Sunday, 25 July 2010

Kitchener Tattoo

When Ravelry first started there were far fewer groups and so while surfing the forums you tended to get a wider spread of stuff as totally unrelated things were all crammed in together. That was how I ended up reading a thread about knitting tattoos and a woman who had got her first tattoo. It was a line, a straight thin black line, across the bottom of her big toe on her right foot. The line showed the point at which she should start decreasing when knitting top-down socks. At the time my thinking was along the lines of "What a pointless tattoo. Why would you go through the pain of having someone poke you repeatedly with a needle just for that?" But then later I realised I was being stupid and the important thing was it was something useful to her.

Tattoos have always intrigued me. Because you have to be really really certain that you're going to still like that design in 1, 10, 25+ years time because you're going be stuck with it. Facial tattoos intrigue me the most. How can anyone think so short-term? Unless it has a cultural significance beyond "hey cool tat" how can you make such a huge commitment to a lifestyle implied by your tattoo? There was another Ravelry thread more recently started by a girl who had got a job she really wanted but the company had a no-tattoo policy and she had them up one arm, up her neck and onto her jawline. She was asking which brand of stage makeup would hide them most effectively. But from the photo she was only about 25. How long can you wear thick greasepaint to work for before you get caught in the rain, or get hot and sweaty, or just forget?

All this flashed through my tiny mind earlier on today when I realised that for the first time in decades of knitting, I was doing Kitchener. And I was doing it quite quickly and you couldn't see where the join was. I finally succeeded by using Knitting without Tears which is possibly the finest of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books. Actually no, they are all indispensable. But it's pretty damned good. I opened it to the relevant page, drew a diagram in pencil in the margin of needles 1 and 2 and got to it. And if I were to get a knitting tattoo, that diagram is what I would get. Although I wouldn't actually, because I am not that committed to it.

Here it what I was Kitchenering:
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It is the Talking Fish Sock which is here on Ravelry. People constantly ask me why I knit, and why don't I just buy stuff and this is why. Isn't the ripple pattern exquisite?
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You just don't get that kind of thing in Primark. Of course the downside is I now have to make another one, and that's a lot of Kitchenering. But finding the silver lining, all the practice means I'm less likely to need the tattoo as a reminder of how to do it.
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1 comment:

Che said...

do you have any tattoos? I didn't really think i was a tattoo kind of girl until i went to thailand and came home with one! i love it! :) look at these tattoos
http://indieberries.blogspot.com/2010/07/permanent-art.html

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