So once upon a time, by which I mean a couple weekends ago, I was hanging out at my favorite local yarn store, as I am wont to do now that grad school isn’t sucking out my will to live and every second of spare time. I’d cast on for the Owls Sweater (Ravelry link) a few days earlier, and had just finished the ribbed edging at the bottom. Because in a fit of insanity I had decided to knit the sweater tunic-length, I had acres of stockinette to get through before I even got to the waist shaping.
Some time and many rounds later, I sighed. “I am going to be knitting stockinette forever!”
“Stockinette Forever…” mused erstwhile shopgirl K. “That would make a fantastic t-shirt.”
“But only if we spelled ‘forever’ as ’4eva’!” I said with a grin.
“And spelled ‘stockinette’ as ‘st st’ so only knitters would get it!” L. chimed in.
We all laughed and continued knitting merrily, but the phrase stuck in my head. A week and some dead time at work later, a blog was born.
I am not a fast knitter. Or rather, I tend to knit fairly quickly (though seasoned knitters like Rebecca
still put me to shame), in fits and starts, mostly as a social thing, or on the train if it’s not too crowded. I don’t do a whole lot of knitting at home, thanks to a lack of a television and a cat who frequently takes it upon herself to defend her human from the Evil Yarn Monster. As a result, big projects tend to drag on forever–my first sweater ever
(Ravelry link) took me an excruciating six months to finish. Instead, I’ve been working lately on projects small enough to fit in a project bag in my purse: hats, baby sweaters, legwarmers.
As soon as I saw the Owl Sweater, that all went out the window. I ordered yarn that same day, cast on as soon as it arrived (minus an aborted attempt to make things needlessly difficult for myself by trying to re-write the pattern from the top down), and have been working on it more or less constantly ever since.
I’ve now knitted nearly two feet of stockinette in the round (I told you it was a long sweater!), and much to my surprise, I was almost disappointed to come to the short-row shaping immediately before the cabled owls that are, after all, the reason I fell in love with this sweater to begin with.
There is something soothing, I’ve discovered, in knitting that requires nothing of me beyond mindless repetition. There’s something satisfying about the ease and speed with which the rounds fly off my needles and the inches accumulate. Since graduating from the scarf phase of my knitting career, I’ve tended to think of stockinette as the tedious drudgery to be gotten through between one interesting part of a pattern and another, or a quick palette cleanser to occupy my fingers on the train between more complicated projects. But this pattern has shown me that stockinette can be an end in itself.
After an epic weekend visit to Downtown Yarns, I have officially reached the end of my acres of stockinette; tomorrow, I’ll attach my teeny ribbed cap sleeves to the body and begin the owl cabled yoke, which will I’m sure be all sorts of exciting but significantly less restful.
Not to worry, though, that my knitting zen is at an end. I’ve got a KnitPicks order winging my way as I type this, full of odds and ends and two skeins of self-striping sock yarn in soothing blues and purples. I’m thinking stockinette knee socks.