Thursday, October 24, 2013
Lessons from My Old Scarf Box: #1 What Happens to Old Knitting?
I have a lot of old scarves that were stored in a plastic box on a shelf in my closet. These are really very old scarves that I have not worn for years and years.
Some were hand knitted. I made them many years ago. I pulled the box down because I remembered this set.
I was planning a design that I thought had something in common with these pieces. I did not get anywhere with that plan, but I also did not miss out on the learning opportunity that was in my box.
1) The mittens were actually used the most. The edges are grayed and fuzzy. Simple and practical items do get used.
2) I never wore the hat. I do not wear hats unless I really need to, and this particular hat was (from day one) very loose. It could use a band of ribbing. There is actually a seam (near bottom of photo) in this hat. I would never make a seamed hat now. Ill-fitting items with questionable construction will not be worn.
3) I do not remember wearing the scarf either. It looks OK, but has an edging that won't stop curling, or, I should say flipping. I don't really like the scarf. Right around the same time that I made this set, I also made another natural colored scarf -- all in seed stitch and with a light fringe. I wore it often, and I still like it best when I go skiing. I have a strong preference for scarves that look good on both sides and have neat edges. Sometimes good design is in the details. (And, in the case of the seed stitch scarf, I repeat: Simple and practical items do get used.)
Why have I kept this set for so long? Many times in recent years I have remembered this or that sweater that I knitted and loved, but that is now only a memory. It saddens me that, try as I might, I cannot remember when or why I gave up many items of my beloved knitting.
Of course the answer is that they no longer fit or flattered in terms of what was current. Or they showed signs of wear... graying fuzziness, spots or even holes. But I did let them go when it was time.
At opposite extremes are those that were loved and worn to death and those that were never quite right and eventually discarded.
I will donate the set to the Salvation Army Store. It is the right thing to do.