23 October 2008


I noticed last night that I have not knitted in almost a week. From about the 14th until a couple days ago, things were frenetic at work. I was too tired in the evenings to knit -- at least, that's what I told myself. Last night, however, I had time to sit quietly on the sofa with my knitting bag and reflect. I did not want to pick up my knitting.

Oh, it's not lack of desire to knit -- I want to knit -- and it's not lack of enjoyment -- I love to knit. No, this is no knitting ennui.

As I sipped my ginger beer, I realized that I do not like any of my current projects.

  • Cherie Amour feels like a chore I've left unfinished. It's not entirely flattering, but it is functional. I knitted flutter cap sleeves for it, but as I went to sew them on I re-evaluated my simple bind-off and I'm not sure I like it anymore. And as I held up the sleeves in the mirror, I'm not sure the cap sleeves do anything for it.
  • I took the cardigan for Mom out of hibernation about a month ago. I have been working on it in fits and starts. It's mostly that I dislike working with the yarn. It was fine when I started it over a year ago, but since then I have developed a general dislike for working with novelty yarns. I keep thinking that the colors and herringbone pattern are lovely -- if only it weren't fuzzy. It would be great worked up in an aran-weight wool.
  • A few months ago, I put down a navy basketweave sweater (Sirdar 1521) that I had started for my nephew. The yarn is great, the pattern looks wonderful, but it is S-L-O-W going. I couldn't justify the time I'd spend knitting a sweater that the child -- who, at 18 mos, has a larger wardrobe than I did as a teenager -- may never even wear. The blankets I made for him have been well-loved. When he gets older I'll knit him hats and mittens and things.
  • I cleaned out my in-process knitting bins (those 8x12x6" canvas organizing bins you get at Target) and found: the completed Short Row Ring Wrap, the still-in-process Two Socks on One Circ "Sugar Maple" socks, a nearly-completed Baby Surprise Jacket (which needs only seaming and buttons), the beginnings of a hat I told Bryan I'd knit him about a year ago, sundry balls of leftover yarn in various fibers and sizes, and a sachet of dried lavender.
So, the logical gears started turning... since I knew what I do not enjoy knitting, I needed to figure out what I do enjoy, and focus on that. I thought about the projects that I liked best -- the ones in which I either loved the yarn, the process, and/or the finished product.

My favorite finished objects are the Firmaments Shawl (ravelry link), the Icelandic Yoke Sweater (ravelry link) and the Crinoid Shawl.

The Firmaments shawl is the most beautiful thing I've made, and I actually enjoyed the process.

IMGP2908_1 (firmaments from back)

IMGP2904_1 (firmaments from front)

The Icelandic Yoke sweater was a breeze to knit; careful planning ensured that the colors and shaping turned out just right, and it's nice and warm in the winter. It is what made me love Elizabeth Zimmerman. I'd really like to knit another one like it and steek it so I have a cardigan.

IMGP1743_1 - Fair Isle Yoke (pre-neck fix)

The Crinoid Shawl was possibly the most boring thing I've ever knit. It was a brainless knit the whole time. But the finished object is stunning; I enjoy wearing it and I get a lot of compliments on it.

Based on these criteria, my next project(s) will be: a wrap/shawl, probably involving some kind of lacework. It may also involve a cardigan or jacket that I can throw on around the house to keep warm in winter.

Also, I decided that it's not worth suffering through knitting with a yarn I don't like (I will make an exception for Mom's fuzzy jacket, because that was promised before I had better judgment; the sooner I get that thing finished, the better). I pulled out a skein of Silk Road (50/50 wool/silk) and wound it into a cake. I had so much fun last night sitting there with the beautiful skein around my knees, cranking the ball winder, watching the second part of John Adams.

I don't have pictures of it yet (that's on the agenda for tonight: download pictures from camera!). But to make up for it, here's a good old-fashioned apple pie that I baked for DBF's family last week:
IMGP2972_1 pie (12 oct 2008)
the little blobs are supposed to be acorns, to go with the oak leaves.

Hooray for fall!


Dawny said...

wow your shawl is beautiful :-)

MollyBeees said...

Omy gosh! That shawl is to die for! How long did it take to knit up?

Courtney the Knitting Goddess said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! :-) I'm not sure how to respond to you individually so I'll post it here. The shawl took nearly two months to knit.