Completion Anxiety

As of yesterday morning, I had only a (short) sleeve and four little rows of edging to knit, then 12 buttons to sew on and some ends to tidy up in order to finish my “Crichton” sweater. I started the sleeve, then got distracted by the Wii, and dishes, and some laundry, and eventually, looking at my potential next project. When I finally sat down at 10:00pm to knit on poor little Crichton again, I was shocked that I’d only finished four rows of sleeve. I took a moment to contemplate what happened, and came to this conclusion:

I was having a bad case of completion anxiety.

Unlike the Yarn Harlot’s problem with her shawl, my anxiety stemmed from the fact that I wasn’t entirely sure the sweater would fit me when I was done. I love the yarn, the color, and the pattern. But I’d made changes to the pattern, taking it from a very short cropped sweater to one that went down to my waist, and making the sleeves a bit longer as well, and if those alterations screwed up the sweater, I’d have no one to blame but myself.

What if, after all that knitting, it was too small?

I made a decision. I’d worked really hard on this sweater, and had (mostly) a great time doing it. If, after all those ends were sewn on, it was too little for me, I’d give it to someone else. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. And I know a lot of scrawny people – mostly my daughters and their friends – who would not only like the sweater, but have an appreciation for its journey into being.

So Crichton was finished and has had its bath.

Bath time for Crichton!

I usually block my sweaters by folding them in half in order to keep everything the same size and shape

Great buttons from Yardage Town that Max helped me pick out

Tubular bind off on bottom edge – stretchy and lovely and so worth the extra work!

When it’s dry, I’ll try it on. And if it doesn’t look good on me I’ll pass it on to someone else (oh, but now that it’s washed and laid out to dry, I think it will fit – YAY!), and consider making another one for me.

But not right away.

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Ah, Friday

Today is Friday. The day I get to work four hours from home, then enjoy the rest of the day hanging out with Max and Penny. I love Fridays.

Fridays, in spite of not having to go to the office, are not lazy, relaxing days by any means. Friday is also the day I get caught up on laundry, and try to rescue at least one horizontal surface in the house  from being swallowed up by a black hole of stuff. There are many such surfaces on the brink of disappearance, and the challenge is to decide which one will benefit most from my attention.

Today, I think I’ll save my yarn chest, as well as my nightstand (where I store all my knitting books). And when those two have been recovered, I will be able to put away the stack of yarn and stuff that have been living on the little computer stand in the living room since (I’m embarrassed to admit this) around New Year’s Day. That’s three for the price of one! A fine plan. We’ll see if this is yet another paving stone on the road to hell (you know, good intentions and all).

ETA – here are the after pictures. Not included is a photo of my bed, where the things that still need to be put away are temporarily hanging out.

I have some yarn containment issues, I think…

My nightstand, with my modest collection of knitting books (plus one on bookbinding, for variety sake)

My managerial staff (They tend to come in, make a mess, then demand that I fix it. Typical.)

After all that cleaning (still theoretical at this point), I shall finish the sweater I’m test knitting. I’d take a picture of it to show you, but my camera is buried somewhere under the pile of stuff on top of my yarn chest. I actually doubt that I can still claim to be test knitting this pattern. I’ve lengthened the body – by a lot – and I did a tubular bind off instead of just a plain one (my bind offs are always tight and look dorky, and this was the only way I could think to save this lovely little sweater from being choked to death at the edge). I’ve added a bit to the first sleeve as well, and I think instead of short sleeves I’ll lengthen them to just above my elbow, maybe a bit longer (my arms are really quite long, and nothing makes them look more like noodles than little short sleeves).

ETA: Here is the sweater with half of the first sleeve done. I’m really looking forward to wearing this little sweater!

Crichton Sweater, designed by Helena Bristow (but made longer), knit in Ella Rae Lace Merino

Ok, I’d better get going. Max has imaginary sheep washing my dishes, and they need help putting them away.

No, really…I’m still here!

I know, I know. I said I’d write at least 250 words each day, and I haven’t even come close for the past two months, even if I count my Facebook comments. The truth is, I’ve been really, really busy, both at home and at work. And it seems the busier I am at work, the harder it is for me to refocus my attention once I’m at home, which in turn makes it nearly impossible for me to accomplish anything more than doing the dishes, taking a shower, and going to bed.

Oh, and knit. But surely you didn’t think I’d let a little thing like life get in the way of my knitting, did you?

So far this year, I’ve finished the Turkish socks (which were supposed to be a Christmas gift), but I wasn’t pleased with how they turned out. Which meant I had to knit an extra pair just to close out my knitting for Christmas 2010. It just so happened that my mom bought me a great book (“Think Outside the Sox”) and a bunch of Stroll yarn from Knit Picks for my birthday, with which I was able to knit …



Drip Candle Socks from “Think Outside the Sox”, in a variety of Stroll Handpainted yarns

I also knit a sweater for my college roommate, Dara’s, brand-new baby girl. I either made it too big, or too yellow, because I don’t have a photo of Miss L modeling her sweater yet. In fact, I don’t even have a photo of the finished sweater, because I sent it out as soon as I’d sewn in the last end. But I do have this



Spirited Jacket by Justine Turner (Ravelry Link) in yellow (obviously) Cascade 220 Superwash Sport

which was taken just after blocking, but before anything was sewn together. As a note, this is a really pretty sweater, but Ms. Turner was not joking when she states in the pattern that (I’m paraphrasing here) extreme amounts of concentration and focus are required. Still, if you’re reliably able to count to 4, and can do basic math, I encourage you to try this pattern out. I, apparently, still have some math issues left to resolve.

I really meant to bring you all up to date with what’s been on my needles since you last heard from me, but it’s already 11:29, and I’m sleepy. Look for a post tomorrow (or later today, depending on which time zone you’re hanging out in) with a shawl, a sock, and another baby sweater, all in the midst of being made!!

Good night!

Unprecedented Focus

Ok, so I’ve not been doing very well on my “write every day” New Year’s Resolution, but I have a really great excuse. I’ve been knitting on a sweater…

Spirited Jacket by Justine Turner, all knit and washed and drying, just waiting to be assembled…

and although it is naught but a wee baby sweater, it took a full two weeks and a significant amount of concentration to finish. The pattern is deceptively simple – nothing but knits and purls make up the design. However, keeping track of where I was within those knits and purls was sometimes more than my poor brain could handle. The sweater, once sewn together, will be lovely, but I can’t see myself ever ever knitting this again. I’d rather do cables.

I used Cascade 220 Superwash Sport yarn, and I have to tell you that I love it. It’s soft and springy and soft, and it doesn’t need to be hand washed (a big plus for the mom of the intended recipient).  I think I might make a blanket for this same little person out of some of the other beautiful colors that Clever Knits had. Just not using this stitch pattern.

Now, I’m off to work on some other project (I have several in the works), and Max is requesting the computer so he can play Mickey Mouse Road Rally. Have a good day!

C’mon out, Penny!

Last night I finished turning this

into this

Cable and Lace Cardigan, Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn, Size 0 Needles, and a crazy amount of time

That’s a dime sitting in the neckline for size comparison, because I’ve never completed a project on size 0 needles and will likely never attempt it again. The stitches are lovely, if I do say so myself, but holy crap! Those needles are TINY!!

Now that Penny has a hat and a sweater, she can come any time. I’m in the midst of my 37th week, and her movements have become less fluttery and more mean. It seems she has some sort of particular beef with my bladder and my lungs/rib cage, as that’s where the majority of her kicks seem to be aimed. Also (and Alex is very amused by this), she spends a lot of time just pushing OUT with her little elbows/knees/feet, so I look like I have some sort of stomach-centered alien infestation. Amusing to look at, not so much to experience.

Max is still a little confused by Penny. He says hi to her, and blows raspberries on my belly for her, but the other day he said, “My Penny hurts,” and pointed to his stomach. I told him that he didn’t have a Penny, but he disagreed. I tried explaining that Penny is a baby who is in my belly for now, and he said, “No baby in belly!” and stomped away, apparently offended that I thought he could be fooled so easily. Oh well, I guess reality will catch up with him by the end of the month.

We had a bit more summer early on this week (temperatures in the high 90s), but it’s gone back to close to normal now. In fact, on Thursday, we had thunderstorms (a rarity here in coastal-ish Southern California). I was enthralled to the point of pulling into a parking lot so I could just stop and enjoy the sound of the rain and thunder and the light show as well without endangering myself or others. I’m happy to say I was joined there by many other San Diegans (mostly because that means that I’m at least no weirder than the rest of the community).

Alex took Max to the Air Show at Mirimar MCAS this morning, which would usually mean that I’m getting caught up on my house work. But not this year. I have a few chores to address, but then I’m just going to chill and enjoy the quiet.

Have a lovely weekend!

My fingers have recovered

First things first: The President of the IKOC (that’s International Knitting Olympics Committee) herself has awarded me the gold… well, at least she visited my blog and left a comment saying that I’d made it. How cool is that? If I were a guitar player, it would be like Eric Clapton had come to a gig I played at a kid’s birthday party and told me afterwards that I rocked the house! I think I’ll order a t-shirt from the Panopticon shop on Cafe Press to celebrate my victory!

Here is a photo of Sami modeling her new sweater:

Loosely based on Debbie Bliss’ “Shaped Denim Jacket”, using Knit Picks “Elegance” in Jade

Next up, my fingers, which were quite sore from the marathon knitting sessions I pulled in order to achieve this great honor, have finally stopped hurting, and I’ve been knitting again. So far this year, I’ve finished 3 sweaters – one for each of the kids. I have one on the needles for myself, but I was getting bored with it so I took a break and knit…

Socks!

I have one of mine finished, except that I’m going to go back and re-do the bind off, because the one I used just isn’t stretchy enough. I’ll post a picture of it when I’ve completed that little detail, because off-the-foot, the sock looks ridiculous (because my feet are so big).

I’ve also finished one for Max. Isn’t it sweet?

Generic Sock for Max, using cool self-patterning yarn whose name I can’t remember

Amazingly, it fits him perfectly, which should motivate me to finish the second one before his feet grow and he can’t wear them. This is just a plain old sock, knit from the toe up (I am really starting to love this method) using yarn whose ball band I removed and then promptly discarded – I’ll get the name/color for you tonight when I go to Clever Knits for Knit Night. There isn’t any kind of chance that the second sock is going to match the first, so I’m not even going to think about it.

That’s what’s up with me.

Oh, wait. Did I mention that in October, we’ll be getting a new addition to our family? 🙂 Sami’s reaction to this, as Max was playing Godzilla with his train tracks, was, “Are you SURE you want another one?”