April 21, 2007


When I arrived at Diva Espresso yesterday for the meeting of our little Master Knitter Wannabe group, Lizabeth was there waiting for me, brandishing this book:

Lizabeth, looking like she means business.

It's called Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance, and is the latest by Julia Cameron. Touche! I've been working on Level II of the Master Knitter Program for seven or eight years* or some ungodly number like that, she had recognized how apt it was for me (and for everyone in our group, really), and had kindly brought it along. She lent it to me. I've already started reading it and I'll probably finish reading it before I finish Level II.

Our group, left to right: Joy, Laura-Lee, Lizabeth, and me.

Our meeting went as it typically did: Everyone talking at once, skipping from one subject to the next. In a small S&B group like this, it works. I dutifully showed off my latest swatches that I can add to my Level II binder as part of my submission to TKGA. I'm making progress, even if I go at the proverbial snail's pace.

In the photo above, the bit of black knitting on the table in front of me is a vest I've been working on. Three of us from the Feral Knitters have been having a knit-along for the Basic Black Vest from the book Folk Vests. The Basic Black Vest isn't Fair Isle -- it's a simple, classic vest in stockinette stitch, with a bottom hem, a 5-button front, and two small pockets.

The other two Feralites are knitting their Basic Black vests in Jamieson's DK, but I chose to go with Rowan Scottish Tweed, and here's why. When I had my booth at Madrona and was putting out for display various items that I've knit, I realized that I have examples of Jamieson's yarns. For example, the vest I'm wearing in the photo above is a basketweave stitch in Jamieson's DK; and my lilac-and-white vest (see my photo in the sidebar at left) is an example of Jamieson's DK used in stranded knitting. But I had no examples of anything knit in any of the weights of the Rowan Scottish Tweed line.

And then, too, I was remembering what one of my customers had written to me, at one time: The more interesting the yarn, the simpler the stitch pattern you want to use with it. She had in mind an Aran sweater, and wanted a stolidly solid yarn for her project; if the yarns available to her to choose from were marled, or tweedy, or intensely heathered, her imagined project contained fewer and fewer cables, and those cables she thought it could contain became less and less complicated. Think about it: A busy yarn competes with your stitch pattern.

So having that in mind, and this proposed plain stockinette project at hand along with a desire to use this line of yarn, it seemed a perfect marriage.

Initially I swatched in the Rowan Scottish Tweed DK, since the Basic Black Vest pattern is written for a DK weight yarn. Since I am now at a period in my life where I am a convert to large swatches, that DK weight is the large swatch you see at the right in this photo:


Once I'd made and washed the swatch, I thought the fabric was bulkier than I'd want to wear in a vest (which, after all, is a layering piece), so I swatched again in the 4-ply (jumper) weight. I liked the second swatch much better. And the small amount of busy-ness going on with the tweedy yarn -- the flecks of yellow and blue and red here and there, the little threads of blue and ared and green -- please me immensely in this stockinette knitting.

All for now -- I'm off to knitting at Naomi's, this afternoon.

*But two years should be deducted, for the time I was in grad school working on my MAEd, and another two years should be deducted for the time I was teaching high school and too busy to knit anything but simple scarves, and another year should be deducted, for the time when TKGA was in the midst of re-organization and I didn't think its certification meant anything . . . so, I've only been actively working on Level II for something like 3 or 4 years. Egads.

Posted by Karen at April 21, 2007 03:00 PM

I like that little note at the bottom of the post - "so, I've only been actively working on Level II for something like 3 or 4 years. Egads"

At least you continue to work at it. You haven't given up on it and you ARE making progress! Now that is perseverance!

I love Julia Cameron! I should check that book out! I just don't have time! I'm trying to persevere on some other things! :)

Posted by: Naomi at April 24, 2007 06:40 AM

I will be forever working on Level I. Your perserverance sets an example. :-)

Posted by: Jewel at April 24, 2007 09:14 AM