Monday, January 29, 2007

pick a metaphor! i'm mixing mine.

I started with a couple skeins of yarn. Cheap, Lion Brand, faux-mohair acrylic, machine washable from Hobby Lobby. Just balls of yarn. And a crochet hook. And some instructions I printed off from Crochetme Magazine.

I read the instructions and, frankly, they didn't make much sense to me. Measure the back of your neck (A). Multiply it by your gauge (stitches per inch) (B). Crochet B stitches and then do a three stitch shell, mark the middle stitch. Crochet A stitches and do a three stitch shell, mark the middle stitch, 2DC in DC at the end of each row..etc.

These individual tasks made sense to me. I know how to use a measuring tape. I know how to count stitches per inch. It's not rocket science. But, I'm a big picture person. How this wobbly chain I held in my hands after the first round was going to become a sweater, I had no idea.

It's an act of faith. I can't think about what a waste of time this will be if the end product doesn't fit...or doesn't turn out at all. I can't think about how much I paid for the yarn or what else I could do with it when I rip the finished-but-awful project out and wind the yarn back up into balls and start over. I can't think about trying a new craft or putting this down and working on the sock monkeys I'm making for my nephews' birthday (sorry, Allison. I'm always late).

I have to take a deep breath, reread the instructions and start hooking. I have to trust the pattern. And you know what? Very slowly it starts to make sense. After a few rounds I see that the shell stitches are forming corners and the 2DCs on the ends are creating a v-neck. The pattern said I was also creating sleeves--which seemed absurd--but as I hooked and read on, suddenly, I understood that the fabric just wraps around to make cap sleeves.

It's like the sweater is magically forming in my hands. I'm working on it, sure, but without any true understanding of what each step contributes to the whole. I couldn't have guessed how it would take shape. I saw the pictures with the pattern online, but the cryptic instructions upon first reading them seemed unable to call the sweater into being. It was beyond me. And yet, here it is. I had to put the instructions into action and that doing gave meaning to the words, proved them true.

And soon I'll have a new sweater. I'll post a finished pic ('s going to be longer than this).

1 comment:

Carla said...

Pretty wonderful sweater---in A LOT of very meaningful ways. I'm hanging on tight to the trusting the pattern. That was my favorite.