Knitting mindsets: the actual, the virtual, and the wishful thinking

The Actual:

There is not much actual knitting going on these days chez knitigating circumstances. One might be tempted to say “life got in the way”, but of course knitting is part of life, so I reject that characterisation of the facts. Let us say, perhaps, that work got in the way. I did manage to finish the second piece of my Tin Roof pullover, knit the two pieces together, and block them. It currently looks like this:

I still have to sew the sides together, pick up stitches all along the bottom and knit down about 5 or 6 inches with the black yarn. Believe it or not, this piece is about two inches longer than the pattern calls for because I added stitches to lengthen it. If knit to pattern, this is a seriously cropped top, so if that’s not your thing, take care. I tried to get a better photo for you, but it has been grey and raining for weeks, and this is the best I could do.

The Virtual:

I have joined two knitting clubs this spring, Arnall-Culliford’s Confident Knitting club and Kate Davies’ Bluestocking club. This is the third year of the Confident Knitting club, which features a new pattern each month showcasing techniques. This year’s club has been running for three months already and I have yet to cast on anything, or even to log onto the Knitting Hub where they host discussions and forums about the club’s patterns and projects. So why did I join? Because I think that Jen and team make really fantastic videos and tutorials about knitting techniques, and I use these frequently. They care about supporting diversity in knitting and feature many new designers and producers, as well as more established ones. And I enjoy reading both their blog and their newsletters. I want to support them in that effort. And hopefully, sometime before the year is over, I will find more time to engage with the club. In the meantime, I am enjoying being a hanger-on, albeit rather peripherally.

Kate Davies’ Bluestocking club is an interesting mix of knitting and eighteenth-century women’s history. She describes it this way: “This club celebrates the lives and work of the important group of intellectual women – known as the “bluestockings”. We’ll explore the contribution of these women to the material and literary culture of the eighteenth century through seven different sock and stocking patterns; we’ll examine the history of sock knitting; and we’ll (of course)  knit our own bluestockings!” This is so up my alley, even though I have never knitted a pair of socks. Kate was an academic before becoming a knitting designer and I think her blog is one of the best and most interesting ones around – she combines discussions of knitting, history, design, disability, writing, and craft; it is smart, beautiful, and eclectic. Does joining this club mean I’m going to knit socks? Well, I won’t say never, but at the moment, I’ve joined for the fun and I will enjoy the knitting virtually.

The Wishful Thinking:

I received the yarn kit which I had pre-ordered from Loop, for the Scout Shawl. The yarn is gorgeous:

The shawl, designed by Florence Spurling, is just beautiful:

© Florence Spurling

I purchased this kit within 5 minutes of first seeing the pattern, but once I got over my swoon, I realised that I am not sure my knitting skills are up to the task. So, for the moment, it is in the “wishful thinking” box. With any luck, I’ll get up the nerve to start it soon.

I am in danger of becoming zombified, and having taught all day yesterday (a Saturday), my plans for the rest of today extend to turning the pages of a book and lifting the coffee cup to my lips. The “actual knitting” mindset is currently in the off position.

12 thoughts on “Knitting mindsets: the actual, the virtual, and the wishful thinking

  1. A friend of mine bought the Scout kit from Loop as well and she said it was within 5 minutes of seeing it. The colors are wonderful but she wasn’t totally excited about stranding on the Purl side. Oh well, you both will have an extraordinary piece.

  2. Your top is looking lovely – those colors look so good together! You can definitely knit that shawl! Can’t wait to see what you do with it 🙂 I am also in Confident Knitting and the Bluestocking club – very excited about both!

  3. Thank you for being honest about your knitting! Sometimes looking at yarn and patterns is enough, and the actual knitting takes a (needed?) hiatus. Glad you are being gentle enough with yourself to allow that to happen.

    • I agree wholeheartedly. Virtual and wishful-thinking knitting have taken precedence over actual knitting for me as well since the beginning of last year. Rest and be well, say I.

  4. These are stressful times, indeed, and so sorry that work pressures are impacting you. The grey weather is likely not helping. Your top is lovely and you will get a lot of wear out of it. Over a number of years, I have so enjoyed following your blog and have been impressed with the various knitting projects you have knit for your family and you. These projects are always stunning and fit the recipients perfectly! Your blog is actually my favourite blog. I have no doubt at all, Kelly, that your skills will serve you well in knitting this gorgeous shawl and look forward to seeing it finished when you are ready. Take care and thinking of you!

  5. On the one hand, I understand the Scout craze: it’s gorgeous, it’s unique, the colors in the sample are so classy. On the other hand, I really do not understand the craze 😉 Stranded colourwork in single ply superwash merino does not sound right, I would worry about it stretching out and showing the floats on the right side. Plus, the shape and size of the shawl, and the fact that the pattern photos only show it being proudly presented and not actualy worn around the neck (I wear my shawls as scarves, not as shoulder adornment), make me wonder at how useful of an accessory it would actually turn out to be. Having said that, I am fantasizing about making my own version of this patchwork concept, but with proper woolly wool and steeks – if Shetlenders will not purl stranded, neither should I 🙂

  6. You can definitely knit this shawl. I’m working on one too and while it’s a slow process because of having to untangle the balls of yarn after every few rows, the motifs are mostly intuitive and it’s not hard to do stranded knitting while purling – just keep your tension relaxed. It definitely is joyous to see the rows emerging and those kit colours are stunning. Go for it!

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