Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Here's how you know it's handmade


Like many people, I started knitting as a way to relax. I figured it would be a meditative, soothing, and calming thing in my life. And it is those things. Sometimes.

And other times, not so much.

Just ask the Yarn Harlot. She'll tell you that knitting can be anything but soothing, and it has a nasty tendency to fall more into the category of painful life experiences you'd rather not revisit.

But, as she will also tell you, knitting reminds (or teaches) us things like patience and humility. And how to stand up to Perfectionism even in the most challenging situations.

I really believe that when a handmade item isn't perfect, it's a lovely reminder that the item was made -- stitch by stitch -- by a person, and not by a machine. I didn't invent this idea. I'm just a believer in it.

But, what a hypocrite, me! The photo of the scarf above excludes the portion of the scarf where I repeated too soon and made an extra little cable where one should not have been.

So. In the interest of putting my money where my mouth is, I give you... a flawed scarf:


See it? It's just a little something extra built right in. That too-soon cable happened at the exact moment that I was laughing until I was crying with two of my closest friends. And so that little extra cable, I think, will be a permanent reminder of that specific moment in time. Right?

I'm not the only person this has ever happened to, but I'm now very taken with this idea. I think that rather than beat ourselves up about losing our place in a pattern, we should just start calling these foibles "Laughing Cables," and love them as little moments of real life built right into our items.

(We could also call them "Fuck It Cables", but that just seems so crass.)

The pattern, for anyone interested, is Laura Zimmerman's "40-Stitch Reversible Cable Scarf" for Knit Cafe. I bought it and the (alpaca?) yarn in the store in West Hollywood, CA.

5 comments:

Kristy said...

This scarf is really lovely. And the too-soon cable doesn't even look out of place. YOu are very Zen. I for one am impressed. Is this scarf for you or is it a gift?

Anonymous said...

I think the too-soon cable actually looks really cool. It makes the scarf look really organic and flowing. If I ever get around to making one, I'm going to put random cables everywhere... You rock and so does your scarf!

Rohanknitter said...

Yep, knitting can be relaxing...other times, not so much. ; )
Just call it...seredipitous cables!
Ps. Thanks for stopping by the blog and leaving a comment! I always get excited when I see a comment!

Nora (Black Dog Knits) said...

F*#K IT CABLES - I like that!

A commenter left this on my blog some time ago: the makers of Persian rugs always put a flaw in their work because something hand made is not meant to be perfect!
Something about flaws being unique... x

alib said...

I love the idea of knitting laughter into a scarf. I am sure there is some (other) cultural knowledge somewhere that knew this already, and considers the laughter/ memory the actual gift to the eventual wearer (moreso than the scarf itself)... I know it sounds hokey but its real (unlike those crazy hands)

just so you know, your blog makes me happy:-)