I am wearing a shawl that I knit for the holidays using a combination of silk and kidsilk haze yarn. I didn't technically use a pattern. Instead it's a mashup of two designs, one of which I used for its shaping and the other for its twisted drop stitch technique. Before I began blogging and bedazzled by all the amazing knitting online I used to be much more creative and less dependent on using patterns. I'm afraid I've become what I overheard a LYS owner refer to as a "pattern hog." I had no clue what she meant and asked her to explain. She told me that it's someone who sees and likes a design and immediately buys the pattern and thereby accumulates a library of patterns that they intend to knit. Someday. And so their library grows and morphs until it contains patterns beyond a reasonable hope of ever being knit.
She further explained that knitters as a whole used to be much less dependent on patterns. And I realized that she was describing me. It's so tempting to relax and follow someone else's pattern. I figure why reinvent the wheel? I like the design and someone else has already figured out the hard part. But this limits your own creativity. There is something very satisfying about buying yarn and imagining what it can become and then creating it.
To begin your journey of creativity you might consider doing what I've done with this shawl which is to borrow design elements from patterns that you already own to create something that's uniquely yours. You might find that you have a knack for designing. Or at least become less dependent on patterns. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I usually don't wear anything that I've knit until I've taken the pictures and blogged the project. But I cheated with this shawl as it was perfect to wear for an occasion we went to several weeks ago. I'm a fan of period pieces a la Jane Austen and it was not uncommon in that era to listen to chamber music in the evening after dinner in private residences. So imagine my delight to be invited to a friend's house for dinner to be followed by a chamber music concert! For me it just doesn't get better than this and I just had to wear my new shawl. It truly was a memorable evening. You can't imagine how the soul soars to hear the sweet notes of the violin and cello being played so close that you can see the music flowing through the musician and the instrument as if they were one. It's a connection that is beautiful to witness. Someone took a video of the music, but alas it can not capture being there. I told our host as we were leaving that I'm hoping next time they'll clear the floor for waltzing. I think technically what I was asking for was a Ball. Just call me Lydia.
Particulars: Mashup of Two Patterns: I used the sideways triangle (elongated) shaping for this shawl from Enfilade by Lisa Hannes and I used the twisted drop stitch technique from the Mulberry shawl from Colinette's Arboretum pattern collection (the twisted drop stitch creates the wonderful squiggles in the silk and mohair best seen in the second picture from the top); I used 2 skeins Colinette Tao Silk; 1 skein Rowan Kidsilk Haze (dark purple); and 1 skein Colinette Parisienne Kid Mohair; US 6 needles. The original Enfilade shawl is blogged as Multi Colored Shawls and Testing Yarn for Color fastness and I previously knit a hat from the Arboretum collection blogged as It's an Art, not Science.
Incidentally the pendant that I'm wearing in these pictures is an actual maple leaf that has been dipped in copper. I purchased it from Shy Faerie on Etsy and have loved wearing it this season. She has silver ones for Winter too and I'm thinking about getting one of those as well! Talk about being creative using limited resources. These are only $8.99 US amazingly and I think would be a great stocking stuffer and/or add on gift for holiday shopping.
Farewell to Fall ~
It might not technically be the end of Fall but after Thanksgiving it seems we all rush into the Christmas season. This weekend I'm trying to savor the last remnants of Autumn with every bite of pumpkin pie. It's been a particularly nice Thanksgiving and I'm feeling very blessed to have Steve and Simcha to share this special time and to have such a wonderful extended family. I'm grateful for that every day.
Until next time be well, love well and have fun decorating and preparing for the Christmas holiday season!