Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the optimism of knitters

I have frequently described knitters as unfailingly optimistic (which is, of course, a good thing). Here's why.

Firstly, we do something many do not understand: we spend $16 and as many hours (or many, many more) on what you see below--a basic version of something that most people will never see, something we wear on our feet, something we could buy a facsimile of for a quarter of the price and a few moments of our time.

Why do we do this? Because they're wonderful, because we're worth it, because I believe I'll live long enough to actually wear them out!

But sometimes we don't follow a basic pattern: we do something we've never done before, and we struggle to get it right. While working through the following pattern
  • I ripped and re-knit the neck (because it was too low),
  • I ripped and re-knit the sleeves (because they were too long),
  • I ripped and re-knit the cuffs (because they were too tight).
I pretty much knit this garment twice to get it right.

original BEST-OF-BOTH TUNIC TOP, available on ravelry.com
(What I tell myself through this process is "As soon as you finished this piece, you'd look for more knitting. You just found it!")

But people see us ripping and ask Why would you do that? Why would you spend all that time knitting and then rip it out? Mostly it speaks to our optimism: there is a way that this garment will be right, and I'll keep working until I find it!

(Apparently I did get it right, 'cause while wearing it in Montreal a woman pointed at each part of my outfit, gestured enthusiastically, and said something about "ten thousand." Was she, in French, offering me $10,000 for my outfit? I choose to think so!)

And then there is the faith-keeping required when our knitting looks like this.

Who but a knitter would keep going when the project looked like this? But we do, knowing it will turn into something treasured.

for baby girls, available for free 
on www.sallymelvilleknits.com

And then there's the terminal optimism of a knitter who finishes something, tries it on, sees that it looks like crap (that being a technical term in knitting), and doesn't break stride before she's off to the yarn shop to repeat the experience!

(I offer no photo of the latter. Let's just say I can't put my hands on one at this moment?)

For all this persistence, faith, and optimism, I saw we're wonderful! I say KNITTERS ROCK! And if there were any justice, we'd rule the world!


  1. I agree. The world would be a better place if we knitters took over. At the very least, everyone would be warm and cosy!

  2. [ Whispering to Sally only: Yay! You have appeared on my friends blog list on Ravelry!!!]

    I've done everything you've mentioned above and I don't see why people think there's anything wrong with any of it...