Sunday, 5 October 2014

I have been contemplating leaves

and then more leaves.
Let me explain first that my current "mindless" knitting project is a shawl in hand-dyed autumnal yarn. I bought the yarn - good merino wool - from a woman who does a rather nice line in such things. She lives in the hills behind us and told me that she had been thinking of a leafy shawl when she dyed the yarn. Unfortunately she was not well and gave up on the idea - or perhaps fortunately because I took the idea over.
Our two ways of doing it would of course be entirely different. We did not discuss the project further.
I considered the possibility of knitting an entire shawl out of separate leaves and then joining them together. It would have been interesting but there were two things wrong with that. The first is that I hate trying to join things together. I can knit but I cannot sew - or at least I cannot sew easily. I find it very difficult to thread a needle and get it to go where I want it to go. Sewing things together is simply not worth the misery of failing to achieve what I can see in my mind's eye.
The second thing wrong was that I needed a "mindless" project. The sort of thing that does not have to be thought about. In this case all I needed to do, at least to begin, was knit.
But I will put leaves on it - leaves around the edge and leaves scattered across it. I have yarn in autumnal colours . I have ways to knit leaves.
And every leaf will be different. Why? Because all leaves are different. No two leaves are the same.
I tried to explain this to someone yesterday. I thought it was obvious. Oh yes she agreed that, in nature, all leaves are different.
"But," she told me, "You are knitting that so all the leaves need to be the same."
"Why?" I asked her.
"Well it's just the way things are. It won't look right if you do it any other way."
I disagree. I will do it my way. It is spring here. There are masses upon masses of new green leaves everywhere you look. Some of them are so small you can barely see them, others are close to full size. They are every green imaginable and then some more besides. They are all different but they are also more uniform than autumn leaves. I might, if the shawl was green, have considered more uniformity - or I might not.
But these will be autumn leaves. Autumn is different. Autumn is every shade of red, of orange, of yellow, of brown and yes even the greens which are left. Autumn is a wild fire of colours, the sparks from the first log on the first fire of winter. Autumn is a scatter and a dance in the wind. It is not, and never can be, the same all over.
No, the leaves have to be different. It won't be quite mindless knitting but it should be interesting.
And, I won't need to sew the leaves on with tiny, neat stitches because this is to be a wild, windy shawl....I hope.

No comments: