Sunday, 6 March 2011

Bad Knitting

I am immeasurably bad at knitting and it is more of a science than an art in my eyes, with the addition of maths to make it even more complicated, very similar to baking a cake. In order for knitting to be relaxing for me it has to be a rather simple combination of stitches that are the repeat over and over again. So many of my knitting projects are laying unfinished because I have got to the part where you need to look at the pattern and follow the instructions. I am also very bad at following instructions, I would rather just have a go at stuff, try and work it out, see what happens, be creative.

This approach works beautifully with art, I look at an image, become inspired and recreate an interpretation with confidence and panache. This does not work at all with knitting, if you do not follow the pattern to the letter (which are mind blowing codes that you have to flick back to the beginning of the book to decode or watch videos about how to do them on Youtube to decipher) the results are a fiasco. My knitting is very much an irregular pattern, the epitome of chaos in the most beautiful yarns available from the best haberdasheries.

I like to try and see my knitting as an art form rather than a failure which prevents me from becoming too despondent about my lack of talent and ability to follow a pattern. In fact the artist Patrick Hughes has written a fascinating book More on Oxymoron which could quite easily have featured any one of my knitting projects.

In fact Rene Magritte made a career out of similar words and images.

This is a piece of cheese by Rene Magritte


With so many projects unfinished and life becoming increasingly busy, on this occasion, I set myself the target of finishing this project , mostly because the Rowan Kidsilk yarn is irresistible and the results are below.

This is a pair of gloves by Ridgeway Cottage

To the non-knitter it may look as if I have done quite well and I am of course proud to have completed a knitting project that required a pattern. Sadly however, they are about as useful as gloves as Magritte's cheese is for a sandwich. One is too big even for a leg warmer and the other is baby sized.


So what now, I could knit another glove in the smaller size and give them to Josie but seeing as I followed the pattern and these are the results, I'm not convinced of success. Perhaps I could wrap them in tissue paper and store them until a time when I am good at knitting to measure my progress or even unravel them in true 1940s spirit and reuse the yarn.

It is with almost a sense of mamihlapinatapai that I look at these gloves and to be honest I am a little despondent with my knitting but not with life and so onto the next project.


Modelled on 13 Words by Lemony Snicket
Inspired by my wonderful students and their insatiable acceptance and rejection of books
In memory of The Kings English Children's Bookshop which sadly closed this week

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