Thursday, 2 October 2008

Stranded colour work

I signed up for a workshop in stranded colour work this weekend. But for the usual morning coffee with Mr. Needles, my Sunday is going to be full of knitting.

I'm not a big workshop type learner. I usually stumble about on my own till I get an approximation of the technique executed. I feel comfortable with my end product, but not comfortable enough to try to pass how I do it on, or to even call my way of getting there a technique. I have no idea why my natural instinct is to muddle and struggle along rather than head out and ask for help. Perhaps its the part of me that my mom called stubborn when she tried to teach me how to crochet. Me stubborn?

Why, yes. Yes I am.

So why this workshop? It has to do with getting the details right and with the music of hands.

Earlier this year, I watched one of the ladies knitting some mittens using both hands to do stranded colour work. It was music seen, not heard, watching her build layers, placing yarn with both hands, laying every note of colour exactly where she wanted it to be. Watching her hands work with such grace made me want to play that silent music with my own hands.

I tried colour work and was pleased to begin, but just like reading sheet music without understanding what the lines mean, or what the clef is or what key to begin in, I got a little lost along the way. The workshop is Music 101.

Right about the same time, the summer issue of Interweave Knits came out and I fell hard, very ,very hard for the soft colours of the Tidewater Wrap. Who knows if I'll ever knit it. I fell for it anyway.

Those three things came together in summer and I just had to resolve it. The workshop will teach me not just how to play this music, but will teach me how to read the music. I will know that it isn't a misunderstanding of the technique if my colour work is out of tune, and I will know what part to practise it till I play it right.

Somehow, after all this time, playing to my own drumbeat is not the only thing I want to do. I need to understand this music everyone else is playing and I need to be part of that symphony.

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