Tilli Tomas Sweater
Originally uploaded by plainsight.

It’s impossible to tell from this photo how insanely wonderful this yarn is. (It’s Tilli Tomas flurries–with the beads, and Aspen–without.) I’m enjoying every second of crocheting with it, despite the fact that the sheer volume of work I’ve been doing lately has led to a little hand discomfort. I’m also enjoying it because I know after a few weeks I’m going to be setting the hooks aside for the summer to concentrate on a new big knitting project. I’ll be able to let on more about that soon.

I find it amazing that despite extremely simple stitches and a style of construction I’ve done over, and over, this sweater is turning out to be one of the coolest things I’ve ever made. I can’t wait to get the pieces finished so I can start putting it all together. I’ve got a fun new sleeve idea to try out, too.

The yarn itself is suprising. It’s single ply, but has amazing bounce. It is DK weight, but it takes well to being crocheted with a small (3.75mm) hook. It doesn’t feel stiff, and in fact, my swatches with a bigger hook just seem sloppy. Once the hook and yarn found their balance, the fabric seemed almost to create itself.

Did you know, that with modular construction, you can’t acheive exact symmetry? For instance, even though both of my “right” sides of ribbing are the same (the sides I worked in single crochet), they aren’t identical because I had to work one from the hem to the neck edge and the other from the neck edge to the hem. Upon close observation, they look different–it’s the nature of the double crochet stitch. It has a “left side” and a “right side.” I love that.

It reminds me of one of the things my aunt tried to teach me when I was little. She’s an artist, and she would come to our family’s summer cottage in Wisconsin each year and sit on the hill overlooking the lake to sketch and make oil pastel drawings. I’d drag my sketchbook out to the old wooden bench and sit along side her and draw pictures too.

She told me about things like perspective, and we’d talk about color, shading. She had lived in Okinawa (where she studied karate as well as art), and one time she told me about something called “shibui.” I don’t recall exactly what she said, but I remember thinking it was great that in Japan, it was better to be assymetrical and have things in odd numbers. Reading the Wikipedia article now, I like the idea of shibui even better: “beautiful by being understated, or by being precisely what it was meant to be and not elaborated upon.”

Sometimes a picture isn’t enough…