You know how sometimes you go along, blithely living your day-in-day-out routine when suddenly you’re slapped in the face with a sobering reality? That happened to me not long ago. While my knitting time has been severely limited by the start-up of two schools, a church choir and the preparation of a number of challenging concerts, I really have been knitting. My realization was recognizing the fact that I have not finished a knitting project since July, when I finished Emily’s Port Ludlow socks. I have gone against my self-imposed rule of no more than three projects going at once, but no bind offs! So, I started to make an inventory UFO’s and here’s what I came up with:
1. Cradle Me–a baby blanket for the yet-to-be-born son of a colleague. I started this blanket when I found out Erin was pregnant. I thought I had learned my lesson of knitting a big blanket in sport-weight for a baby. Booties and a hat could have been completed in a weekend, and probably appreciated just as much.
2. Saddle-shoulder Aran–Oy, did I have plans for this!? This was the sweater that I was going to have finished up to the point of cutting the steek. I had this vision that when Meg discussed steeks, I would offer up my humble cardigan to be used as the demonstration piece. Little did I know that I would be so paralyzed by the fear of not having the body or sleeves at the right length when I joined them, that the sweater would live for months in an unjoined state.
3. Simple Skyp Socks–These were started to be the keep-in-my-bag socks that I would work on when I have a few minutes here or there. I never have a “few minutes.” I either make time to knit, in which I work on a larger project, or I’m not knitting. As a result, these have sat on the needles for quite a while. The heels have been turned, the gussets are finished . . . they don’t really have that far to go.
4. Longjohn Socks–I got about halfway through the legs of both socks and realized that they’re just too big. I like the look of the fabric, so instead of going down a needle size (they’re already on 0’s!), I need to frog them and cast-on fewer stitches.
5. Les Abeilles–I’m not sure what possessed me to cast on for this in the first place, other than it was a really easy lace project and seemed appealing at the time. I also don’t know what possessed me to make it in the largest size with a cast-on of 400 stitches. I’m down to a couple of hundred stitches, with nothing but garter stitching and decreases left. But with only decreasing 4 stitches every other row . . . there’s still a lot of knitting to be done. I do believe I have determined a recipient, though, so that’s a plus.
6. Hypoteneuse–This was started out of two needs . . . one was because I feel like I need new scarves for the winter, and the other because I wanted an easy fast knit to feel like I was accomplishing something. It’s over halfway there and I really like the results.
7. New Zealand Sweater–I began this sweater at camp because I needed easy stocking stitch in the round to keep my hands busy while I was listening to Meg. I finished the body up to the armpit, dropped stitches for the phony seam only to realize that I had done the increases in the gusset incorrectly, causing a mess when the seam stitches were dropped. Not a big deal really, I only needed to frog back about 2 inches and re-do the gussets correctly so the seam stitches would work. Unfortunately, when I took the sweater off the needles to frog it, I discovered my gauge had been off, and the sweater was about 6 inches larger around than I wanted it to be. So I frogged the whole thing, treated the first time around like a really big gauge swatch, re-figured the math and cast-on the correct number of stitches for the size I need (I think). I knitted two or three rounds and it has sat untouched since.
8. Maplewing Shawl–Hmm . . . what can I say . . . this has sat half finished for over a year now. I like the pattern, I like the yarn, I just haven’t found the inspiration to finish. But I’m not willing give up on it.
Ok . . . there it is . . . a complete inventory of my UFO’s. You’ll notice that 5 of the 8 are Anne Hanson patterns, and 2 of the 8 are EZ concepts (I can’t really call them patterns). With the exception of the two EZ projects, everything has been stalled due to lack of time or inspiration. The two EZ projects are stalled due to fear–fear of screwing up (or screwing up AGAIN in the case of New Zealand). You know, I am a cellist . . . I am not a composer. I like taking the works of composers and applying my own interpretation of their ideas. I’m wondering if there’s a correlation there . . . perhaps when it comes to knitting, I’m more of a performer (using other people’s patterns) than a composer (using EZ’s concepts to create my own works). I have no desire to compose music, but I would really like to be a composer when it comes to knitting.
The Plan . . .
I decided to practice what my friend Ellen refers to as “project monogamy.” Part of the problem with having so many thing going at once is that if you knit a little on this and a little on that . . . it takes forever to get a finished product. Here’s how the priority list goes:
1. Cradle Me–I just want it off the needles! I’ve been monogamous with it all week, and should finish it tomorrow. Then all I will have to do is block, wrap and give!
2. Simple Skyp Socks–They’re fairly close and I need to free up that set of Blackthorn needles.
3. Hypoteneuse–Again . . . it shouldn’t take that long if I focus on it.
4. Les Abeilles–I want to give it as a Christmas gift, so I’m not going to put it off.
That’s as far as I’m planning. I will frog the Longjohns. I may or may not cast on for them right away. I have other sock plans (read on). I don’t know what will become of Maplewing. I have a firm feeling that if I started knitting on it again, I would finish it. It’s just difficult to pick up something that has sat for over a year. The aran . . . I think when I have finished some things, I will want to put the focus into getting it finished. I’ve invested way too much work in it already to abandon it for a reason as stupid as fear. I have no idea of New Zealand’s destiny. I know it would be a very wearable/useful sweater. I just don’t know if I will find the inspiration to pick it up again.
As I have mentioned on many occasions, my pal Angie and I are obsessed with True Blood. We’re also big fans of Twilight. We’re also sock knitters. What could be more perfect than a sock club devoted to True Blood and Twilight (well, at least the November and January offerings)? We have mortgaged our homes and purchased the first installment of Bloodlines! The third and final offering is dedicated to Supernatural, a show that neither of us have watched. We added to our Netflix list (great idea, Ang!) and have started watching. The first shipment is the last week of November . . . a reason I want socks finished. I’m sure there’ll be posts devoted to that first installment, so stay tuned.
No photos . . . not until I have something finished. But there’s always music . . . . Two of my FAVORITE string players–violinist Maxim Vengerov and violist Lawrence Power performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante.