Breaking the rules

We recently took the True Colours personality test. I’m orange. Really orange. That apparently means I like spontaneity and hate planning. Yep that would be about right, and I don’t much like rules. However, I do have rules of my own when it comes to knitting.

One reason I think my rules are important is that I find that the things you knit are only as beautiful as the yarn you start out with, so I try to start out with yarn I really love. It often comes with a matching price tag, which is ok because I plan my projects pretty carefully and don’t let myself get distracted by lots of projects at once. I feel like this makes good sense, especially when it comes to a project like Luciole. I’ve just got to the last chart which is essentially the tricky bit. The rows are around 200 stitches long and the lace pattern now goes all the way across, rather than being mostly confined to the edging. I’m really enjoying this project and I’m feeling good about the end result; I think it will be a beautiful shawl and also a piece that I will have really enjoyed making. However, it is going to take a bit of sticking to. Each row takes around about 20 minutes now, and a reasonable amount of concentration. This isn’t the kind of knitting I can do whilst chatting, or with the kids playing around me. This is clearly part of having chosen a project that would a challenge, which I was keen to take on and it doesn’t detract from the pleasure of making the shawl. It does mean however, that if I’m going somewhere where knitting would be a good sideline, or when I have the odd five minutes, or when the kids want to be with me but don’t need me to play with them I haven’t got anything to work on. Unless I break the rules.

Of course, I do have that other project that I was planning on doing before Luciole. That would be a good portable project, good for play times. Only trouble is, I still haven’t finished spinning all the yarn. I’ve done nearly four out of five colours but that’s not five out of five and I need all five ready before I start because of how the striping is going to work. This week hasn’t turned out to be much of a spinning week (or much of a knitting week either – free nights have been early to bed nights) so it’s not going to be ready by the end of this week.

There is another issue too, pushing me into breaking the rules. Last July we went to Canada and visited a really cool yarn shop. I bought a whole big heap of fisherman’s yarn to make a jumper for Ben. I made him a jumper when I first started knitting. It was based on an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern which at that stage was quite challenging. He’s worn it quite a bit but it does look like an early attempt at a hand knit and he’s been asking for a while for it to be updated. This week the weather has turned pretty chilly and, looking through Ben’s jumpers he really could do with something new. I’ve had in mind for a while a basic plan for his jumper, with a textured stitch pattern over the body with some cabling up the sides. I think maybe he would be happy with plain but that would be a bit boring and I’d like to do a bit more designing of my own. Also I just bought a new stitch dictionary which has lots of things that have given me lots of ideas. Even a cable pattern that turns into a tree which would be quite the right kind of thing for Ben. I’ve started swatching, which when you’re using a swatch to try out design features is actually a lot of fun. Also it’s portable and it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes so it just fills the gap in my knitting requirements at the moment. And Ben is looking quite cold.


So maybe it’s not such a good thing to be a bit orange in the personality test. I have some knitting rules for myself which make good sense but sometimes it makes better sense to break the rules.

One thought on “Breaking the rules

  1. Mark

    I really like the colours and textures in your lace shawl, it is very beautiful – what a great reward for all the effort!

    Perhaps rules are useful at first, but they need refining as we meet new situations and opportunities we haven’t considered before, and as skill develops, and self-confidence, we can dispense with rules and rely on our judgment instead! That’s what I like about design and make – discovering how to apply your judgment as you work, seeing how it works out, learning and improving your skill.

    Great photos!


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