We've had some sizzling summer temps here in Boston, so I made a quick switch on the weekend from knitting cables in Aran-weight to knitting lace in a fingering cotton.
Good switch in terms of yarn, but it has been slowly dawning on me that I enjoy knitting lace only slightly less than I enjoy knitting cables. I enjoyed it even less this time because I forgot where I was in the pattern and had to frog most of the Sweet Jazz shawl and start again.
Of course if I had to choose between cables and lace, I'd go with cables. I really dislike knitting lace that much. I find it takes too much concentration as well as being just a bear to tink or frog. Blocking is also more work for lace. I am really and truly amazed at the number of lace shawls that some knitters turn out in the course of a year. I bow to your brilliance! Feel free to send me one if you are churning out too many for your personal use (wool-free of course).
I'm still drawn to all those lovely lace shawlette patterns and I seem equally drawn to buy silky yarns of a single skein which will, inevitably, become more lacy things unless somebody can suggest an alternative.
But through all these varied projects I am slowly getting to know myself as a knitter. And yes, I'm slowly starting to realize that while I may love the look of a cabled finished project (afghan, sweater, scarf, you name it), I don't really enjoy knitting cables. I can do it, it's not torture, and once I get going I usually relax and have as much fun as I can with it, but I have to push myself to pick up a cabled WIP rather than choosing something without cables. I think that's telling.
I'm also not a big fan of charts. Oh, I don't mind having them for reference, but I like written instructions alongside. I like to keep my options open. Interestingly enough, most cable and lace patterns use charts -- how's that for an 'ah ha" moment?
If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm both impulsive and persistent when it comes to knitting so I've no doubt that there will continue to be times when I will be so drawn to a Finished Object that the desire to have knit it will outweigh the pain of actually knitting it. However, going forward I'd like to get to the place where I'm choosing patterns with which I can really enjoy the process of knitting and not spend the whole time chomping at the bit to get to the end product.
And this is where I'm a little stuck. While it's very easy to name types of knitting that are not my favorite, I'm not so clear about what style of knitting I enjoy most.
I'm going to try to really make note of patterns I've loved knitting and see if I can find some commonalities among them. Stockinette is definitely my most meditative style of knitting. It works like a very soothing tonic on my soul. But it needs to be interesting too, maybe some shaping or color changes, in order to keep me going back for more.
So, what about you? What's "it" when you knit?