Friday, 24 July 2009

Building a Mystery

I'm working on the midway point of the mystery KAL shawl clues. The pattern is working out to be quite lovely, but seeing how I am just about to start the last row of clue 3, I am really starting to feel the long slow middle.

It kind of funny to feel the shawl rather than knowing. Usually when you start a project, you have a clear idea of what to expect. With a mystery knit along, you never see ahead. All you have is what is on your sheet for the week.

In the first couple clues, the rows are so short and the knitting so interesting. Challenged with new stitches and interesting shapes and the quest for the right yarn muddled in the too, it knit so quickly. When I started clue 3, I didn't feel as if the rows were long at all. The rows zipped by and each time I came to one of the 4 markers I needed to keep things straight, I felt a little zap of surprise. It seemed all I could do to finish each purl row, so I could zoom off on the next pattern row, to lay out the whole and see what my stitches and yarn were becoming.

This morning, working on these last rows of clue 3, it is starting to hit me. I'm not at the beginning anymore. Shawls, particularly triangle shawls, such as this is, have a hidden middle. You feel the end of clue 3 must be the middle since there are 6 clues to the shawl. Logic tells you that you there is no way you are at the middle, because you just moved into the second ball of yarn, and it says you need about 700 metres for the whole shawl. The rows are starting to feel long. I'm starting to feel a wee bit let down when I realize that this section of faggoting is only the middle of the plain row and not the end of the row. The stitches are just beginning to have a really crowded look and it takes a bit of effort now to see the pattern on these 32 inch cables. Even as I know that I am just now coming up to the middle, it is time to begin to prepare my head for the long, long rows to come.

I know there can't be too many rows left by row count, but what is left is the long rows. All of the long rows. That simple faggoted middle point marked so carefully on these shorter rows, is going to be something to look for and look forward too. It is going to be the place where I can stop to breathe, can stop to refresh my brain just as much as the short ends used to be.

I have the pattern for section 4, the current clue, and I can feel a little of how it will look, but it is just beginning to hit me how different this process is. I've read mysteries before. I like movies that are not too transparent, and keep a little left for me to guess along the way but I've never quite understood why so many people joined these mystery knit alongs. I never quite understood the mystique.

I get it now. I understand. Stitch by unknowing stitch, you can't help but feel that you are making the mystery, that it couldn't quite happen without you. It becomes part of you, and you become part of it.

Building a mystery. An interesting way to work, a fascinating process on your needles.

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