Dee at Posh Yarn asked a very interesting question today, on her blog. She asked us to tell her what knitting project we enjoyed the most.
I was going to answer in her comments, but it all got a little too long and involved so I'm replying here, and hoping that she's got trackbacks enabled. Anyway, if you haven't read her post yet, then feel free to go do that now. The rest of this post will be waiting when you get back :)
I had a bit of a think about this, but in the end, there was really no other answer.
My absolute favourite knitting project has to be my Sari Silk Clapotis.
To be honest, I think that the Clapotis might be my favourite pattern to knit, ever, since I've knitted at least three of the things, but the sari silk one was the first, and remains my favourite.
It all came about when, late on one Friday afternoon, I was very bored at work and decided to have a look on eBay for some yarn. In doing so, I found a seller selling cones of sari silk yarn, and she had three left. I immediately bought and paid for them and didn't think much about it.
Until the next morning, when the ringing of the doorbell at 8am woke me. After I'd gotten a bit decent and stumbled downstairs I discovered it was the postman, with a package for me - the sari silk yarn.
Now, I was doubly lucky with that purchase, because not only did it arrive incredibly promptly, but it was also pretty much the best sari silk yarn I've ever touched.
It was so lustrous, soft and beautiful that although it was in the kind of colours I'd never previously have considered (at that point I was very much an "all black" kind of girl), it just screamed at me that it wanted to be knit with immediately, and that it wanted to be a Clapotis.
So that's exactly what I did.
A wee bit of pattern modification and a lot of hoping I didn't run out of yarn, and not long after I had a sari silk Clapotis, with barely three yards of sari silk left.
I loved it so much that I immediately cast on another one, this time in Debbie Bliss Cathay in purple (which was frogged at some point before it had a chance to realise it's full potential).
I then cast on another one, this time in white mercerised cotton, which I was going to wear to a wedding, but I didn't finish it in time, so it found a new purpose and home with Vanessa of Coloursknits as part of the first secret pal swap I participated in.
Later on, after seeing the picture of me wearing my Clapotis, my friend Lori fell under the spell of the Clapotis and asked me to make her one, and after a few false starts, that's exactly what I did. Five balls of Silk Garden later, and she had a full-size Clapotis all of her own, and I still look back and smile at the photos of Lori's Clapotis, my first seriously big knitting project made for someone else.
I've since started and changed my mind on making several other Clapotis', perhaps because I was worried I'd turn into a bit of a knitting one-trick pony, but really, there's no other pattern that's bewitched me quite like this one.
I've thought about it a big, and tried to pin down what it is about it that I like so much, and all I can think of is that it's ingeniously simple to knit (it punches way over it's weight in terms of effect vs effort), and it's got enough interest to keep you going even when it's starting to get boring (those drop stitches are so much fun), and there's so much potential for different looks and feels depending on which yarn you use. I've seen them made from about every kind of yarn, and they're all stunning. Not to mention, that when you wear one out, even the non-knitters ask where you got your scarf. On one memorable occasion, I brought the yarn department in Liberty to a standstill because all the staff were fascinated by it and were calling people from other departments over to show it off.
Y'know what though? All this thinking about Clapotis has made me think that maybe it's time to knit another one.