of flus, virii and phobias

no im not sick. there are no creepy crawlys all over todays post. im actually talking about virtual knitting germs. we’ve all heard of the dreaded shawl flu, that state of high fever and agitation we feel when we’re not knitting a shawl of some kind and need to finish one and start another. quickly. i suspect ive been in denial about my current bout of shawl flu. it was only when i finished celaeno and immediately cast on this

that i realised i maybe had a little problem. the shawl itself is not the problem.

madeline tosh sock in tart and cloak, with a fabulous assymetrical design that uses short row shaping? nothing wrong with that. it appears to have gone a little viral in knitting circles, as these things do from time to time. i have heard some people moan endlessly about how much they HATE viral knitting, how bad it is, how boring, how we’re all just sheep following the flock and theyre too clever and individual to do that. yeah whatever. bite off your nose to spite your face, i dont care. usually if somethings viral its because its a great design. usually, i say, not always, and i dont mean what the majority of ‘ravelers’ consider ‘hot’ today either. im talking about that kind of pattern that starts slowly and spreads like wildfire, people you know and respect are all knitting it, everyone thinks its clever, or pretty, or whatever. its the kind of pattern that transcends usual knitting boundaries. im pretty sure the stripe study shawl is one of those. im feeling a little evangelical about it. go knit one, you know you want to.

i am feeling a little less evangelical about sock patterns. apparently, it turns out, im not a big fan of KALs. my friends pointed this out to me yesterday when i was having a fit of angst about yet another SS62011 sock i have reservations about. i like the nutkin, i really do, its a lovely design and i think i had the perfect yarn for it, this scrummy koigu,

but i am hearing so much about it being too tight and unforgiving.  i do have options of course. i could knit the nutkin pattern along the front of the leg and foot and a nice stretchy rib along the back of the leg. that idea comes courtesy of knitabulous. its a good idea. but do i really like the pattern enough to do that to it? another idea is to add more purls in at the sides of each pattern. this is a good idea too but im still worried about stretch and i hate the look of stretched purls. my other idea may seem strange but it makes sense to me. that is, dont knit them at all. knit a design i know i love with a pattern i dont have to modify, that will result in a product i know i will wear. im headed towards the no-purl monkey. yes ive made them before. twice even. but ive given them both away. once in cherry tree hill to bells, and once in lornas laces to a flyball friend. maybe its time i had my own pair.

then theres a third option entirely. put the koigu away for a while and knit this gorgeous spudd and chloe (aka bluesky alpaca) into something long and lacey and nancy-bushish.

i was originally thinking unst, but i actually do want to make long socks, and in something maybe a little more girly. my options are wide open there. oh decisions decisions. do feel free to share your opinion in the comments, knowing full well that im likely to do whatever i want anyway.

this resistance to the S62011 socks is not really about hating KALs, though its true i dont join them often. mostly because i  have too much going on to commit to deadlines, but also because sometimes i just dont like whats being knit. this is what has happened with S6, as ive moaned about before, so theres no point in moaning about it again. lifes short, there are no knitting police, step on the grass, knit what you want. there really isnt anything else behind my ‘doesnt play well with others’ thing apart from being old and grinchy and time poor and selfish. so, you know, quite a lot really. i never have played well with others, if truth be known. mrs greene wrote it on my year two report. perhaps she was onto something.

i am learning though. joining my new choir has helped with that. the group is at all different levels of talent, ability and learning, and some peoples song choice is frustrating, as is the way they want it to sound like such and such sang it back in 1972. thats ok, its just a choir, and our teacher is very good at prising the original sheet music out of peoples hands and teaching them to just let themselves feel it. i had to sing a bit of a solo this week:

i had the piano at least, so it was ok, but really, it was awful to just hear my own voice like that. im working on something solo for a little performance with a ukelele in early may, im not sure im going to be able to do it. group performing doesnt worry me at all, we have a performance scheduled for a local ‘festival of voices’ on june 5 as part of a workshop/gig with these guys and i cant wait, but by myself? eeep.

singing apparently, is something i am happy to follow along with!


ps todays scenery courtesy of my picturesque work place.

About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

16 responses to “of flus, virii and phobias

  • Melissa

    Oh yes, you must knit the long and lacey!

  • justthreadtwiddling

    It is so hard for me to choose patterns sometimes. You and Bells seem to have a knack of picking things that appeal to me. Don’t be shocked, but I have never knit a monkey, with or without purls. I fear I am missing something really good. I look forward to seeing you knit another pair.
    I love that you are enjoying the music, and truly envy that ability.

  • Bells

    first up love the photos! I got lost in them.
    Secondly, i love a viral knit. You’re right – they go viral for a reason. Because they’re good and the variations and personal touches are endless. People who hate viral knits are just being snobby.
    You do need to have a pair o’ monkey socks of your own, of either style. Do it. I accept you may well do something entirely different and you’re not looking for us to tell you what to do!
    Singing in a group and solo is so different – you are brave if you do it – but I have faith that you can (not having ever heard you sing).

  • Ailsa

    But some viral knits are truly hideous. The stripe study is not one of them – it’s gorgeous. The colours look great together too. Yum..

  • RoseRed

    I can’t wait to hear you sing! It’s a skill I’ve always wished I had!

    I love love love your Stripe Tart Shawl. Gorgeous colours and they look fabulous together.

    I do wish you’d give the nutkins a go, but life is too short to knit something you don’t feel the love for, so I say go the no-purl monkeys! Whatever, will be lovely in the lovely koigu.

  • LynS

    Having seen Margarita’s stripe study shawl in progress, and now pics of yours, I’m a huge fan. Love your colour choice; love the asymetry.

  • donna lee

    I will admit I am not a bandwagon jumper. I tend to shy away from viral knits. Sometimes to my own detriment. I succumbed to the Feb Lady Sweater and loved it. I gave it to my daughter but may make one for myself. And sometimes I wonder if some knits go viral because someone well known makes one and suddenly it’s the best pattern since sliced bread.

    As for kal’s, I dont join. (Maybe I don’t play well with others either?) I am in the middle of a kal for a shawl and I am enjoying it because I am working along at my own pace. I don’t really care if and when I finish a clue. It’ll get done when it gets done. But a sock kal where I didn’t like the pattern? That would be torture and why knit something you really don’t like?

  • 2paw

    I think if the viral knit is something you fancy, you should go right ahead and knit it. It is both lovely and intriguing.
    Well done on your solo part, very thrilling and nerve-wracking.

  • GeekKnitter

    Go for the Monkey socks, high time you had a pair for yourself. I feel much the same about viral knits. Many of them appeal to me, and are on my list of Things To Knit Someday. I don’t really care how many of them are out there in the wild, I don’t have one of MY OWN yet!

  • missfee

    I am a knitter and sometimes I am a sheep

    baa baa baa baa

  • Sue

    I love the Stripe Study shawl too. So what if hundreds of other people do? Good taste isn’t exclusive! I love your colour choices.

    As for S62011 – I’m using it as a discipline to actually finish socks which may or may not be what everyone else (mostly) is knitting. But if it isn’t working – give it away. I will!

  • gidgetknits

    I don’t normally like shawls like the Stripe Study shawl.. but it is gorgeous and yours is already looking terrific! Life’s just too short to do what isn’t fun. Like the fact I happily sing when no one’s about to listen! I wish I could hit a note like you can!

  • Annie

    I think that people should knit what they like and if people think it is viral then really who was the first person to knit it, surely not the ones who complain about viral knitting. If the pattern is nice and is available to buy or free then people who like it are going to knit it. Some may knit it just because others are, but really why should anyone care, maybe they should be thinking, wow…so many people like this pattern. Love your photos.

  • 1funkyknitwit

    I know EXACTLY what your saying about viral knits ! ..once it gets to that level I usually loose interest., however when I CO my Stripe Study it was “just” released, my problem is I don’t knit as fast as most and by the time I do finish it’s gone viral..lol

    Having said that I LOVE this shawl, don’t care that it’s viral because it’s simple clean asymmetry is just wonderful and YOURS.. TO DIE FOR !!!!!! ..it totally speaks to me ;D

    I say you should knit what you like regardless ! 😀

    You asked ?? about the Unst pattern, love it and will look great.. it gets my vote 😀

  • Emma

    Fantastic colour combination. I’m just about to use some Madeline Tosh Sock for a different shawl and I just want to buy more, it comes in so many lovely colours.

    In my very humble opinion, life’s too short to get hung up on the popularity of patterns. People should just knit what they want to knit. It doesn’t matter whether a pattern’s gone viral or not, what matters is whether the knitter *wants* to knit it and/or will love the finished object.

  • Olivia

    They really are gorgeous photos. As for viral knits, I think we should knit what we want to and try not to second-guess motives. I like to be rebellious and different, but then if if a ‘viral’ pattern really hits the spot, I can’t help it. (I think I’ve knit Clapotis 4 times!) Most of the people who see/receive the items I knit have no idea what’s popular or viral anyway.

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