Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do What You Like

It was really interesting for me to read Dawn's latest post. In it, she says:

"I was dubious when I first started knitting socks. I didn't see the point or the necessity for handmade socks even as a hobby. The yarns I first looked at seemed to be too warm for Texas. But I have a competitive nature, if someone out there is making something, I have to be able to make it too."

I found this intriguing for several reasons. I tend to have a competitive nature as to what I consider Unique, which I would best define as "I want to be the only person doing something, or at least the first person to do it that I know of..." This is pointless in knitting, as in music. (I have often heard it quoted that everything in music has been done before). In knitting, while there are things to discover, I doubt that I will ever be one of the pioneers, like EZ, Cat Bordhi, or any of those heavy hitters.

I think Dawn's comment was very honest. :) Although she goes on to say that, apparently, it took her a while to learn to knit socks. Big Surprise! I am fairly sure everyone's socks look like ass at first. Actually, most of my early knitting projects are horrid. But, with practice, they have become better, finally good enough that I felt confident giving them to others.

But, as with some foods that I detest (button mushrooms and mayonnaise top the list), there are some things that I don't think I would enjoy knitting. Projects that require precise seaming, 20-color laceweight intarsia Christmas sweaters in a XXXL... these things completely turn me off, so I doubt I will ever knit them.

My point is that knitting is a hobby, at least for most people. It should be enjoyable. And while I am a big fan of learning new techniques, some are happy making garter stitch scarves for 40 years... and that's great! They are enjoying themselves, and probably get so fast they can whip one out in an evening. But there are some that enjoy the cursing that comes out of their mouths with a new challenge. I think, in general, I am one of those people. I enjoy sitting down with a weird-ass chart and figuring out what's going on, even if means I can't listen to Star Trek while I'm reading the chart. I enjoy knitting socks because I feel they are portable, and I spend a good part of my week in transit to one place or another.

My encouragement to everyone is: Do what you love, but don't be afraid to try new things! If you love garter stitch and hate lace, even after you've tried it, then great! Don't ever make a Swallowtail shawl, because you won't enjoy yourself. Hate socks and love hats? Make a dozen beanies and give them to a cancer ward. Hate alpaca? Don't use it! There are so many wonderful patterns, yarns, and fibers out there that there is bound to be something for almost everyone!

So, I am really happy that Dawn could admit that she learned a new skill, and actually seems to have overcome her distaste for the socks. And she learned a new skill! :) I think it's neat that she is using some of the different fibers for knitting socks (e.g. bamboo), although I did leave a comment that some of the less twisted / plied yarns might be less durable and they might have a shorter staple length, but... the advantage of bamboo is that it's mildly antibacterial, so maybe your feet smell less if you wear bamboo-blend socks! :)

(And yes, wool might be too warm for Texas, I'll admit. But in Seattle, it suits me just fine!! :) )

1 comment:

Piggilicious said...

I admit, my main competition/inspiration right now are you and Amee. And Joey, but only when he's doing something relevant to my interests.

As awful as this sounds, but I consider very little people worthy to upstage. Sooo... that means I consider you two to be worthy opponents. Hehe! I'm going to lose all my friends this way.