You guessed it!  More Motley:


The framing in charcoal is now complete, and I’m more than half way done with the edging.  I looked through all the books that I haven’t shipped ahead, and various on-line sources, hunting for an edging that looked right.  I wanted something not too lacy, with design elements that echoed the zig-zag of the center, but that was not just a duplicate of that simple point pattern.  I didn’t find anything I liked in particular, so I tossed all of it into my cranial Cuisinart, and came up with my own.  It’s very simple, and likely as not, I’m not the first to hit on it.  Still, I like the look, and it’s quick to knit.  Two evenings has marched me around almost three sides.  Eventually I’ll be posting the pattern for this, including how to miter it for a neat 90-degree corner.

I’m happy with how Motely is turning out. It has a certain folkloric, rustic look.  I’m sure however that I’ll think less of it once I begin working in all those ends.

On the Knowledge Base and Beginners

I’ve been having an enjoyable comments-chat with Nila.  She asked a couple of questions I answered in my last post, then she posted a hint of her own.  She was surprised that as a (relative) beginner, she could add onto the common knowledge pile.  I think she needn’t be surprised.

Knitting, like many crafts, is simultaneously ancient and evolving.  Bright people take up needles and learn.  Some, infested with the how-why bug, look at their lessons with fresh perspectives, and bring insights of their own.  Yes, sometimes in a limited environment their insights are rediscoveries, but that does not make those insights less valuable. 

A hundred years ago, grafting sock toes was a revolutionary new technique.  As late as 60 years ago slip-slip-knit instead of K1-slip one- pass slip stitch over was not universally known (reading lace instructions from books printed before the 50s turns up far more of the latter than the former).  Using two circulars as giant DPNs and the using one giant circular (aka Magic Loop) are relatively new tricks, gaining wide popularity only in the last 12 years or so. 

We have inherited a huge, shared tool chest of techniques, from anonymous and named innovators over the past 500 or so years of knitting history. But that doesn’t mean that the inherited ways are the ONLY ways or the ONLY CORRECT ways to produce pieces.

My point is even in a limited craft like knitting, there is a wealth of alternatives that can be pursued, and even today, a steady stream of healthy innovation.  There are only so many ways to form a flat sequential  multiple loop based fabric, and only so many ways to manipulate or deform stitches, yet even within those bounds, EVERYONE – beginner, intermediate, or advanced knitter – has the potential to have that flash of insight, to see some new technique or method; one that saves time, effort, money, or aggravation, or that leads to a new method of expression.  Beginners can bring unspoiled eyes to annoyances more experienced knitters take in stride.  More advanced knitters can blend techniques and come up with alternate ways to get things done.  And everyone can cross-pollinate – bringing in inspiration, methods, and concepts from experiences outside the world of knitting.

I encourage you to try something new, to think on other or better ways to do something, or to add to your own personal toolsets with the goal of gaining inspiration through broadening your own skills.  You never know – an “Aha! moment” could strike at any time, and the next inventor could well be you!

One response

  1. I do love it that there are now so many sources of information and inspiration available to us and indeed, as you say, people on every level who may have just the right input for what you need at the moment.

    Since I began challenging myself to try knitting patterns I’ve never done–and some I would never have dreamt of doing–I’ve been having a ball
    (tee hee. It’s a yarn pun 🙂 )

    On YouTube I came across a charming tutorial for a crocheted slouchy hat made by a sweet young thing who confesses to having little training and who refers to how to use your string and crochet stick. I had never had success with crocheting over the years. My total output was 3 granny squares made 30 years ago but this video was so simple and clear that i decided to give it a try and yes, was successful! Well, sort-of. The hat is done and looks nice but since my yarn was thinner and the needles 1 size smaller it came out significantly less slouchy than intended, in fact it’s a trim beret. I’m still considering unraveling the decrease rows and adding a couple of inches of increase rows. That would slouchify it, right?

    As to your 2 nights of working in Motley’s ends I can’t imagine doing that! I don’t like strings hanging out so I weave in my ends as soon as I’ve got a couple of inches done. Ah, I just remembered your saying that that might not be a good idea to weave in the ends before blocking. Is that why you don’t do them as you go?

    best wishes,

    ps 2 i’s, no a in Nili 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: