Sunday, July 31, 2005


One of the things I loved most about painting (both in watercolor and in oil) was the magic process of blending colors. Oh, I know there really isn't any magic involved. It's actually a very logical process. Red + Blue = Purple. Blue + Yellow = Green. Sure, there are a thousand variations within the formula but the principle remains the same.

When I started knitting again in August 2003 I greatly missed the fun of setting out daubs of paint on a palette and seeing what I could make with them. It never occurred to me that the same kind of magic could be found with yarn. I mean, yarn is . . . well, it's yarn. It isn't liquid. It can't lose itself in another liquid and become transformed.

Or can it? I picked some beautiful pink mohair and some equally beautiful orchid mohair from my stash. I knitted a small swatch of pink just to see how it handled. (A knitterly test drive, as it were.) I knitted a small swatch of orchid. To be honest, I wasn't particularly overwhelmed by either one. But when I took a strand of each and knitted both of them together -- Wow! They blended together into something brand new and gorgeous. The fuzzy bits of each color collided together and locked like Velcro and I was enchanted.

I know it sounds simple. Ridiculous, even. But it's part of the knitting journey I seem to be on this time. I would never have tried that years ago. I saw yarns as separate entities destined for separate fates. I didn't use dpns or circs. I never ripped back. And I lived in terror of dropped stitches.

And yet I sailed off into Fair Isle land when I was 17 without a care in the world and had no trouble at all. Go figure. Nobody told me it could be problematic and it wasn't. I can still see the front of that ski sweater in my mind's eye: Red Heart when it was 100% wool. (The year was 1967.) Midnight Blue, Yale Blue, White, and another blue whose name escapes me. An intricate band of snowflakes across the chest that seemed to spring from the tips of my needles effortlessly.

Oh to be that young and fearless again!


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