Thursday, March 27, 2008

Um, Does This Look Like a Hat to You?

If you look closely at this photo, you will notice that there are short rows on the left hand side in the background, a provisional cast-on in the left forefront, and two different sizes of knitting needles being used at the same time... Well, you might ask, what kind of a frigging hat would be so convoluted? I'll tell you -- it's the BS Johnson hat from the Winter 07 Knitty. It's a wacky crazy, totally fun knit. It has to be, since it's named for a character in Terry Pratchett's novels.

While I am not a crazy fan of Terry Pratchett (I have only read a few of his novels, but I enjoyed each of those) I am a Process Knitter. There. I said it.

Those of you who have known me for the number of years that I've been knitting know that I am a Process Knitter (even if you didn't know there was a word for it) because you have seen me pick up and make many projects that have limited usability, at best. I often cast on for things just because I relish the challenge of it, or because I want to pick up a new skill, and not because I need or want the end product. A handful of my knits have been relegated to a storage cabinet because I have no practical use for them. Or, of course, given to someone who will use them.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I don't only make things for the process. I also have a growing collection of very useful socks & mittens & hats & scarves, and I really try to make only the sweaters or cardigans that will be flattering to me when I wear them. I do have some practicality in mind, so I know that I also am a so-called Project Knitter.

But when I pick up a pattern for a hat that uses short rows and horizontal cabling and two different needle sizes used at the same time, and I plan, in the end, to never even put it on my own head, but instead to give it away upon completion, in the hopes that someone out there who needs a hat will want one that is crazy and lopsided and inspired by Terry Pratchett.... Well, times like those, I know it's all about the Process.

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