Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Five Step Program for Knitaholics

Everything is hold while I work on Ivy, and I mean everything! Poor Chloe is out of food, I have no Diet Coke to drink and the house is, well, no worse than usual - the one benefit of shorter daylight hours is that I can't see the dust for very long before the sun goes down. In spite of all this, I am having some doubts about my sanity decision to knit this sweater. Having committed myself to yet another project that is becoming less desirable the more I knit it, I wonder: how did this happen? I think I may have invented a Five Step program for Knitaholics!

Step one: Refuse to accept responsibility

It started with the new Knitty. It's really their fault (shame on you Amy Singer for interfering with my fall knitting line-up). I was perfectly miserable forcing my way through Olive, when they had to publish a new issue with a really cute sweater knit with an inexpensive yarn that came in a color I have wanted for a long time. It was at this moment of weakness when I rationalized the purchase by telling myself that the yarn would sell out really fast because of the Knitty pattern [so far, only the color used by the designer has sold out]. To top it off, my usual knitting and lunch buddy left me alone in the office on a day that I didn't bring any knitting with me. It's her fault too!

Step Two: Rationalize

Knowing that this yarn was coming and all jazzed up about starting something new, I threw myself into finishing the sock and getting as much done as possible on Olive (the body is done, only the sleeves remain). This resulted in a very high level of expectation. All summer long I have worked with fibers that are not very pleasurable to knit with (cotton, bamboo, silk) and have longed for the feeling of wood and wool. In anticipation, I purchased large quantities of it for fall and winter projects, but what have I been knitting with lately? Mohair! I somehow imagined that the Peruvian Quechua would be wool-like - it is a fuzzy animal after all - but it is not. Even though the yarn is plied, it has no give and splits very easily, and knitting with it is much like working with cotton. I have wrist pain. I have finger numbness. I am not having fun. It would be one thing if it looked fantastic despite the discomfort, but the truth is that I think Ivy would look better in a different yarn. The Quechua is sort of "stringy"

When I knit a project because I love the fiber and the pattern, I enjoy the whole process. This is the ideal combination, and it doesn't really matter how the final product comes out. I started out this year with a number of projects that were like this: Mavis, Dibs on Ribs, Scoop Neck Cardigan, Ruffled Edge Cardigan, Caftan Pullover, Bonita Shirt. Wow! I was on a roll! No wonder I knit so many sweaters! If I really love the color and pattern, but the yarn is somehow difficult to work with, the goal of the finished product keeps me going. I don't mind product knitting as long as it is balanced with something else done for pleasure. I have been doing way too much product knitting and not enjoying it very much. Gypsy Mesh, Soleil, Nautie, Olive, and now Ivy are all about the end result. If I spend all that time and energy on something just for the end result, it's such a disappointment if I don't actually like it!

Step Three: Whine (not to be confused with Wine, which has it's uses)

This leads to my current dilemma. I love the color of Ivy, but I do not like the yarn. I love the way the sweater fits the designer, but am concerned about the proportions on my body. Tilia flashback!! This is that crucial moment where I could forge ahead, despite my hesitation, or stop and frog and modify the pattern. I'm afraid that if I stop now I will lose momentum and that this will become stash yarn.

Step Four: Denial

But wait! There's a third option! I could do nothing! I could just pretend it never happened! What yarn? Ivy who?

Step Five: Avoidance

I really should go to the grocery store, the litter box is chunky, shouldn't I put away the laundry and gee, it's getting late. I'll think about Ivy tomorrow.

1 comment:

Glenna C said...

Tarika - I'm so sorry to hear that the Quechua is not getting along with you! I admit I didn't experience the same kind of discomforts working with it. I will cross my fingers for you that the stockinette sections will be easier! The colour, I agree, is fantastic.