Back when I first started knitting, like a whole lot of beginners do, I began with a scarf. Actually, I started knitting twice-- the first time in 1986, when the scarf I made was so tightly knit, so unrelaxing to make, that I quit for FOURTEEN YEARS. Ah, but the second time I started, for that scarf I made sure to take my time (what an understatement-- boy was I a slow knitter initially) and to remember not to make it too tight. The result was this humongous cross between a scarf and a shawl, long enough for an NBA player, and made of the finest purple acrylic. I'll swear I still have that around here somewhere, though it has had the good sense to hide from me. I imagine one day it'll turn up.
For a long time I only wanted to make scarves. I had good reasons for this. I was both terrified of learning to purl (seemed so complex) and also understood that if I did learn purling, I would feel obligated to learn to read patterns. I predicted this would counteract my original goal which was to knit to relax. Well, I was right and I was wrong. Once I figured out purling, I did move on to projects like socks and sweaters, and yes, they required more concentration and, often, less relaxation. But then I figured out the pleasures of keeping two projects going at once-- one easy enough to work on in a dark theater or while talking to friends, and the other reserved for knitting in solitude and concentration. I enjoy both very much.
Lately, without really planning to do so, I've found myself back to making lots of scarves. My mom asked me to make her one-- and my mom hardly ever asks me for anything so of course I was glad to whip her up a little something. When she told me she likes "all the colors" I knew I had to go with Noro. I made my son a scarf for Christmas (finishing it up late in the day on Christmas Day, while he patiently waited, as if he was in no hurry to escape his mother and run off with his friends). And I made an optometrist friend a scarf to thank him for his help with some recent eye issues I was having. For him I decided to try out Brooklyn Tweed's new line of Made-in-the-US yarn: SHELTER. It's very classic yarn, and knits up beautifully. Now, once again, I've got a scarf on the needles-- super massive needles, that crazy yarn from Buenos Aires I mentioned in my last post. I figure that'll be done this weekend and then it's on to some socks-- I'm ready for something smaller and more challenging. And then, I swear swear swear, I am going to finish the sweater I started last year.