February 2010

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I finished my second unfinished project this week.  That means that I can start a new project with complete impunity at any time.  Of course I could have started a new project any time before finishing two projects, but this year I decided to finish two projects for every one I start.  I guess it is silly to talk about a New Year’s resolution like a wish coming true, but some times it feels that way.

I guess one just has to grab the bull by the horns, take responsibility for one’s own fate, and all that. I confess I have decided not to make any important New Year’s resolutions, because I think that if I think something is really sufficiently important to do, then I should just do it.  It seems like a capitulation of some kind to treat change as something that requires a special day, but for my hobby I think it is a perfect time to give in to tradition and have a resolution instead of being so puritanical.

I finished the sweater in the previous post and in so doing have freed a wonderful amount of knitting paraphernalia, including stitch holders (I haven’t had access to real stitch holders since 2008, and I can tell you that waste yarn works almost as well in most ways and in some ways is actually better) and 6.5mm knitting needles (date since last access also 2008).

Saying this makes me wonder if I ever needed or will need them at all, because if I didn’t use them in two years, will I ever really need them?

This is definately the road down which asceticism of some kind lies, and I don’t want to get carried away, but I am trying to keep getting rid of things until I only have things I think beautiful or know to be useful — that is surely a more elegant way of putting it than most of the de-cluttering show hosts use (this is a very loose quotation from William Morris).

Well you may have not believed me when I said it (I may have been too sheepish to actually tell you, but I am now too lazy to check), but I have in fact decided to finish two projects for every one I start for a while, so that I can reduce the shameful number of unfinished objects in my knitting basket.  That is a little lie right there – they don’t fit in my knitting basket and haven’t for some time. They are in my knitting basket, in bags in the closet, in bags next to the chair at the foot of my bed, in plastic totes, and box shaped baskets beside my desk.

Yes, it may be getting out of hand.  But I just like starting projects so much more than I like finishing them.  There is so much thrill and potential in a new project.  You can go out and buy yarn (I cringe to say it), fuss around about the pattern (either deciding to buy one or write one), pull out the perfect set of needles (my needle resources are much diminished by being all over the house with half knit projects on them instead of in the vases on my desk so I can use them), cast on, then drop the whole thing for something else.  I am not talking about changing my mind and ripping out the knitting and starting something new – that is a decision, but just dropping what I am doing and starting something else.  This goes on to such a degree that I have actually needed to buy needles lately – I should never need to buy needles again unless I sit on them or something like that.

So I am finishing two projects for every one I start.  I finished the first one already, it is mittens with photos to come.  What to do next was more difficult to decide, but finally my gaze fell on this one:

I started this project in approximately November 2008 – the blog gives me away.

I started working on it again yesterday, and after experiencing the inevitable negative emotions that throwing a bunch of what is essentially string in not very secure bunches in a bag and leaving it there for over a year, but periodically pulling it out, looking at it, and putting it back, give rise to:

I have worked the front and back to the shoulder shaping, and have run into a little problem arising from not actually figuring out how the sweater would end before I started, and I am not sure I can make the stitch repeat work for the sleeves, i.e. I think they will need to either be too wide or too narrow.

I have however, come up with a brilliant, if somewhat nefarious plot — I may make it a sleeveless sweater.  I plan to finish it this weekend, and I already know what the next project I start will be.

The preview of Yarn Forward issue 23, including my entrelac gloves was posted today:

I hope you enjoy the pattern.  I know I enjoyed knitting the one and a half gloves I have knit from the pattern so far.  The samples were knit by Jenny, and they were knit using Noro Silk Garden Sock.

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