Some finishing, more starting

Ever since the advent of Ravelry, I have ignored the galleries that I used to make on this blog. They were a nice way to collect thumbnails of items I finished throughout the year, but involved a lot more organization to record all the information than does Ravelry with its convenient drop-down menus and yarn-type prompts. Maybe one day I’ll go back to my thumbnail set-up, but for now I’ll leave you with the Flickr photo bar to the right.

At this point, we are more than a month into 2010, so I’m not going to give you the 2009 retrospective, but I thought I would share a couple of things that I’ve finished since the last round back in June.

I’m linking to Ravelry pages, where you can find more info about the yarn and patterns if you like.

IMG_0902.JPG

Parker Cardigan – still needs buttons, but it was a WIP for so long that after sewing in the shoulder pads, I finally had to graduate it.

red stripes

Watered Quartz Tee – appropriate knitted garb for my current tropical climate. Stripes = lots of ends to weave in, though. Somehow this pattern or gauge didn’t allow for hiding as I knitted along; I think the odd row # for the red stripes contributed.

christmas bird

Christmas Bird – based on a pattern from DROPS for an Easter Chicken! This was a one-hour or less project for my neighbor that was hosting a Christmas eve party and actually had an ornamented tree in his Kinshasa apartment.

In 2009, I have no clue how many projects I started, but I finished fourteen, which isn’t too shabby. I do have a fight with myself about my lack of finishing compared to starting. Many people have solutions to this: create a list of UFOs and finish those that are closest, or frog those that will never be; give each UFO a night of the week and on Mondays for example, work on UFO #1 only until it is finished; etc.

Maybe you have other suggestions?

I’ve even made a goal of producing at least one new pattern this year, with the hope that submission deadlines will urge me to the finish line!

But in the end, I’m not a product knitter. Like Mel, I’m realizing that I’m a process knitter. At least, I think I am. Maybe I’m something else? A meditative knitter? I really enjoy the mere knitting of stitches, over and over, and I rarely become bored.

The items that I tend to finish are those that do not involve a lot of shaping, changes in patterning, or other techniques that require undue concentration. When I put something down, it’s because I’ve reached a point at which the garment requires attention. Lace and cabling do keep me interested, but I prefer to be able to memorize and work off the page rather than checking the chart every line. Even though I am working on a pattern that DOES require checking the chart every line (shhhhhh…. we don’t have to talk about the fact that it’s only 5% complete…).

And the moment a project begins to feel like an obligation, it’s not fun anymore and I don’t want to work on it. Winding yarn is fun, casting on is fun, learning the pattern and perusing other patterns in the magazine or book is fun. Seaming, sewing on buttons, hiding ends – why is this not fun?

As I think more critically about what aspects I like and do not like about my knitting, I find that I just go happily along without changing my approach.

So for now, although I’m reinstating the yarn diet barring perhaps one kit like Wild Apple or Folklore, I’m not going to worry about the proliferation of starts until I run out of needles. If I feel strongly enough about a garment, it will be finished. It does feel good to have a sense of completion now and again.

And if I ever leave Kinshasa, of course I will have additional motivation (cold) and a use for all of these delicious woolies…

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5 thoughts on “Some finishing, more starting

  1. Your approach seems perfectly rational to me 🙂 And clearly it satisfies what it’s meant to in your life, since it’s a happy hobby. If it’s not causing you stress I see no reason to change it! I am quite excited to see what you come up with patter-wise 🙂 And I completely agree – those items that I feel strongly about are the ones that get finished. I do need to do a bit of a purge though. And perhaps even…. A stash sale? I’ve never had enough stash to really do that (so I thought…) but I think I need to admit that what I’ve got will outlive our time here in NC. That jacket you are working on looks amazing. That’ll be a hugely satisfying one even if not mindless!!

    I did order one of the bohus kits for Christmas, my reward for sticking our financial goals last year, but haven’t allowed myself to do anything other than take the yarn out to admire when it first arrived. If I don’t finish the Festjakke first, it will take me another 3 years (I feel strongly about it, so it’s likelihood of finishing, even if it IS 3 years from now, is pretty high!) 😉

  2. I really hate the way those little smilies look when I do them in comments or on my own blog! I tend to think they convey my emotion better in text than in their happy-yellow-ness. And I am severely tempted to put one here to. But I will resist.

    Oh, that was hard.

  3. Hey there! I love those two sweaters you finished! I’m ashamed (yet happy) that I recently finished a project that I started before Ishmael was born… over two years ago! I guess it took another pregnancy and bedrest to give me the motivation! (It’s a baby blanket, so that helps). I like the “meditative” adjective. I’m maybe a little bipolar about it too – a frenzy of creativity and activity, then a long downtime. And maternity leave is over now 😛

  4. I’m a little challenged/overwhelmed by Ravelry, but I managed to get in to look at your projects. Aren’t there a lot of them, and aren’t they just beautiful!

    Having gotten both the wheel and the loom, I’ve kind of fallen off the knitting wagon lately, and oh, the opportunities for developing more stash! Even small bits of yarn just might be useful in a woven project, so nothing ever leaves. And I’m going to buy a fleece on Saturday.

    There’s a rumor that you might be here in the not-too-distant future. Hope it’s true!

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