Recently, my family and I went on a short little getaway and enjoyed some much needed R&R. My laptop went along for the trip, but I was determined to utilize the least amount of technology as possible. As much as I love being connected to the world, sometimes it’s good to disconnect and instead turn to those tried and true wooden sticks and some splendidly spun fibers!
My grand plan was to begin working on a new summer tunic with some fabulous lace yarn that’s been in my stash for months. However, my fickle mind began to have interests elsewhere, and I succumbed to my desire to pour the contents of my basket out in front of me, and began to analyze the exciting play of color and texture. When I do this exercise, my mind races with wild ideas, and I’m filled with indecision over which yarn or stitch pattern to cast on with. When I finally pick up my needles and yarn, to my surprise, some unexpected stitches seem to flow off the needle.
Allowing myself to be free to experiment brings forth learning experiences that I may not have otherwise discovered if I had taken a more “academic” approach to my knitting. I highly suggest venturing into some unknown waters from time to time and “cultivate,” not knowing what will come next. If you’re not sure where to start, why not cast on 20 or so stitches and just knit every row until your hands decide what comes next? I find that just the soothing action of knitting and the texture of yarn gliding through my fingers often evokes thoughts of adventurous new stitches.
Be a little daring and start with a size 7 needle, then jump up to a 15 or down to a 3. What happens when you change your needle size? What happens to the shape of your swatch and the look of your yarn? Do you like a tight collection of stitches, or do you favor a loose mesh-like fabric? Sometimes the combination of some simple stitch combinations can result in a swatch that yields unexpected results. We may often think we need a knitting pattern for guidance, and that jumping into unknown waters can be scary, but why not give it a try? You’ll broaden your own sense of creative expression and empower yourself to take some safe risks in your knitting.