Small does not necessarily mean Easy

I’ve been thinking. I know it is a dangerous pass-time, but danger is my middle name. Actually it isn’t, but I do have a pet rabbit that my son named Danger. He is pretty awesome (both the bunny & my son). But back to thinking.

When looking at what people like to knit, I think that there is a significant chunk of knitters that really don’t want to knit anything out of more than a couple of skeins of yarn. They want projects that they can carry around unobtrusively and knit on when they have the time. And really, who wants to sit in a coffee shop and bust out an afghan?

This is not to say that there aren’t a bazillion knitters out there making sweaters and blankets and coats and car cozies … but just that there is a significant demand for smaller projects. Another consideration driving this demand might be the desire to knit with very high end yarn, but a certain dearth in the budget to purchase enough to knit an entire sweater out of that same yarn.

My mother calls this “Champagne taste on a beer budget.”

I am sure plenty of other people say that, but for me it is my mom.

In among this thinking another idea started rising to the top. The idea that the assumption is often made that a small project is, by nature of it’s smallness, also easy. Small = easy. I have had another knitter chastise me for knitting only accessories. She all but asked me “When are you going to grow up and be a real knitter and make a sweater? Do something challenging?”

It took me aback and made me think (there I go again) and I realized that my answer is:

“I don’t wanna.”

I like knitting accessories as opposed to garments. And you know what, some of them are freaking hard. They have challenging techniques and elements. And working with really small yarn can be a nightmare for me. Just because some thing is small doesn’t mean it is easy. And I think that there is plenty of knitters out there who have been knitting a long time and want some challenges – but who don’t want to have to knit a sweater’s worth of yarn to get to the challenge.

Small but not simple.

So I think that is something I might need to work on. Patterns that only use between one and a few skeins of yarn, but that have really interesting and challenging methods and techniques. It seems to be something I have been working on already, but codifying it in my thoughts allows me to define where I am going.

And as you can see, I have a new pattern. I have decided to call it the Fairweather Hat  (if you can figure out why you will totally get major bonus points). For those who might have found the color work lace in Golden Lion Throne a bit intimidating, here is a smaller (but not crazy easy) project to get your feet wet. Worked in two colors of Malabrigo’s new yarn Rastita, it takes about 100 yards in each color of Sport weight yarn. And you will have *plenty* left over for another project.

Decreases can be so much fun.

With my left overs I am considering designing a matching accessory, but what to design? Fingerless mitts? A cowl? A scarf? What do you think? I would also be interested in hearing any thoughts you might have on smaller but challenging pieces. Good idea or not?

4 thoughts on “Small does not necessarily mean Easy

    • Thanks!

      The funny thing is, it really isn’t “hard” per se – it just isn’t easy. As long as you pay attention to what you are doing it goes along fairly quickly.

  1. Very nice I was thinking the other morning how I would like a hat just like the shawl that you designed and trying to decide how the sts might go and now I see that you have done the work for me. Thank-you ; )

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