Monday, April 27, 2009

Always Three (at least)

At any given time I have a minimum of three projects on the needles, and have really mixed feelings about having just those three, at the moment. Proud that I haven’t succumbed to the cast-on temptation that normally results in about seven or eight projects being juggled . . . but on the other hand, I’m really, really wanting to knit some socks.

Process knitter or product knitter? If you haven’t heard this discussion before, it’s a way of categorizing us into what kind of knitter we are. Are you getting your joy from the actual process, and not so much from the end product? These are the folks who knit baby clothes, but are childless, or they knit stuffed animals and then try to find homes for them. Or will you suffer through any technique just to get that gorgeous item? These are the ones who interview others about the technique, research it from all angles, and then dare the world to interrupt them while they’re actually working it all out on the needles.

A quickie way to tell which someone is, though not foolproof, is to ask them what they’re working on. Do they hold up the knitting itself to show you, or reach for the pattern to show you the picture of the goal? You’ll end up seeing both, but which did they show you first?

I’m a little of both. Occasionally I’ll hit up on something that satisfies both aspects of knitting, and those projects are almost a spiritual thing to knit up. If you ask me the same question during one of those golden projects, my eyes will light up and my hands will fly back and forth between my knitting and the pattern to try to convey the complete nirvana that is this project. And I wont hush until I’m satisfied that you totally get just how glorious it is.

I think it’s the search for that enthusiasm that keeps me, and maybe you too, casting on multiple projects. My three mainstays are one portable, one obligated, and one fussy, adventuresome project.

My current portable one is the simple triangle shawl I’m making out of Farmhouse Silk Blend, the Pecan Pie colorway. My portable ones are something small and mindless, so I can stuff it in my purse and knit it without looking at the pattern too much, while in waiting rooms, class lectures, or during down times in WoW raids. This one is just garter stitch on #9s, with an increase on both ends and on either side of the center stitch on the right side, and just knitting across on the wrong side.

My current obligated one is the afghan for our son. This one has become a real love-hate thing, lol. This was the only thing, at that time, which he had ever asked me to make for him. As it turns out, I wanted to bust through my stash anyway (to cull the acrylics, since I was beginning to wean myself from them), and this is a real weed whacker way to do just that. Unfortunately, I’ve now found myself in acrylic hell, with this project - ugh.

It was fun trying the log cabin blocks from the Mason Dixon book, and then I added some squares from my modular knitting books, then I just made some shit up. The current game plan? I’ve rekindled some joy in this thing with the help of the book 200 Knitted Blocks by Jan Eaton.

My current fussy/adventure knitting isn’t really fussy. But it’s one of those in which you do gotta keep at least one eye on the pattern as you knit it. And it ain’t for nobody but me. It’s the February Lady Sweater. It’s this one or the blanket squares that I do here at home with podcasts or the TV on. Although the sweater isn’t too fussy for our weekly knit-togethers, so I took it out for a little jaunt last week.

But I’m really, really twitching to cast on some socks, and my resistance is growing weaker and weaker . . . I blame the Lime ‘n Violet podcast for that. Listen to any one of their episodes, and see if you don’t come away yearning to knit another pair of socks – I dare ya.

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