Mr Ford had some wise words to say on the subject and no, it isn’t that my knitting is available in any colour as long as it’s black. I love colour so much. (You may have noticed). No, Mr Ford said this:
One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.
Isn’t that true? Whilst we all have to recognise that we have limits, a humble action that isn’t so popular anymore, there are also many times and things where all that is holding us back is fear. Perhaps that fear is often fear of failure, fear of not being good enough.
And when you do step over that threshold, it’s so liberating. Look I’ve just done something that I never thought was possible!
Comfort zones may be comfortable but they can hold us back. We need to realise that very fine balance in our minds, between knowing where our genuine limits and skills lie and knowing when we need to push a little further and step out into the unknown. I guess otherwise we wouldn’t learn, we wouldn’t ever experience anything new.
This is me stepping out into the unknown, casting on stitches, in an act of hope and trust, in the round and dreaming up my own pattern as I go. I had inspiration from the wine bottle covers (isn’t that a lovely idea?) you see on Ravelry and wanted to create a going-away present for a friend who is going to hotter climes.
As you might expect from me, I don’t exactly plan my patterns, I just knit with an idea in mind which evolves slightly over the duration and sometimes the yarn, the stitches, life takes me to a slightly different destination. When I look at the finished article then there are things that I would do differently next time, little adjustments that come with hindsight and the FO in your hands.
I wanted bold colours and none that would clash with another on an outfit, no pinks or reds for example. Neither did I want the usual regular stripes, it can look a little twee and uniform so I knitted the green stripes half the size of the grey ones. I borrowed the decreases from my baby socks to bring in the neck and the stocking stitch ruffle at the top was inspired by a sampler in one of my knitting books. The bottom I knit with double strands, one of each colour, in garter stitch to give a nice solid base which was also flat enough for the bottle to stand up. I use the centre of a flower as the basis for the shaping. When I attached it, it just so happened to make the ridged edge like the bottom of a drinks can! I quite liked that little homage to modern drink containers as I had already planned on joining my strap with little amphora handles, the old and the new. I used i-cord to start the strap, again using two strands of yarn for strength, but because obviously I joined them in different directions they do look slightly different. I’d have to work on this another time, not sure how though. Then I switched to garter stitch, slipping the first stitch of the row to make a more even finish, for the strap. It ended up a little too stretchy so next time I would use seed stitch instead.
I judged the amount of stitches I needed to cast on by slipping that sample of knitting in the round I did the other week over the bottle and seeing whether that needed to be looser or tighter. Then I just worked to the height of the bottle. The strap is actually a little harder to gauge as it goes on forever it seems and my attention span is limited, just remember not to measure it off yourself but to roughly the proportions of the wearer (I’m a lot shorter than most folks anyway).