Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cynthia writes:

The Knitting Olympics have been an interesting experience for me. I'm used to working on many projects at once, something different each day. It feels strange to concentrate on one thing. It also feels fun to have an excuse to "have" to knit. Even though Kim and I own the store, I still sometimes feel just a little guilty about knitting when I should be doing other things. Now I can tell my Kevin that I have to knit because of the Olympics. What else can I do? I am trying to meet goals here. On some level, it frees me.

To be able to start my sweater and feel clear about it, I needed to finish up a few things before the Olympics started. That in itself was useful. I finished this felted hat for the shop, made from Woolpak, one of the few white wools that felts:

And I finished a scarf that had been dragging out for months. (If you look hard, you can see the rust-colored edges of the scarf below the felted hat.)

I had wanted to finish the binding on two quilts (a queen-sized bedspread and a wallhanging), and I was within an evening of doing that, but alas, having to sew for our Block of the Month got in the way.

The first day of the Olympics, I began to work on my sweater. I'm using a merino wool called Twizzle, by Mountain Colors. I love this yarn. I had started the project before, but when I did my original gauge swatch, I had swatched back and forth rather than in the round. My sweater was too small, and after I had knitted about a third of it, I had to rip it out. Those balls of yarn have looked discouraging in the project bag. Every time I looked at them I felt an obligation to start the sweater again, but no real motivation to do so.

I decided that even though I have another sweater I could have probably finished during the Olympics, this sweater seemed more challenging because of its history.

Before the official start of the Olympics, I reswatched the sweater in the round and went up two needle sizes. The fabric still looked good. I got all my materials ready--pattern, needles, yarn. I'm not used to doing that either. It felt good to be organized. I was ready to go.

On the first day, I accomplished this:

And on the second, I was here:

After Day 3:
Okay, it doesn't look that much bigger, even though I knitted on it for the same length of time each day. But see how the skein of yarn is smaller? The sense of accomplishment runs deep. And knitting on this soft yarn is glorious. I'm enjoying it again, and I'm over the hurdle of getting restarted.

Day 4 had a detour. I had to finish the binding on my wallhanging for a quilt class I was taking the next day:

I'm fond of this one. If you look carefully, you can read the words "Thank God I am done" written in free-motion quilting across the top. And yup, those are four big exclamation marks.

It's back to the knitting now.

I like Olympic knitting. My new goal is to start working on my projects in this new way: I am going to designate my week for a particular project. Each week, I'll decide what to work on, and I'll concentrate on just that. I can still vary what I work on, but during any one week, I'll get a lot done.

That's the plan. We'll see if it works.

I once read a book about paying off your credit cards. The idea was that you concentrated on paying off one, and then once it was gone, you started paying off the next one with the money you had been using to pay off the first. My theory is that I can do this with knitting. If I finish a project, I can use that time to work on another one without the burden of the first hanging over me. I'm hoping that my new method of working reduces my debt of projects--so that I can start a few new ones!

1 comment:

The_Add_Knitter said...

Your sweater looks great, you've made swift progress! I am also enjoying on one project at a time, it's a struggle for me as well (hence the monicker). Good luck!