Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mindless Knitting or Boring Knitting?

Sometimes you need a mindless knitting project, one you can knit while waiting in a busy place or while talking to people or at a meeting or training session. Something small and therefore portable. Like a scarf. Now, I need to make 5 gifts for friends who hosted a big luncheon for my DD#1 and her new husband. Gift #1, for the person who gave her house as well as provided a lot of the food (and kept the in-laws over the weekend) is Swallowtail (not mindless but we're coming to that, never fear).
Swallowtail blocked 2 Final thoughts on Spindrift yarn for lace: I'd use it again for 2 reasons. One, it's economical (it took only 4 skeins to make Swallowtail, and the cost was less than $20; can't really beat that); and two, the color range is fantastic. All those heathery shades! If you don't want to spend the bucks on a hand-painted or hand-dyed designer yarn, one of Jamieson's heathers can fill the bill without breaking your bank. And I love the way it softened after a soak in Eucalan, followed by blocking.

Gift #2 for a friend who helped host and shares other interests with us is Frothy, since it's her colors:
Frothy scarf
Frothy is garter stitch, once called by the great Elizabeth Zimmermann, "nothing but soothing knitting." Boring on it own, but whip it up in this hand-painted bouclé and it has a life of its own. The only attention I have to pay to it is to be sure I pick up both strands since I'm using the yarn doubled, and to be sure to knit into the main filament and not a bouclé loop. Mindless knitting at its best.

Now we have gift #3:
Lime scarf
That's Sue Pandorf's Lime pattern, done in Fiesta Yarn's Kokopelli in Cilantro, a wool/mohair blend (really silky). It's basically purl a few rows, then do some YOs/K2tog rows alternating with purl rows. Almost mindless, but not quite. Pretty portable. So why do I find this pattern boring but not Frothy? Wish I knew. Fortunately, I have 36" done on Lime, so even if it's boring, it will be done soon. Do any of you find that mindless knitting is boring knitting? Do you always need a challenging knit?

Gifts #4 and 5 are undecided. For one friend I'd like to do another shawl, perhaps Calais, out of either Dream in Color Starry or Yarn Chef Mulligatawny. For the other, perhaps one of Elizabeth Lovick's scarves in some lovely cream Aran wool.


Donna Lee said...

I think it's kinda like plain stockinette socks. I love them and sometimes they are the perfect knit (like at lectures) but sometimes they are soooo boring.

I have some red/orange boucle that I was given and didn't know what to do with. That frothy might be a good idea.

fleegle said...

It's not mindless if you have to pay attention. Mindless is when you can wander off into your imagination and still keep your hands busy. I have a Pandorf that's similar--the results are lovely, but, erk, it's boooooring.