February 1, 2012

a slightly faster project

Most of the time, I love the slowness of knitting. I love that I can pick it up on the subway or in a waiting room or a line and add a few stitches here, a few stitches there. It's meditative, relaxing. Most of the time, I'm in no hurry.
Except sometimes I am.

Sewing is, by contrast, a faster hobby. Not everything in sewing is fast, of course, some projects take time. But most of what I sew is on the simple side, something I can start in finish in an evening or two. The downside of sewing is that I can't do it while hanging in the living room watching a movie or sitting on the subway. Unless you're talking embroidery, which I'm not, because I'm terrible at it (although this is tempting me to try again).

So I knit. And it makes me patient, or more patient at least.
I just finished a sweater, so you would think I'd be pretty happy with my knitting self right now. And I'm making good progress on both Will's sweater and a sweater vest for myself that I cast on last week. But on Monday I got the sudden urge to have something quick. Cozy and quick. Brought on, I think, by a bevy of girls I saw sitting outside the Hungarian Pastry Shop in their thick cowls and scarves.

I do not knit scarves. Ever. I've made one scarf in my entire life and that was my first "I'm going to teach myself to knit" project back in college. I can't be sure but I think it turned out hideous. And short. I've blacked it out.

The problem with scarves is that to be good, they have to be long. And long requires a lot of time and wool. And if I'm going to put a lot of time and wool into something, I want it to be a more exciting thing than a scarf. Because scarves you can buy a plenty.
Cowls, on the other hand, are a different matter all together. I love to knit them. I've made a good six of seven of them in the past two years, some of them went so fast that I didn't even bother to record them on Ravelry. Add some chunky Quince Puffin that has been languishing in my stash and I was off.

I used the stitch from this scarf because it's beautiful. Simple and complex at the same time. It's also easy enough to memorize the pattern but interesting enough to keep me, well, interested. My only regret is not using larger needles. I should have gone up to a 13 at least so that the weave was looser. I'm hoping some blocking will help with that, it's pretty darn dense at the moment. But for two easy evenings and a morning bind off, it'll do. Now I just have to wait for it to dry from the blocking. Impatience, impatience, impatience.