Big vs. Little

I’m mainly a long time knitter of sweaters. And though I’ve only knit one afghan, I’m in the mood to knit another “big” project. It’s hard to explain the drive to do it mid-summer. I live far North (for the US) and this summer it’s been pretty rainy and cool in the San Juan’s. And though the chilly nights might explain some of it, I think it is more about size than the chill of summer evenings.

Moving to little Orcas Island has been a challenge for me—a good one. And though I have so far kept my home in the big city, I’ve definitely moved my flagpole. I still work—a lot—so downsizing to a city apartment just hasn’t been a priority—especially in the last two months when I’ve been averaging 80-hour work weeks. It’s a new small job at the same company and I love it—much better than my big job where I felt idle, unnecessary and depleted. And though it might seem counterintuitive that a small job takes more effort than a big one, it is a good metaphor for knitted projects.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve been knitting a lot of small projects—picking up new skills to make socks and such with the intent of having lots of easy-to-carry on the ferry and quick-to-finish items. I was also sussing out whether to sell items at the resort next door—and they only carry small items—hats, gloves scarves and the like.

So with the new job, finding out the resort is only selling the owner’s mother’s (and friends’) items and running into too many “no commercial use” pattern restrictions, I feel it is probably time to switch back to my bread-and-butter of big knits. And one of the lessons I’ve learned recently is that small, doesn’t mean quick. My Project’s page in Ravelry reminded me I’ve been at this last pair since early May.

Socks in particular are my nemesis. They take FOREVER. And sure, I’ll get faster at it when I’m not spending so much time ripping it out and fixing things, they are still a very big project for me right now. I don’t mind smaller needles. Give me a sweater on fours and I’m fine. But knitting with toothpicks and featherweight yarn is definitely putting me off socks. Definitely not a quick, little project.

To reassert my big knitting skills with so little time for knitting, I’m thinking I’ll picking up one of Frankie Brown’s afghans that grow organically like her Ten-stitch twist or Ten-Stitch Blanket. Which will challenge me on joins, but not on the knitting itself. And I think both might be great stash busters—particularly of sock yarns I might decide maybe aren’t for scarves or socks anymore. 😉