Wow

Patchwork knitting is a technique of knitting squares or strips and then knitting these together to create a garment. It is a great way to use up odds and ends of handspun yarn, even the thrums from weaving projects. This child’s sweater was created from the warp ends that normally end up as loom waste (the gray), and short lengths of colored yarn spun from a bag of small amounts of ten different colors of wool roving sold as a needle-felting kit. The technique is described in Horst Schultz’s book entitled New Patchwork Knitting Fashion for Children. Although she would not like to admit to it, Joanna and I each embody a very similar kind of obsessiveness. Once we embark upon a project, especially ones which turn out to be nontrivial, we find it difficult to focus on much else. My obsessive behavior is most readily exposed by things like mechanical fixes on farm equipment while Joanna’s are borne from knitting, spinning, and weaving projects which teach a new technique. Both of us are driven to distraction by such things. Joanna’s recent obsession has been this Patchwork sweater. She began spinning about a month ago and the actual knitting began shortly thereafter. My evenings were spent watching her knit, listening to her mutter, watching her unknit and then listening to her mutter some more. I know very little about such things but do not be fooled, this sweater was not constructed from a number of crocheted granny-squares. The squares which comprise this garment were knit, one on to the next, into panels which were joined to each other by strips of moss stitch. Joanna says that this technique offers lots of scope for creativity and spontaneity. She frequently decided which color to pick up next when she got there. Little-by-little the garment took shape; first the front panels, then the sides, then the back panels, and then the sleeves and the finish work. She is relieved to be done (and thereby released from the obsession) and delighted with the result. Although I am no expert (I have difficulty tying my own boots) I think it’s quite something.

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