On the perfection of stocking stitch


Monday, 27 June 2011

So I made an attempt at knitting ‘fancy’ patterned socks.  All it took was ten rows; ten rows of following a chart and fiddling around with crossing cables.  On the eleventh row I decided the best thing would be to unpick the sock.  For a short while I looked at alternative patterns to see if any would make more sense to me.  Then this morning I knew that what would really make me happy would be to knit this luxury yarn into a pair of plain, stocking-stitch socks.  Because for socks, stocking stitch is perfection.  That, surely, is why it is called stocking stitch.  I don’t believe there is anything like it for showing off the beautiful shades in a yarn.

I do admire patterned socks.  I love to see them.  I think they are very clever.  But I have absolutely no desire to knit them.   I suppose it is a bit like to going to an exhibition and really liking the paintings.  Some people will want to go straight home and take out paints, but not me.  In fact, I adore paintboxes, but they don’t inspire me to want to paint, I just like the way the paints look in the paintbox.

Alright, I must admit there is a part of me that thinks I should have a desire to knit them and that I am failing as a knitter by wanting to knit stocking stitch.  But, really, I only have to look at the fabric to see that any patterning at all would detract attention from the beauty of the colours, the sheen, the regularity of the tiny stitches.  Just as following a chart detracts from the pleasure of watching the fabric form stitch by stitch and the subtle colour changes weave their magic.

I’ve got lacy cardigans.  My next jumper will have a statement cable on the front.  And I edge ever closer to rekindling my long dormant love of Fairisle patterning.  But stocking stitch, ah, stocking stitch is forever perfect.

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