Thursday, February 12, 2009

I do, too, finish things

Just apparently, not nearly as often as I start them.

I've been sorting through the "knitting office," detangling balls of yarn, throwing out scraps of swatching experiments, finding missing needles, filing away miscellaneous patterns, and bagging up UFOs with their associated yarn.

Here is the box of yarn that needs to be put away in the craft room.

I really enjoy starting new projects. I've noticed in the past year or two that I'm doing a lot more projects that take less than 6 hours to complete. I'm pretty sure I do that so I can start another project right away, but still end up with some completed items.

Even so, I still have too many projects on the needles that take longer than 6 hours, and Ive gotten to the point where I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the incompleteness (it happens a couple times a year), so it's time to introduce a little self-control and discipline, something I have very little endurance for.

I went through my Ravelry projects and looked at my Works in Progress as well as my Hibernating projects. I deleted anything that was an Ugh! because today I either threw it out (so long Peaches n Cream crocheted string bag!) or I frogged it months ago to use the yarn for something else (out of my projects list, thrummed hat!).

That leaves me with 15 unfinished projects. Fifteen. That includes the Level II stuff I have to complete, like that damned Fair Isle mitten and those lace swatches. That is, the Level II stuff altogether counts as one unfinished project. Of epic proportions, but I'm trying to feel optimistic.

I have vowed to complete three things before I allow myself to start anything new, and I am going to try really, really hard to complete more than three things before I start anything new, but given my track record, my low levels of self-control and my complete lack of discipline, I'm already losing my grip on optimism.

#1 - Master Hand Knitting Level II - I found the two finished Fair Isle mittens, but not the partially completed third.

Or maybe I did. I found something that resembeled a mitten (no stranded knitting done on it yet), it wasn't on needles, and it was completely entangled in a bunch of other yarn. So I threw it away. I have a feeling I'll be casting on for a mitten this evening.

#2 and #3 - The Garter Stitch Blanket and crocheted afghan from the other day. I'm not going to take pictures of those.

#4 - The Manon. I got back to the point where I had been when I ripped the whole thing out, and I lost steam. There are photos of that thing elsewhere.

Bristow cardi

It's been in a time out under the bed since a year ago when I knit the first half of the second sleeve on a needle one size smaller than the first sleeve (and the rest of the sweater). This is possibly the worst photo I have taken of any knitting ever. Sorry.

#6 Alpaca cardi, circa 1991.

When I sorted through all my knitting stuff a year or so ago, I found a copy of Rowan 6 and was amazed at how great the patterns looked so many years later. I really found myself drawn to one cardigan in particular. Later, I found all the pieces of that cardigan in another bag, already knit, but could not locate any memory of knitting those pieces, although I am certain no one else in this house did, given a) they don't knit and b) I didn't know anyone in this house at the time (most of the other people in this house weren't born when this thing was knit). It needs to have button bands and a collar, but otherwise it's mostly done. (Actually, maybe that long rectangle of magenta chenille is the collar. Hmm. At any rate, I still like it. I hope I'm not too big for it when it's done. I was 20 lbs lighter in 1991. On the other hand, the styles ran larger back then.

Uh, there are 7 pairs of unfinished socks.
#7 The red socks - my "current" project - made from Handmaiden Casbah, a blend of cashmere, merino and nylon. No photo at the moment. The yarn color is similar to the Bristow cardi, so my guess is any photo taken at the moment would give it the honor being the second worst knitting photo ever.

#8 The car ferry socks

I made this one on our trip to Ludington to visit my mom last summer, which included 4 hours each way on the car ferry.

Barb's Pomatomus

These have been dormant for almost two years. I have finally come to terms with the fact that while I loved knitting the first pair of Pomatomus socks, I have no interest in knitting a second pair. These will be frogged and turned into something that I will finish so that Barb doesn't have to listen to any more excuses about why the socks I am allegedly knitting for her have yet to appear.

#10 Pink socks

I started these last spring and then abandoned them. Interesting. I was knitting them on dpns, I think just to remind myself that I still like dpns, even though I mostly knit Magic Loop these days.

#11 Bright Stripes socks.

I love this yarn (it's some sort of Regia 4 ply). What I did not love was the discovery that I did not have the right number of stitches on the sole when I grafted the toe. I miscounted or something, and ended up with a foot 1/2 inch too big around. The sock has been in a time out since then. I appear to hold my grudges for a long time.

Blue Tweed socks

This yarn makes reading my stitches nearly impossible, and the subtlety of the color changes makes finding the same starting point problematic. I would be okay with fraternal twin socks if all the stripes were blue, but there's one white stripe that would make the fraternal nature too obvious for my obsessive matchy-match syndrome. I'm not sure if I'll ever have the fortitude to knit the second sock.

#13 Poseidon

This was a fun sock to knit, and I did so on a cruise a couple years ago, but I never got around to finishing the cuff (I kept screwing it up and then as is my habit, I put the sock in a time out and forgot about it). I'm actually not sure where the sock is at the moment, so I present you with a photo of the kit.

#14 Thrummed mittens

I knit the first mitten as the sample for a class I taught last fall, and then I worked on the second one while I taught the class. I got about 1/2 way through it, and then wandered off. Given this is incomplete item #14, this most likely comes as no surprise.

#15 Fleece Artist "Favourite mittens"

I made a pair of mittens from a different colorway (or "colourway," as they say in Canada) a few years ago for a friend of mine, and the yarn was a delight. I bought a second kit, thinking I would make these for my sister-in-law, who wears quite a bit of green. I ordered the yarn online, and the color wasn't quite what I expected so I didn't knit it up. This fall, I made the first mitten one day while watching NetFlix movies, but ended up with aching hands for several days after that. I'm still not sure if it was the fault of the yarn/needle combination, or just too much knitting in general (I was knitting like crazy this fall, getting Christmas gifts done). I also don't have an intended recipient, so these are pretty low on the priority list. Also, I think they're horribly ugly, so that's another point against it.

But, hey, I'm not a complete slacker. I finished my Koolhaas hat last night!*

One down, fifteen to go.

*And thus, my ability to knit cute hats continues, as does my inability to look good wearing them. Sigh.


twistedinstitches said...

Wow, I feel much better today to read your post. I *only* have 3 things currently "hibernating" and put away. I feel horrible about not finishing them, but there's the time factor thing...need more TIME! Good intentions and all, my TO DO list overtakes my CURRENT list...and SIGH the cycle continues. There is hope though...recognition of your addiction is the first "THEY" say...GRIN

You have many good things started, and think how wonderful it will be to have those good things turn GREAT when they are finished!

Keep up the great work Rox. I love your projects!

Diane said...

Wow, nice stuff! That sweater is gorgeous. Hope it fits when finished. I love love love #10, the pink socks, so pretty!

It was fun to read this post.

Deborah (aka Mt. Mom) said...

Hurray for finishing Koolhaas! Even if it isn't 15, it IS one, and it is done and it's good -- yay, Rox!

I know what you mean about looking good in hats you've made. I'm ongoingly experimenting with different shapes. I hope yet to make a "muffin" and a bonnet or two, to see. So far, I've learned I prefer FAT brims to snug beanies, and L-shaped hooded scarves to straight ones. Haven't quite figured out why I like some of my tams better than others; maybe it's girth....