We had a lovely evening last Thursday at the Shibui Trunk Show opening reception. With such special garments, we wanted the shop to look equally special. Duffy made two dramatic Ikebana arrangements, there was wine and sushi -- standing room only.
It really did look very elegant in the shop, and I think everyone had a great time. On an average day it's a little messy - there are projects on the table and knitting bags on the floor. The tools of our trade are out and in use as we teach and swatch and fix and block in the process of helping you knit beautiful things. I like this environment, but every now and then it's nice to tuck away the tools and focus instead on the beautiful end products. You know, be a little glam like Thursday night. One customer that evening came into the shop and said, "Wow - you clean up pretty good."
When we knit a sweater, it's kind of the same. You pull out this curled up strip of fabric that's been wadded up in your knitting bag. It doesn't look very special. Non-knitters look at your work in progress and politely ask what your are making. They seem interested, but honestly, most of them are silently thanking God your project is not intended for them. What do they know anyway?
We shouldn't be too hard on them, though. It's not easy to envision the end state of beauty we're working towards. You have to look past the stitches scrunched up on the needles, the curling fabric, and the strings hanging off everywhere. It's hard enough for a knitter, and darn near impossible for a non-knitter. Thank heavens for patterns with a beautiful photo of the finished item. We hold up the folded and crumpled pattern and say, "This. I am making this," thus reassuring our dubious neighbor (and possibly ourselves) that the wad of fabric emerging from our bag can, and in fact will, be something lovely.
Sometimes even with a picture, it's hard to imagine that your project is going to turn out. Especially if it's lace, like the Noro Mirai Crescent Shawl, which needs a good hard blocking to look its best. Or if you're playing with colors and stripes, in the Balmy KAL. Any time there are aspects of your own creativity that have yet to play out, it's scary. But it's going to turn out. It is. Please don't decide too soon that you hate it. Yes, there's an element of faith involved. It's like life. You do your best, and you make what seems like the right decision. Then you just have to trust in your choices and give your project a chance to become the beautiful thing you envision. When the stitches are bound off, the fabric blocked, and the ends woven in, your project will clean up more than pretty good - it will be fabulous.
I look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table. You are always welcome here. ~Ellen