Monday, November 21, 2005

Lucy Review

So I missed Lucy’s workshop (someone has to mind the store!), but at Knitting Circle that evening, I got to look at a whole trunkful of her work. Hoo boy: she makes me feel like I should pack it in, since I’m not a serious knitter. I mean, every detail of every item is interesting: no cast-on is ever random, no odd-shaped space is unembellished (the gussets on her socks have their own patterns!). On top of that, everything everywhere is meticulously done—I just can’t bring myself to put that kind of time and energy into finishing—even though I know it would make my work look much better.

Perhaps we all admire most the people who do well what we do not. I stand in awe of the million woven-in ends. But most of all, I’m overwhelmed by the appearance that Lucy has never knit for a deadline in her life: there are clever tricks everywhere in her work to make the process easier or more pleasant, but never any sign of a shortcut. Every single piece testifies that anything worth knitting is worth knitting well, however long it takes.

It would be easy to say that there are certain constraints on my knitting that force me to hurry: I have this shop to tend, which not only makes me short of knitting time, it pressures me to produce as many projects to showcase as many yarns as possible. But that’s a copout; Lucy’s a professional designer and itinerant teacher, which means that there are competing claims on her time as well, and that she too has reasons to want to produce as many new items as is feasible. But there are no signs of hurry anywhere.

Don’t let this make you think that all her designs are year-long masterpieces. Some are. But plenty of the socks and hats are no more time-consuming than any others—she’s just put in all the time and energy to make sure that the patterns are as good as they can possibly be, so they’ll run smoothly for knitters like you and me.

I bow before a master of the craft.

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