Friday, June 09, 2006

The Chicken Or The Egg

Which comes first: The yarn or the pattern? The idea or the fibres? The colour or the shape? The need or the want? What makes you break out the needles or the hook? I’m wondering whether the yarn companies should concentrate more on making wonderful yarns while making lots of patterns cheap (or free!) and easy to get? Or should big-name designers continue to publish those lavish and expensive coffee table books with the model photographed among the exotic scenery, the exact yarns used being of secondary interest? Or how about the books that feature how-to techniques with some patterns thrown in to illustrate the ideas under discussion? What fires your inspiration to start a new project?

These questions occurred to me while I was looking at the Berroco website. They have a gazillion free patterns in both knit and crochet, a free e-newsletter, and a look at what’s new in their inexpensive booklets. Their yarns are also relatively inexpensive and easily available (all my LYSs carry some of them, at least) so if you do want to use the recommended yarn, you can. (Unless it’s been discontinued which does happen.) The styles range from conservative to quite trendy. The patterns are graded as to skill level but they don’t hold your hand even on the ones rated "Easy". The instructions are curt and assume you know some basics. No schematics either. I like some of the styles a lot and have seen a few things that I’d like to make. This cute bag is on The List! Might do something very different for the handle though.

Further to my chat yesterday about fashion I’ve noticed that, just as I’ve gotten used to a more closely-fitted silhouette, styles are starting to loosen up again. I guess since “completely shrunken” only looks good on a few people of an appropriate age and they aren’t very warm or particularly comfortable to wear, it was an inevitable move. Speaking of wear, I have to describe this really funny sight the other day while I was out walking: a family (mom, dad, teenaged girl and little dog) were walking together down a busy main street and the mom kept moving up behind her daughter and tugging down her flippy little pink skirt which was hiking dangerously up her nether regions. The girl was quite young and still had some of her pre-teen baby fat and this skirt was obviously not compatible with a more rounded body shape. I was amused for several blocks watching the scenario until mom picked up the dog and no longer had a hand available so the girl ended up pulling down her own skirt. Not often enough for her parents’ comfort though I bet! On the same street I also saw a lovely slim young woman wearing a long pure white asymmetrical crinkle skirt and embroidered blouse and while waiting for a light to change she was tugging up her skirt which was sliding down her hips. Ah, the sacrifices in decorum for fashion! Why oh why do we bother?!

So we need a picture today, yes? How about this one? I got these fresh local strawberries at the market on the way home from my, physio. Yum! I wait all year for these. (No chickens were involved, blog title notwithstanding.)

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