Thursday, 7 January 2016

Non-traditional traditional

This pattern section is almost long enough.  I think another two motifs will be just about perfect and it will be time to switch motifs.  I caught myself wondering just where in the pattern I was yesterday.  This motif has become zen, that place where you know you are knitting but you can just let go and it seems to knit itself.  I love that place in knitting. 

I also love the way this is working out.  Now that there is a nice piece to assess the stitch pattern, I did find myself wondering if I should have been knitting on smaller needles. I don't think so, but it was worth thinking through.  

If you were sticking to the traditional knit form, from the Styrian Enns valley, you would be knitting this much more firmly with smaller needles, so the twist in the stitches would show more crisply. the fabric would be rather more firm and dense.   Traditional knit patterning developed to suit a particular want and need.  My want or need may or may not be the same.  It is important to understand a traditional knit style and why it was developed.  I think it's important too, to be able to reproduce it and work it should the need or want arise.  At the same time,  to blindly go forth and knit something in a traditional way, that doesn't suit your own personal end goal or end use for the project?  That is just silly. 

I want a wrap to snuggle into.  I want my fabric to be softer and a little more relaxed.  I do want the lovely patterning displayed but I do not want dense and firm. So this is not really traditional.

Tradition changes.  When I was a kid, my Christmas tradition was Christmas Eve at home with mom, Christmas Day with Grandma Struck, Boxing Day with Grandma Diederichs.  It was surely sacred and immutable.  And then we had kids and some Grandparents were gone and things changed.  We moved far away and things changed again, and again, now that my generation has grandchildren.  Traditions are not so solid as we think they are.  Tradition is a picture in time and only pictures really stay the same. Only the big general things stay the same.  Everything else changes ever so slowly and ever so slightly.

Knitting is progressing on my non-traditional traditional piece.  I don't know what the next element will be but there are dozens to choose from.  Dozens and dozens.  The plan calls for the next element be just a little more complex and that is about as much of a plan as there is.  I am right here with the rest of you, waiting to see what pops up next.


1 comment:

Sel and Poivre said...

I think one of the greatest things parents can do for their kids is first, provide them with the nice, comforting sense of tradition when they are young children then gradually loosen the parameters during their teens while still maintaining the essence of things then return to observing the traditions themselves even as their young adults develop their own take on things in their twenties and beyond.

Slavish determination to keep everything the same eventually feels suffocating and as you say, is ultimately futile anyway.

BTW your twisted knitting is lovely in that creamy colourway!