Monday, November 25, 2013

Aspirational vs actual knitting

The photographs on the Churchmouse Yarns and Teas online shop finally did me in:

I just had to order something*, and MAN, even the way my choices were wrapped for shipping was special.

The best part is, I know that when I'm using these tools I will feel the same sense of capability and good order I did when I first saw them.  That feeling - the one where you can most easily believe you're making your life better - is such an important part of knitting for me (even though, if I'm objective about it, it mostly seems that I'm making my house messier.)
Something I think is especially nice about knitting is that whole 'achievable' part.  Aspirational marketing is everywhere, but those pretty photographs and tidy welcoming spaces in yarn shops are not a trick.  To be more specific: buying an expensive watch isn't going to turn you into the model you see wearing it in the ad.  Buying the right yarn and blocking tools and choosing a pattern that matches your knitting ability - or something within reach of it - will net you something quite charming.

For proof, check out some project photographs for the Churchmouse dishcloth pattern.

Where I personally fall down is in the context - the space in which I'm working yarn magic.  Maybe you can relate?

You can tell from the Churchmouse website pictures that everything from the tools to the yarns to the space itself has been set up with style.  Some yarn shops - equally charming in their way of course - stock everything, and the racks of tools are a jumble of colour and sizes and shapes.  Churchmousey ones suggest they've been curated, with tools selected for the way they look and feel in your hands as well as the way they perform, like for example that gauge ruler I bought, which was custom made for the shop.  Stitch is like that too - that's my favourite local yarn and fabric shop, in Jordan Village in the Niagara region of Southern Ontario.

Dream. Eee.

My house?  it's more like the jumble option.  (especially my desk, which as I type this has just enough space for my forearms to rest in front of the keyboard, and is otherwise crammed with yarn and project bags and notes and other bits and pieces.  There's barely room for a mug of tea, even. Did I mention I seem to be making a mess instead of a simpler life?)

Fortunately, replicating context is never quite as important to me as the feel of the tools and the yarn or the fabric in my hand.  And goodness in that department is very achievable indeed.

How about you?  Does the dream of the life that goes with a photograph draw you to cast on the project it's promoting?  Or are you more about the end result, or the colours or the fibers or any of the zillion other gorgeousnesses of yarn and sticks?

* in case you are wondering what I bought there as well as the ruler - there's a very simple closed shawl pin because I can never get my shawls to stay shut and I move around too much to manage one of those stick closure kinds, and some new stitch markers because the lady who makes the very favourites ones I love so much to use seems to not make them any more and I've lost a few since I bought my original supply.  Also some other things, but for some reason not any of the wool fat soap.  I might have to go back and correct that oversight because YUM.

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