Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Struggling towards monogamy

I have been trying, for about 20 years now, to establish a clear pattern of monogamy--in my knitting, that is. [Although sometimes my dear husband seems like he is trying to drive me away from monogamy--such as when he puts dirty dishes on the countertop above the empty dishwasher, and when he........But that's another story.]

Back to knitting monogamy. I'm afraid that I have a limited attention span for any particular project. I need different projects for different situations.

For example, I like to have an easy project that I can do in the dark of movie theaters, in the back pew at church, while at stop signs, etc. Typically this is a simple sock project.
Like his one. The fake cables on the side are two twisted stitches, side by side. The yarn is Trekking. This projects fits in a zip lock sandwich bag in my purse.

Then, I usually have a repair project or two. Such as duplicate stitching my mittens where they have worn out on the palms and inner thumbs, from driving I believe. Or such as this little breach of knitting know-how.
My dad is diabetic; his feet and lower legs swell during the day.I made him these socks, using the short row garter stitch heel as shown in the bottom. Lucy Neatby advocates using more than half of the total stitches for the heel. Usually her advice is excellent, but in this case it failed. The resulting sock had a heel big enough for an elephant with swollen feet. My dad's heels don't swell--his ankles, foot and calves swell. These socks bulged out over his shoes, creating other problems. He wore the socks as a dutiful father, but they were clearly uncomfortable. So I simply cut off the cuff, frogged the foot and heel and made my typical flap heel on half the stitches. The new (upper) sock fits perfectly. Now I need to do the same thing to the lower sock.

I also love to have a lace project in the works. To give me a little challenge. For when I have alone time to focus only on my knitting. My current challenge is Sivia Harding's Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl. Challenge is an understatement. This shawl brought me sobbing to my knees last week!!! But, I'm over that now.

You can't see in this photo, but I added a lifeline on row 151. (If you click to embiggen you can see the blue lifeline.) My bravado of knitting without a safety net failed me. No mistakes thus far, and I'm 2/3 of the way through the last pattern segment!!

Usually I have at least one present for someone on my needles. I long to knit cute little things for children, such as grandchildren. Alas, my dear husband and I do not have any grandkids, despite having children aged 42 and 32. The 17 year old has no business reproducing yet! So, we've "adopted" some surrogate grandkids: two little boys aged 6 and 4. The 6 year old started kindergarten this year, so in August I decided to make him a shawl collared cardigan for school. Well, Christmas knitting intervened and I never finished it.
Here are the back, two fronts and most of one sleeve. The project has languished because the ribbed pattern makes the pieces look as if they will never fit a real human. I'm hoping blocking will solve the problem. (don't we all!! ) The pattern is from Sirdar's Sweet Pea Knits. I've been hoping that this 6 year does not grow in girth this year!! I've added this project to my car knitting so that I can finish it for Valentine's day!

But, I would throw over all of these projects to concentrate solely and monogamously on this one:

It's for me. I thought I had lost it. I searched the house from top to bottom four times--in secret because if Dear Husband or Dear Daughters caught me searching for a lost project, I would be subject to long recriminating lectures about organization, too many projects at once, etc., etc., etc. Finally, when a pair of mittens fell to the closet floor I noticed this army green zipped bag from Knitting Camp. I opened it--my long lost love, waiting for me!!! A bag of discontinued Tiur. Two partially finished sleeves! A Dale of Norway yoke necked pullover for me. In my favorite color. In my favorite yarn. It is calling me. It has seduced me.

I am longing to commit myself exclusively to this seductive garment. The solid color body is worked in a knit and purl pattern stitch to hold my wandering attention until I get to the multi colored yoke.

However, the other projects are closer to being finished. They have entertained and occupied my knitting time and are close to fruition. Should I toss them aside for true love? How fickle am I?? Should I finish the socks for my dad, and the shawl for my mother and the cardigan for the little boy?? Or, should I selfishly focus only on myself and my heart's desire??

I am caught in a web of anguish of my own creation. If I were a monogamous knitter, I never would have started so many projects. I would have gone sensibly from one to the next, only after complete exploration of each relationship.

Ah well, now I need to clean the kitchen, mop the floor and put away folded wash. I'll think about the situation.....


kate said...

The only project there that needs to be finished -- the child's sweater. Speaking from experience, if you leave those ... then you finish it up and they don't fit!! (Those kids just get taller and taller ....)

Otherwise I am not the person to give advice, as I flit from project to project as the wind takes me.

Judith said...

Gail, this seems to me to be a completely balanced approach to knitting: 1 simple project to take with you when on the go; 1 project to acknowledge your compassionate impulse to make gifts or fill a charitable need; 1 grand project in lace; and something fabulous for you. No worries about monogamy here.

P.S. I thought your question at the Richie Davidson lecture tonight was very important.

Anonymous said...

Gail it's so great reading your knitting stories again!!! Un beso para todos,
Ana J.

Hilde C. said...

Oh, you have a lot going on on your needles. Having different projects for different situastions sounds great actually :-)