It seems, in the knitting world, that it is common to categorize oneself as either a "process knitter", or a "product knitter". I've never been able to fit comfortably into either camp. I am definitely a process thinker - I love to wrestle with a problem for the sheer mental satisfaction of solving it, whether or not it ever translates into an object or action, but when it comes to bringing an object into being with my two hands, I am definitely product focused.
I will happily play for hours with the math of sleeve cap solutions I may never knit, but committing my fingers to an object that will not ever serve a useful purpose in its own right (like say... a swatch) makes me crazy. Paradoxically though, I don't really incorporate a knitting technique into my conscious repertoire until I've actually knit it, which effectively limits my knitting education to the number of garments I have time to make.
Clearly, I must swatch to learn, but how to make it palatable, purposeful, exciting? Mindfulness would be a good start - looking deeply into the inner nature of each stitch and technique, celebrating its beauty with photos, poetry, conversation, and whatever else comes to mind. I think it's worth trying.
I've got a loose plan to work through specific topics and/or problems, ferreting out every idea and solution I can find, and contributing my own where the inspiration strikes. I'll link to, rather than attempt to duplicate, the many thousands of wonderful tutorials out there, though I don't rule out making something of my own if there seems to be a gap. I would love to hear about your discoveries and experience, and I'll put the posts in the sidebar of the blog as a reference, so comments will add immensely to that. For starters, I'll be referencing TechKnitter a great deal, as I love her thorough, academic approach to the subject.
Posts will happen as often as they happen - likely weekly-ish, but that will depend a great deal on how many swatches I need to knit and photograph to come to grips with a topic. The project will last until I run out of stuff I don't know - quite possibly forever.
I realize there are other formal database projects out there - knitwikis, and the like - this is simply my attempt to systematically imbibe a body of knowledge in a way that feels good. (Though an informal swatch-along might be fun, eh?)
Feedback, ideas, suggestions?
(The first installment will go up immediately after this introductory post.)