Sunday, November 30, 2008

Knitting with no Photos

I am a bad blogger. It's been weeks since my last post and I don't even have photos to show. Sorry! (some projects can't be shown till Santa arrives, you know).

Because the little gifts have to remain a mystery, this will be a update on some projects underway (also photo free thanks to the dreary weather today). But first, I want to thank you all for your lovely comments, I really do enjoy hearing from you.

The purple sweater is moving along, albeit slowly. Everyone on Ravelry commented on how long it took them to knit the sleeves. Maybe they made the same dumb mistakes I made and that's why they took so long. For instance, I knit up the first sleeve in it's entirety. It took forever because of the double pointed needles and I kept having to shift stitches around till I got the right combination to make the pattern flow. Then, when I put the sleeve onto waste yarn for attaching to the body at a later stage, I discovered I'd knit about an inch too long. No big deal, I thought. I'll just rip it down before I attach it to the body.

Then I started in on the second sleeve. I got about 2 inches in, then put it down for a week. Well, that broke my stride. When I picked it up again, I knitted onward without thinking and completely forgot the pattern required alternating a knit row every other row. I kept looking at the yarn overs and they didn't match the other sleeve, but I couldn't figure out why. This was after I'd knit about two hours and was well into eight inches. So, I ripped down, another evening with no real progress. The next morning I compared sleeves again and discovered an error in the first one! Seems I miscounted the increases (no wonder it was a bit snug!). Damn! That means I'll have to rip the first one back a good 2/3 to correct the increase sequences.

Meanwhile the body section is within about 1 inch of where I want it to be. I'll use the remainder of the current sleeve skein to finish that off and then add on the sleeves. I suspect the real slog will be once the sleeves are attached and each row will have over 300 stitches to work as I make my way up through the shoulders.

The cabled coat is on hold. I did get almost through one sleeve. I even have some pics of the dumb dumb mistakes I made knitting that sleeve. This project takes concentration and large blocks of time to make progress. With all the Christmas knitting in the next four weeks, the coat is on hold.

To pass the time on the subway, I cast on some simple ribbed socks. The yarn is from Lion Brand and it's the first time I've ever played with their yarn. They aren't going well, I've had to rip back three times. Sometimes simple just isn't. Sometimes my quest for perfection makes simple very difficult.

So I've been contemplating this notion for the last several weeks. How I can turn a simple thing into a difficult thing because I just want it to be right. In this case, right means fitting well. Not too tight. In the case of the Ariann sweater, my struggle seems to be finding a good rhythm despite the dpns. It feels like I'm there now, but if I put it down again, who knows what stupid mistake I'll make when I pick it up again.

I think the stress of my job, the news, the world, everything is taking it's toll on my knitting. What is supposed to be my escape, my sanity saver is actually making me more stressed. I've had to rip back so much knitting in the last month it feels like I'm a beginner all over again. Maybe this means I'm pushing the skills to new levels or maybe I'm about to have a breakthrough. I don't know yet. Right now I just want it to be simple again.


Sarah B. said...

Did you know that Amish women purposely leave a mistake in each and every quilt they make? According to them, only God is perfect so they shouldn't even try to compare with Him. In my mind's eye, it just gives me a little more leeway with my knitting and "Creative License".

Eliza said...

Are there photos on your Ravelry page? I'd like to see what you're talking about.

I have found myself gravitating towards less structured projects recently. I just can't deal with directions or counting these days and am just feeling my way through my projects. (Of course, who knows if anything will fit...)

Can you put the sweater aside for a bit and work on something that requires less exactitude? how about a scarf? or a hat?

Daniel Yuhas said...

I love the old Amish Women story - I think of it every time I have to seam anything. Somehow I've got the patience and practice to knit really well, but my seaming is still atrocious. My ex used to call it "punk rock" as in deliberately sloppy... Hey! This is handmade!

I hear you about your knitting life mirroring the rest of your life. Lately I wonder why I feel so over-committed in my knitting life!

Katie M. said...

Hang in there! Sometimes I have similar troubles letting my knitting life remain a hobby ... and not another outlet for my perfectionist tendencies. I hope you can work out a balance.

M.Thew said...

The Amish are very Japanese... and/or vice versa.

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Oh I SO hear you on the 'wanting it to be simple again' thing!

Marie said...

As a non -knitter (hence voyeur, here) I like the idea of the image of the world being reflected in your knitting, and now, ripping back.