Sunday, March 28, 2010

A knitting Coterie

Coterie -- an intimate and often exclusive group of yarns* with a unifying common interest or purpose, as taken from Merriam-Webster, except that the definition actually refers to a group of "*persons".

My latest creation arises from my laziness, to be self-critical. In more generous terms, it sprang from my love of simplicity, my quest for the Zen in my knitting. Basically, I looked at a very cute scarf pattern and was appalled to learn that it required seed stitch, intarsia and fair-isle, all in the same row. On top of those techniques, which can be difficult and tedious for me, the pattern called for a knitted rectangle that could then be folded and worn as a triangle. It's a good pattern, thoughtful, well-written and charted, that has produced lovely finished projects. I really like the scarf, but I'm too lazy to knit it.
I've knit this one instead.

Its name is Coterie, for the little group of exclusive yarns that I've come to know intimately. They've been crocheted, knit, ripped, reknit, and re-ripped over the course of the years they've been in my possession. Lovely stuff, really, nine-tenths of it fingering weight alpaca, almost all from Peru. There's one from a local alpaca ranch, hand-spun and kool-aid dyed. They're so nice, but they are unlucky. They fell into my hands and became appalling things. I'm sure this coterie is grateful their ordeal is over. Now they only need tolerate being wrapped around my neck, tucked into my jacket, or laid over my shoulders, my chaise lounge, my dining table and any other object that stands at the ready. Once I've knit something, I find it hard to put it away in a drawer. I often leave the new knits out where I can pet and play with them for a couple of weeks.

While this shawl does look similar to the scarf I've linked, it is entirely different in construction. Obviously, it is a triangle. Less obviously, it doesn't use either fair-isle or intarsia and the seed stitch is kept to a minimum. It's got a nice i-cord edging which is knit right in, not applied afterwards. There is seed stitch, but just a little at the edge. I made so many changes, I wasn't sure if it was even going to lay flat. Once off the needles, it curled, puckered and ruffled.

 Blocking did the trick, expanding the size to near perfect for a small shawl or kerchief. It's just the size of my Citron. Perhaps a bit larger would be preferable, and would have been relatively easy to achieve, had there been more yarn.

Now that I've got it all done, I'm thinking of writing up the pattern. I've made a few notes, but am concerned about copying another knitter's concept. This is one of those things, like plagiarism. It's difficult to draw a line between "inspired by" and "copied from" when the same idea is expressed by different means. I'd rather be cautious and have contacted the designer and am waiting for her response.

ETA:  Which was negative.  That's that, then.

For an even prettier shawl, see my Mathematix pattern.  The link is in the sidebar under My Patterns.


Wool Winder said...

It's a really pretty scarf! I like that you showed a pre-blocked shot, too. Blocking made a big difference. Can't wait to see the next one in lace weight.

soknitpicky said...

Seems like really clever construction. Congrats! And wow, it really blocked beautifully.

Mardel said...

What a lovely scarf and it seems just perfect for its intended use. I can't wait to see the next one.

Anonymous said...

How very clever of you!