Tuesday, 24 March 2009

kind of blue

Why knit? Is it always to achieve a particular finished object that you want, or is it for the process of knitting something, of bringing something into being? (Something that is not necessarily destined to be a functional part of your life which is perhaps is why so many handknits are given away).

The prospect of knitting the Faux Russian Stole from Gathering of Lace was one of the things that pushed me through those last rows of the swallowtail shawl (blocking as we speak; so to speak). I have a lovely cotton/linen/silk blend yarn, probably a little heavier than lace weight, in a bright indigo blue that I recycled from a Ralph Lauren sweater. For some reason I had always had in mind to make the Faux Russian Stole from this yarn, I can't even remember how or why I reached that pairing. Anyway, I finally got to cast on for it yesterday and was filled with misgivings - do I really want to knit this? do I really want to knit this now? do I really want to knit it from this yarn? what else would I prefer to knit it from? do I have anything else that I would prefer to knit it from?
It is of course always possible to knit something a second time in a yarn that you prefer but at 521 rows of lace, 81 stitches wide (not counting borders), this would be quite a knit for just the sake of bringing something into being.

So I decided to just knit for a bit and see how it went, process knitting basically, knitting for the sake of the physical action. Anyway, I worked on the lower border yesterday evening and am sold on it. The original RL knit was in a 2x2 rib which made a rather dense, stiff fabric. Knitted up as lace the yarn is much softer and, as linen does, has lovely drape.

And the colour? I've decided that it's Prussian Blue. (Yes, I know that Prussia was not just a bit of Russia but rather covered a bit of Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Denmark, Belgium and the Czech Republic too. But for the purposes of being the yarn destined for this project it's good enough for me).

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