Thursday, August 23, 2007

Free-Form and Knit v. Crochet

There are a few things I've discovered over the few months I've been on hiatus from this blog.

I am a free-form fiber artist. That's all there is to it. I hate following a pattern and counting stitches, and I'm most happiest when I'm knitting or crocheting an item without any pattern at all, with only an inspiration and a tape measure. When I do use a pattern, I start following with the best intentions, and then just diverge. I'm the Roberta Frost of knitting.

I read Dominitrix, and tried to take her advice, but it just didn't stick. And it's not that I don't like creating slim-fitting items or precision knits, I just like to do it differently than line-by-line patterns. I prefer a three-dimensional architectural approach.

You know how people fall into two camps when you give them directions to a place they've never been? Some just want to know when to turn right, and when to turn left. Others want to know the full picture, the cardinal directions, plus they want to see a map to discover where the voyage fits in the grander geography of the area. I'm a cardinal direction person. Left and right don't mean anything except in a very narrow context. But if you know where north is, you can always get home.

Same with knitting--if a pattern doesn't provide the overall structural context of a garment, I don't bother with it, because then I can't make modifications. And eventually, when the modifications surpass the pattern, the garment becomes something completely original. Imperfections can be incorporated into your work. (Wrong turns can be made right, without backtracking.) I'm not sure if the metaphor holds, but you see what I mean.

Second discovery: I'm far more confident with crocheting than with knitting even though I hardly do it any more. Time and experience matter after all. That one seems pretty self-evident, but I didn't figure it out until today.

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