Last night I, in what was a late and desperate hour, pulled my copy of Knitting Workshop off the shelf, and gave it its first in-depth look in a while. First I must say, my, there’s a lot of knitting in it, and there are indeed, no live lobsters. Or dead ones. (Phew!)
But back to my other point, my god there’s a lot of knitting in it. I do believe that it really qualifies for the title of “assload.” I counted, and as near as I can tell, there are 29 knitting patterns in it. Actually twenty-eight, but there is one that I felt should be added because she put several pictures in it, and tells you, very roughly, how she did it. (i.e. two sentences.) That’s 29 patterns, thirteen of which are sweaters. There are I think six shawls, a few vests, some blankets and some baby things. That’s a lot of knitting. I know I keep saying that over and over again, but it just sunk in how very much knitting there is.
This is not to say that I’m going to do it. I’ve only had two people say it was a good idea, which is hardly a large fan base, though I know if I continue to write funny things about it, toeing that line between witty and not right, people will read. I know I can do this. I’m just not sure that I should. You know that old proverb, “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.” Is this like that?
And the funny part is that I’m not sure that I can do this. There’s a lot of stuff in there that is just plain hard. I’m a fairly adventurous knitter, or at least I like to think so. But even in that book are something that I would balk at doing. Like the Epaulet sweater, that thing terrifies me to pieces, as much as it intrigues me. Or the Rorschach sweater. Or the Shirt Yoke sweater. All those lace shawls. Not to mention the grafting. I am a horrible grafter, and at least half those patterns have a little grafting in them.
Then you also have my short attention span, combined with my decreasing amount of free time. I can’t do this in a year, two maybe, but that might be a stretch. In two years I will be in a completely different situation then I am now. I’ll be busy, even more so. I’ll still knit, but will I have the energy to plug measurements into formulas and whatnot. And not to give much away, but there will be a baby in this house soon, and as a resident knitter, I will have to churn out buckets of stuff for the expected little one. There are a few baby things in there, but not enough for the multitude that I’m sure is expected. And what about gifts, I don’t want to make a seemless hybrid sweater then turn around and give it to someone who’ll shrink it through improper care. (The people I know all have one rule, which I thankfully do not, “if it doesn’t go in the washer, it doesn’t go on me.”)
EZ is a pretty utilitarian knitter. Her garments are not exactly fashionable, but they are serviceable and warm. But what if I want something like a cabled vest, which isn’t in Knitting Workshop. What will I do then? If I deny myself having it, won’t that make me want it more?
Then you have the money question. I’m a knitter on a pretty tight budget, most of my nice yarn comes from unraveling sweaters and from generous gifts of yarn. Wool is expensive, and for the most part you have to use it for Elizabeth Zimmermann’s patterns. How am I going to pay for this project?
I remember reading somewhere though that there are always a hundred reasons not to do something. Thousands of reasons. But generally, there are very few reasons to do something. Very few. But still, I want to do it. All of the doubts in my mind start to re-surface, then my mind quiets them by saying “But I want to.”
“But what about your future?”
“But I want to, and you can go to college while knitting sweaters. As a matter of fact, All the plain knitting to the shoulder might suit all that studying.”
“But what about the money?”
“But I want to.”
“Think about the blocky style of EZ’s knits.”
“But I want to.”
“What about your attention span?”
“But I want to.”
How can you argue with something that only says, “But I want to.” Especially when that thing is in your own mind. This isn’t a time for you to open up the comments box and send me well wishes. (Unless you want to, then I won’t stop you.) This is just me trying to work out what I’m feeling now. It’s such a conflicting feeling. And these are just the qualifying questions, if I decide to do this, what will I do about the things that I’ve already knit, or what about the things that I knit, but didn’t like?
What about my writing, won’t this affect the books that I’m working on? Won’t I be distracted from my work by knitting. When knitting is just in the background it doesn’t distract me at all, but what if I do this project, and instead of writing short stories in the evening, I knit for two straight hours. Will I quit reading because of all the knitting?
“But I want to.”
I think we all know what’s going to happen.