Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ends, Temptation, and The Character of a Knot

Just finished knitting two intarsia sock patterns that I designed. Of course, that brings up the subject of "ENDS." Intarsia looks lovely on the front, but AACCKKK!!, turn it over to the backside and you are faced with something eerily resembling a porcupine having a seriously BAD hair day. ALL those ends to weave in, bummer. {No, weaving in ends is NOT one of my favorite things to do, in case you haven't guessed.} The temptation to tie off all those ends in knots is ever so strong. Be done in no time at all if I did that, right?

However, I have been a good little knitter and spent a lot of time weaving ends into the back of the fabric. Woven in ends behave so very nicely, they are so unassuming and shy, you know. They stay put, and try very hard not to call attention to themselves. One cannot say the same thing about knots unfortunately, which is why I have resisted the temptation to use them in any of my knitting.

For some reason, totally unknown to phybercologists and any others who have studied them, knots take on a personality all their own, quite unlike that of those shy woven in ends. They become the most obnoxious attention seeking creatures they could possibly be.

Phybercologists have theorized that this may be due to a chemical imbalance created when two ends are joined by tying them together, however, it has not been proven at this point. Whatever the cause, knots are truly unable to do anything but call attention to themselves.

Studies have shown that this attention seeking behavior usually occurs in three distinct phases, with each phase becoming more destructive.
Phase One, the mildest of the three, consists of a knot attempting to show itself off by creating an unsightly and very noticeable "bump" on the front of the fabric. A knot that is at first not at all noticeable, will do its best to call attention to its presence by working itself into such a position as to be seen by one and all. Admittedly, this is a rather mild degree of attention seeking behavior, and many knots are satisfied to stay at this level, especially if the knot is in a very prominent position on the fabric. Once in this position, they cannot be moved or coerced to hide themselves, and so they are quite happy to remain as they are.

Phase Two is a more aggressive behavior, and it is usually resorted to when the first phase fails to get the attention needed. In phase two, a knot will not only show as a bump on the front, but will then proceed to work and wiggle and wriggle itself until it is actually on the front of the fabric, instead of on the back where it belongs. Obviously, this behavior is going to get the knot noticed, and usually no attempt to force it to stay hidden will work, as the knot is determined to show itself off. Again, many knots are quite content to stay at this level as they seem to know that they are actually getting the attention they seem to think they deserve. They very much enjoy all the fussing and messing about given to them as one tries to get them to recede to the backside of the fabric. Such attempts usually fail, but in the unlikely event that a knot is successfully coaxed to stay on the backside of the fabric, many of them will then resort to phase three behavior.

Phase Three behavior is the most aggressive, and worse yet, it is self~destructive behavior. If the first two phases of behavior fail to get a knot the attention it feels it needs and deserves, it will in all likelihood resort to the final phase. This unfortunate attention seeking behavior is the last gasp, so the speak, as once it is begun, there is usually no going back. A knot in the throes of phase three does not seem to care that it is going to cease to exist, it simply cannot exist without attention, and seems to feel that this is the only method left to it. It will proceed to carefully unravel and untie itself, and when it has done so, it leaves only the memory of itself in the resulting, and often, ever enlarging, hole in the fabric. Most knots are excellent at doing this in such a manner as to make it impossible to retie or rejoin them, as they manage to somehow do this in such a way that there is not enough left of them to retie or rejoin them in their original position. They seem to feel that even though they no longer exist, they have finally gained the attention they so desperately need and crave, as the fabric is usually ruined by their loss.
Phybercologists therefore state that creating a knot is something which will lead to destructive behavior on the part of the knot, and of course this behavior is not in the best interests of the knot created. They therefore highly recommend that one always remembers this motto:

Knot? NOT!


BeadKnitter said...

Your article on the self destructional behavior of knots in knitting is wonderful.

Mommabear said...

Val, I love your blog! You need to put some of your beautiful socks on here!!! You do such wonderful work! God bless you huggs Marion