, knit and purl, and a bit of common sense!) and with the addition of a wonderful skein of yarn, soon produces something to be proud of: Now I only have to hope that there is enough yardage: the pattern says 352 m and my yarn, see above, is 361 m ….
(What a coincidence that this colour is called “Baltic” – a region I’m particularly interested in, both knittingwise and otherwise!)
Mmmmm yummy! can’t wait to see it finished…and you knit tight, so you’ll be fine on the amount!!!