In the last couple of years I’ve started getting into knitting. It’s fun and rewarding but most projects confuse me and seem too time-consuming, so I’m starting small. I’ve decided that if I don’t put much expectation on myself, I can be pretty proud of small achievements. So far I haven’t graduated past scarves, but that’s okay, because I like scarves, I wear them a lot, and I am being creative about the different styles to make them in.
Once I was caught up in a moment – I’m not sure whether you’d identify this as a lazy excuse or a burst of super creativity. But I just wasn’t into knitting. I had some wool. I had some needles. I just looked at the two and thought, “I really don’t feel like putting you together today” so I tried something a little weird.
I plaited the wool instead.
Remember friendship bracelets? We used to spend hours in the school yard with strands of wool between our teeth, frantically plaiting the threads to make these awesome bracelets. Sometimes we did complicated patterns, often we just plaited them.
My grandpa was really into leatherwork when I was very young. I have marvelled at quite a few of his pieces since I was older and have been fascinated by the multiple-strand plaiting that he used to do. I asked my gran and she explained just how simple it is – and how it follows a pretty logical pattern.
So I tried a seven-strand plait. It basically involves a lot of “under over over under” etc. It turned out to be slightly less simple than I remembered but I eventually figured it out and ended up with a fat, cosy, cool scarf:
I can’t say it was really the greatest technique – the thing is mighty bulky but I think that’s also because I just used too many strands. It’s certainly a speedy way to use up a big chunk of wool, but I can see why they invented knitting needles. I guess this is a kind of ultra-primitive hand-weaving.
A few days later I tried a less-bulky version which I gave to my Mum and she LOVES it! She gets heaps of comments when she wears it as well so I suppose that’s success… or people are all just laughing inside.
What do you think? Would you wear a plaited scarf or do you think it’s a silly idea?