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Knitting Hierarchy and Raglans

I’ve been alternately trying  resisting and actively trying new ways of knitting socks.  I love my friend Cristi’s enthusiasm about discovering new ways to bring little socklettes into the world.  I’ve been really trying to get on her fun-filled bandwagon. It ain’t workin’ for me.

Actually I am producing far fewer pairs of socks and am not having as much fun.  So what–other than I am NOT Cristi–is going on.

My friend B.J. took me to lunch today.  I had lots of fun.  We share much more than knitting.  We got into some rollicking theology discussions and the subject of meditation came up.

Ka-ching!!!!!

So–Why should my socks be simple things?  What I think is that they are my prayer/meditation knitting.  Wait.  I’ll explain.  Adding the concept of keeping my place in a pattern to the muddle of thoughts that are always racing through my brain defeats the purpose of meditation.  You know, the “ohm” stuff.

Meditation for me, such as it is, also requires rhythm.  Spinning is rhythmic .  For knitting to be rhythmic, the pattern must be simple enough to be automatic.  Stockinette, garter, seed, ribbing–these all meet that need, for me.  Even repetitive colorwork.  Stopping or slowing to turn a cable breaks the meditative focus. Thus cable knitting represents a different kind of knitting.

You may want to give up on this treatise now.  It’s very possible I’m full of it and you should protect yourself.

Patterns which require some attention are “play.”    They have their own rhythm or beat.  They involve slow- downs and speed-ups.  I don’t get lost in these patterns.  I enjoy them, but often put them aside after 20 or 30 minutes.  Eventually they are finished.  Maybe.

Then there is lace–real lace.  Patterns on both sides.  No purl back on the WS rows.  This knitting is Challenge.  It involves preparation and proper environment.  A strategy–It’s a competition, a war. It is to be conquered and finishing brings a feeling of invincibility.

I don’t do this kind of knitting very often.  It takes too much energy.  But a win here is a long lasting high.

Lay people have no concept of what a complex world knitting can be.  (Of course, their obsession is probably the same.) This is another reason I always have multiple projects going.  This is my rationalization and I am sticking to it.  :)

Oh–about the raglans–

BJ brought a top down raglan to lunch.  After reading my first blog on this issue. she saw fit problems in her new project that she wanted to fix.  it was great for me to be able to fiddle with an “in-process” sweater on a real body.

I’m even more convinced that my problem with raglans is that they are two-dimensional–the back and front have length and width, but no depth.  There has to be a way to add depth to a raglan.  I’m sure it involves knitting the sleeve (top down) to a point before it meets the back and then casting on for a wide underarm depth.

I am trying to figure out a way to research this short of actually knitting a sweater.  I’ll let you know.

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