Aranami :: when process and product align

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I am probably a little bit more of a “process knitter” than a “product knitter,” which is to say that the process of knitting is a little more important to me than the outcome. It’s not that I don’t like finishing something or enjoy wearing a handknit or want my handknits to turn out well, it’s just that the enjoyment of actually knitting is usually greater than the joy of actually owning whatever it is I’ve made. That’s why sometimes, no matter how much I might like the looks of a finished object, I would never knit it because I know from looking at it that it wouldn’t be enjoyable. And it’s why sometimes I might knit something for the sheer joy of knitting it, even if it isn’t something I’m going to get a lot of use out of.

For a long time, shawls fell into the latter category – I loved knitting them but rarely wore them. Of course most shawls aren’t like a pair of mittens – you just don’t have an occasion every day to wear them. Or at least I don’t. But I adore making them – they don’t come with all the anxiety over fit, they aren’t so big that you get bored before you’re done (okay, well, sometimes that does happen – but not as much as it happens for me with, say, blankets), and they are a great canvas for playing with color, texture, and/or lace.

This shawl, Olgajazzy’s Aranami pattern, was an absolute thrill to knit. It is one of the most inventive designs out there, yielding a knit that is almost zenlike in its balance between simplicity and complexity. The actual knitting is so simple and meditative, but the construction and the color changes keep the knitter so engaged and entranced. It was as close to perfect, process-wise, as I’ve found.
knitted :: Sunset Aranami
I selected colors (in Brooklyn Tweed LOFT) to look like a sunset, and it was such a delight to build each color on top of the last one.
in progress :: Sunset Aranami
I worked on it at the beach (this was summer 2012), where some of my favorite sunsets happen.
knitted :: Sunset Aranami

Those colors!

I knew I would enjoy knitting this one. What I didn’t expect was that I would also get so much pleasure out of actually wearing it. Two years after making it, this knit still sees a lot of action. I especially love wearing it with bright blue.
knitted :: Sunset Aranami
I don’t typically wear it as a wrap-type shawl (above). I usually wear it more like a scarf (like in the top picture). The yarn is deliciously wooly and slightly rustic. The colors are total perfection. And the design itself is a complete winner.

raveled

If you haven’t made an Aranami, I would highly, highly, recommend it.

And what about you? Would you consider yourself more process knitter or more product knitter?

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