Many years ago, I borrowed this book from my local library, captivated by the beautiful patterns based on traditional folk knits - mainly bags - of the Andes region. Admiration however, was about all I could offer. I was completely intimidated by the technique and skills required for many of the projects. I remember the feeling of inability well; I couldn't even make sense of the instructions.
On a recent trip to the library, I spotted this book and picked it up again, mostly just to admire , but to my surprise I found myself with a brand new perspective both of the projects within and my skillset. Instead of being intimidated, I found myself assessing construction methods with a nod of comprehension, and noting the simplicity of much of the colourwork.
I am surprised at the leaps I've taken with my knitting, I have to say. If you'd asked me, I would have agreed my finishing and attention to the finer details had certainly improved, but I doubt I would ventured to say my knitting proficiency had changed in any significant way. It was a nice moment, to be able to acknowledge the growth.
Armed with this newfound confidence, I checked out the book and cast on this sweet little Llama bag using some of my recent Bendigo purchases - 100g of Karoa Fibre.
(It seems I must be a sucker for small, fiddly novelty knits)
The construction of this little bag is something that first time around, I would have been totally bamboozled by. The legs are worked similarly to afterthough heels on socks, something I'd never even encountered all those years ago and there is absolutely no sewing up - all the little pieces like the face, ears, tail are knit either from live stitches or by picking up stitches directly in place.
The legs of this bag are actually unas, small pouches traditionally used by market stallholders for things like sorting change by denomination, storing talismans' or keys, amongst other things.
As well as being visually beautiful, the book is also a lovely read as the author goes into good detail on the history and purpose of the bags in traditional cultures of the Andean region, as well as providing background on fibres and the roles animals such as llamas play within the communities.
I just love those ears!!
What would you say are your shifts in perception over the years of working creatively? Do you forget to reassess yourself and your talents every now and then, allowing that things change so subtly over time that they sneak up on you too, like this?