Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Not-at-all-plain Jane

You wouldn't think that a girl would feel gorgeous wearing a circular needle and a bunch of stitch markers. The bright green waste yarn is, I think, the finishing touch that makes swanking about in front of the mirror in a half-finished cardigan such a pleasure. Oh, Matilda Jane, you are so lovely.

The designer (Ysolda) really knows her increases and decreases. Matilda Jane makes use of the lifted increase to create proud little raglan "seams", and the invisible make one to form discrete darts for the waist shaping. Decreases are fully fashioned (with the stitches leaning in the direction of the dart) where curves are to be hugged, and feathered (that is, with decreases leaning in the opposite direction to the angle of the dart) where they should be skimmed. Essentially, it is all extremely attractive, and the most attractive feature of all is the brain in the pattern. I can't wait to finish and wear this. That goes in italics because my default feeling at this stage of a project is usually more of a desperate inclination to procrastinate while I try to reconcile myself to all that's wrong with the item - positive feelings when this near to completion are worth a little typographical emphasis.

After the school run this morning, Maddy dropped off in her buggy, so Matilda Jane and me sneaked off to a coffee shop to enjoy each other's company. And while we were there, we made a new friend. One of the other school mums was sitting in the coffee shop reading a book. The other mum is Icelandic, and after a little while she looked over and said, "Did you know that people knit differently in other countries?" I asked her to show me how she knits, and was treated to a small demonstration of the continental style. "This is how you do, you know, opposite, to make it like a fence", she explained as she went through the wrangling motion of the continental purl (I think that "like a fence" means ribbing, and it's a description I like so much I plan to adopt it myself). Then she told me about how knitting is taught in Icelandic schools from age 5 to 15 (my grandma would approve), and how an older lady had accosted her in the supermarket to chat about the hand-knit jumper (made by her mum) she was wearing. "It's like knitting brings people together", she said, and then she packed up her book and left.

6 comments:

clarabelle said...

Glad to hear you are still hanging in there, despite the watery nastiness!

MJ looks yummy - positive thinking = very good. Not trying distract you from it but, have you seen Briar Rose, Ysolda's latest offering? I've already ordered some yarn coz I like it so much...

Seahorse said...

How great to meet another knitting Mum - and one who has ideas to share to boot! I am rather envious, lol!

MJ is looking lovely.

Queen of the froggers. said...

Mj looks great, I agree with you about the pattern, it is so good. As Clarabelle says, her latest pattern looks lovely too.

ysolda said...

I'm so glad your enjoying MJ. That's the best description - better than I could have done - of what I was trying to achieve. Would you mind if I quoted that on the pattern page?

Knitting does bring people together - I love it when people stop to chat about my knitting.

LilKnitter said...

I've been thinking about the almost communal properties of knitting, and I wonder if it can be compared to the baby bump phenomenon. Witnessing the slow progression and growth of something - anything! - is fascinating to us all, and seems to encourage strangers to talk to one another when and where they normally would not. I know that while I've been knitting the kilt hose on my commute to work, at coffee shops, randomly wherever, I have had more little conversations with people than ever before. And that seems very interesting to me.

honeybee33 said...

LilKnitter, I know just what you mean. Where else in our society (and by "our," this yank means general "Western") are we treated to the unfolding of something not yet finished? It's like it's taboo not to have every element complete and in its perfect place, as if it - all of it, and we, too - sprang from the head of Zeus fully clothed in designer gear.

I think it must be that people are still rather fascinated by *process,* and stages of development, even tho they don't know what that is, really, anymore.

~ hb33 ~