Friday, November 2, 2012

Getting philosophical with Granny

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These little grannies (they’re very small, less than 2” across) are both great and dreadful.  They make excellent use of that last bit of yarn—the first round of 12 sc uses almost none—but they’re so small that it requires a great heap of them to make anything at all.  These are destined to be the bodice of a sweater, and I can’t believe how many I’ll need.  Something like 160.  Which feels like a lot.

I’ve always wanted to make a granny square sweater, a coat of many colors, a riotous and creative concoction to proudly announce my yarny avocation, and this is going to be that sweater, and maybe the first of many because it’s enormously fun.  I find, though, that it is very hard for me to get the colors right.  I scrapped the first thirty squares, pulled them all out and rewound the yarn, because they weren’t telling the right story.  For me, this is different from blanket making, where there’s a lot of leeway and most anything will work and it turns out fine in spite of all my rending and wailing.  This is a garment, and I’m holding it to a higher standard.  I think there’s a pretty fine line here, and I can’t always see it, and it would be so easy to veer off into left field and have it go a little crazy, just like it would be easy to choose a palette of four colors and play it safe—and both would be perfectly lovely sweaters, but they’re not what I’m trying to make.   I feel there’s a bit of an art to this, and normally I sort of just wing it, but this time, with this sweater, I want to use my skills.  I want to place the colors consciously.  There are days, too, when I want to work on this project but the light is wrong or I can’t see the subtleties well enough and anything I put together just fails.  It has taken such a long time, and I have 70 squares so far, and I’m glad to say I’m still having fun.  This is the opposite of garter stitch knitting, a nice counterpoint.  This is bending my brain a little, which feels nice. 

Of course, I also want a little mindless crocheting, so this is happening simultaneously:

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After the sturm und drang of the mini grannies, working on this new blanket feels like a long, hot bath.  Balance.