austere (adj.) 1. severe or strict in appearance or manner. 2. lacking comforts, luxuries, or decoration. origin Greek austeros ‘severe’.
From the Oxford Paperback Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Wordpower Guide published in 2001.
Once, I showed this blog to an old friend of mine. He said that the aesthetic was ‘austere’, and implied that I should change it up, add some warm colours. Then I showed it to my friend Mollyann at Ariadne, and she said that she liked it. She used that same word, austere, and then said it looked homey.
I like the idea of austerity. But then, I like neutral colours and hard lines, and I admire asceticism, and I love a good dry wine or a nice sour olive. I value strong, hard work and a relatively practical outlook. The harsh yarns are my favourite, and I love the colours that sink behind brighter tones. I guess it’s no wonder. I grew up in a sober, solemn, and serious environment. I’m really starting to see how growing up on a cold, rocky island has impacted my colour preferences.
I got that picture from here.
I love those cool silvery greens and grey blues, and they tend to influence my knitting. When I started to learn more and more about fibre, I was attracted to those bright tones that most new knitters love, but I always go back to my colour palate.
Even my cats match it. Sometimes I wonder if I’m missing out; if, by not trying out yarns or colours I’m not immediately attracted to, I’m somehow limiting myself. But then, when I knit something for the store or for someone else… there’s just no spark. And it’s hard to finish something that you’re not absolutely in love with.
Speaking of which. I have announced today that I will not sleep until the 7 knit rows and 6 purl rows of this sweater plus ribbing are complete. I have been swamped lately, and have been so desperate for unadulterated knitting time that I managed to knit 4 rows in a dark theatre with only two mistakes. This sweater will be done before the next knit night – this Thursday.
I think my next project will involve richer tones, but still will fit into this heathered aesthetic. I like the idea of knitting more “bitter” or “harsh” sweaters – it feels like a better preparation for the cold than sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.
Happy New Year, everybody.