Sunday, March 20, 2016

Dated or Not? ~ and Spring Treats

I'm doing some stash knitting and realized that my taste and my perception of what's appealing to knit has changed in the last couple of years.  I had always assumed knitting was an insular hobby unaffected by time or trends. Rather like building model airplanes.  Or growing bonsai trees.  The projects and materials that you love today you will love and enjoy always.  Right?

Not quite.  While I love this shawl I'm not sure I would have picked either this yarn or this pattern today. And I only purchase this yarn 2 years ago.  Since I don't consider myself a trendy person that realization surprised me.  Could my taste in so short of a time period (relatively speaking) change to the extent that it so dramatically affected the types of patterns and yarns that appealed to me?  Yet there is no doubt that today I have a strong preference for more vibrant colors and patterns that use multiple colors of yarn.  Knitting with a single color felt passe to me and diminished the enjoyment I should have had in knitting this shawl.  With no fault to the shawl, which is lovely without question.

But it does make me wonder whether I'll still love and adore my recent acquisitions of speckled yarns, space dyed colors and bright hues in another year or two. Apparently I'm more fickle than I realized.  Note to Self: no more stash acquisitions while I give this matter further consideration.

I'm curious if this project seems dated to you or not?  There are clearly timeless knitting projects.  But what makes something timeless is difficult to define as much of what we knit and wear is also fashion.  I wonder if this is a function of the information age where we are exposed to more and more ideas and possibilities?  Something to consider when investing in your next yarn purchase.  

Particulars: Mansion House; designed by Toby Roxane Barna; US 8 needles; 2 skeins DK weigh yarn 100g/256m Eileen (hand dyed yarn) by Juno Fiber Arts; colorway Pond.  A very easy pattern to knit. I made no modifications whatsoever.

Springs Treats ~ Indoors and Out

Spring is a wonderful time of year filled with light, beauty, renewal, and rebirth.  Whatever your religious beliefs it is also a time for reflection, rejoicing and family celebrations.   As I celebrate both Easter and Passover I use this time to think about the ways that my journey in this life is either bringing lightness or darkness into this world and what are the internal thoughts and actions that enslave me and prevent me from being the person I wish to be.  It really comes down to whether or not (despite the actions of others) you chose to add sweetness, beauty and light to this world.

Speaking of another kind of sweetness, Easter is a particularly fun holiday with the tradition of Easter baskets and hiding eggs for children.  Since I'm still a child at heart but no longer receive an Easter basket I like to make Easter Sweet Buns for my afternoon tea (recipe blogged several years ago). These are easy and fun to decorate and will satisfy the inner child within anyone.  Personally, I don't limit myself to eating these just at Easter.

Another Spring treat, of an outdoor variety, is seeing the return of butterflies and all the pretty wildflowers blooming along the hillsides. Some of the nicest hikes that Simcha and I take are at this time of year and I'm always a little sad when I realize this season has past.

Until next time, be well and love well and may your Spring be filled with sweetness, beauty and light. Happy Easter ~


betty said...

It's a lovely shawl. I don't think it looks dated, but then again, I'm not much of a shawl knitter or wearer, so I don't know if I would recognize a dated shawl :)

I love March and early spring because all the flowers in my yard start to bloom, but I also hate it because all my grass weeds grow way to fast and I have to do weeding day after day.

Happy Spring to you!

Kristen Rettig said...

Loved your post and your thoughts on stash acquisition. Our tastes do change re. knitting. Who knew that would ever happen? However, you shawl looks totally up to date and beautiful!

Ady Grafovna said...

I know "art yarns" were in style a few years back. Now, you hardly ever see these unique beauties. I still have a couple in my stash though. I also have my projects knit from them and they are definitely dated now. The yarn itself was a trend.
I have a friend that went from one color shawls, to beading, to three color shawls... But all of the shawls still look lovely when she wears them. I think that is just personal taste development.
Your shawl most definitely falls into personal taste development and not passé fad.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting issue, Claudia. So many sides to this question. Ady says it so well about personal development. I love the design of this particular shawl of yours, and would probably always love it. For me it would be a classic, while other designs might be a fad. Maybe you can change how you drape it, giving it a different feel. Sometimes the particular combination of yarn and design is also a factor in what feels fresh -maybe you can put passé-feeling yarns in the bottom of your stash to be revived later when the right pattern comes along. And thank you for raising this issue: It gives me another justification to retain ALL my knitting books and magazines. As my skills and stash increase and my tastes change, designs that I glossed over years ago are suddenly just the thing. Hm.... I wonder how that strategy fits into the Kon-Mari principles:-). Chloe

Claudia Bugh said...

Thank you for your comments. I also had a few left on other forums. I think the consensus is that sock yarn (smaller quantities of stash) are less vulnerable than buying multiple skeins of yarn. But even with sock yarn there are trends... I loved Chloe's input that as our tastes change sometimes older patterns and yarns can inspire us when we are at a different time and place in our life. An excellent example of why you should never act in haste and throw away older pattern books and yarns! Happy Knitting :)

Jazz Dalek said...

I've been knitting seriously since around 2008 and I've noticed many of the same things. At the start, there were very few sweater patterns I'd consider stylish. Then it was the sweaters with 1-3 buttons at the very top. Then around 2010-1011 there were a lot of fitted classic cardigans, followed by open or drape front styles, and the last few years have seen many boxy and less shaped designs. I do think sweater styles are more subject to fashion trends than accessories like socks or scarves. In the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravely, people regularly knit both old and new designs, but arguably sock patterns are all about surface decoration because the object's overall form is inherently limited. I have noticed overall less interest in novelty yarns - perhaps knitters are realizing that their use is often fairly limited. Heavily variegated yarns also seem less popular than semisolids or tonals, I expect for the same reason. It's hard to find patterns that work well with "clown barf" yarns. On the other hand, I'm really excited about the new interest in single breed and not-merino wool yarns.

In my own knitting, I'd say I'm most fickle about sweaters, but I regularly wear socks and mittens I knitted when I first started. So I do think accessories are inherently less subject to trends than sweaters.

Allie said...

Claudia, it's lovely!! I'm fickle too, and try not to buy too much fabric - my tastes do change! But I've noticed that these things go in cycles - so what you're tired of today, you may love again a few years down the road.
I'm a bit envious that you're seeing flowers and butterflies - sigh. We're getting rain tonight, but 20 miles up the road it's snowing!

Willow said...

I am a full week late reading your blog and my excuse is that yucky flu/cold going around.
Hmmm, I haven't thought too much about shawls going in and out of style. Because I knit and sell hats on a regular basis, I am more aware of the styles and colors each year for hats/caps/beanies.
Happy Easter to you!

Kirsten said...

When I look at my stash I notice I had different phases. E.g. there was a time when I concentrated on grey in every possible way. I still love gray and buy the occasional special yarn but basically my need for grey is sated. Nowadays I lean more towards very saturated semi-solid colorways. Or I had a lace yarn phase whereas now it is more dk-weight. I would rarely say a good yarn is out-dated but it doesn't fullfill your actual need for a colour, a sort of fiber or a yarn-weight.
The endless variety yarn offers is one of its special appeals. So let's make the most out of it!