The other morning, Tom woke quite tired from a rather busy dream, which went thus. We were travelling through the world, and were encumbered by a large old fashioned wooden boat, which we had to pull along with us over both land and water. Then we were in hospital building, I was sitting up in bed looking very happy, and the boat was alongside the bed, filled with straw as it were a Nativity crib. When he looked inside it, nestled there was a pile of balls of wool.
I’m not entirely sure I should be sharing these rather intimate and bizarre details of the workings of Tom’s night-time imagination, but I cannot help but wonder if it doesn’t say something about the place that yarn is occupying in our life…
Anyway, I’ve been saying I would post something about what I’ve been making, but having started to do so, the post began to run away with me, to get over-long and to become a rather dull catalogue of projects. One of the interesting things about knitting, I’m discovering, is the associations, thoughts and memories that it evokes as I do it, connected, directly or indirectly, with colours, textures and actions, or with what I’m reading or listening to at the time. These are scarcely intellectually puissant or profound, but sometimes vivid or surprising, and it seems to me including them might give more point to writing about it. So better perhaps to write a series of shorter more frequent posts about individual projects with whatever tangential meanderings come to mind. This may also serve to exercise my atrophying blogging muscles and bring me in sight of the thousand published posts in seven years which I said earlier I was aiming to achieve by the beginning of November.
So here goes.
I finished Princeling's pullover back in early July, even though his birthday isn't till October, since I was concerned it would be a hopelessly bad fit, and I might prefer to make something else in the meanwhile. The sleeves sounded very short in the pattern so I lengthened them, then they seemed very long compared to the body, which I tried to redress a bit with blocking.
I met up with Iso alone and handed it over, suggesting she hold it against another jumper that fitted him and see how it compared, but she said, no she'd try it on him. OK, I said, it's not like the surprise matters much for something like that, I'll send him a book or something else anyway...
'No no, I'll make him close his eyes while we do it,' she replied.
'He'll peep, surely?'
But she assured me he wouldn't, and later sent me a series of photos of him wearing it, all with eyes tight shut, as I'm told they were throughout, which amused me greatly, as well as making me whimper over what a little shrimp he was and how utterly drowned he looked in the pullover.
I'm still not convinced that he won't outgrow the body before the sleeves ever fit him, but Iso says she'll just roll them up.
The tweedy background wool contained rather a lot of bottle green, a colour I'm never fully content with since it was that of the school uniform I had to wear in my secondary school years. Does school uniform inevitably predispose us to disliking that colour for ever more, I wonder? But it also had a rich strand of purple in it, and looked much better in daylight than indoors. It seemed a little unoriginal to resort to stripes too, even somewhat unusually distributed ones. One Ravelry group for knitting for boys lamented how it was difficult to find anything other than trucks and stripes. I know boys often do like things like trucks and tractors, generally more than girls do, though not always, and why not indeed? And if a boy, or anyone else, has a penchant for trucks or tractors, or anything else, why not let him have them in pictures anywhere he wants? I'm sure if I owned a boy I'd find it quite difficult to put him in pink or in flowers, and I really don't worry too much about this kind of thing any more, but I think it would be nice to find some other motifs that weren't quite so gender-skewed. Animals, I suppose, are a possibility, and houses, and boats and fish and whales and dolphins and watery things in general are often loved by all, and one could try abstract shapes and patterns that were more varied than simple stripes. I did see one pattern for a dear little baby hat which had a girl's version with pink hearts and a boy's with skulls on. Am I alone in finding this slightly depressing, creepy even? Though certainly ripe with possibilities for socio-psychological deconstruction...
Having said that, I notice Princeling, along with tractors and farm animals and a carpet with a town layout on it, has a pirate ship on his wall, complete with skull and cross bones, so I suppose that's where the skull thing comes from. Though whether we should quite be romanticising pirates is another matter again. But as I said, I don't worry too much about that kind of thing any more.