UFO Sister- and Brotherhood

Aliens? No. Not that kind of UFO. There is, sadly, no abduction involved. Though sometimes I feel like my ever increasing stash of wool might carry me off.

Last time I talked about giving myself permission to have more than one project going at the same time. And I’ve done it—gotten over my head in projects. And as I look around at these works in progress (WIPs), I feel a little weighed down. It is as if they are all staring down at me saying, “Do you really think you’ll get back to me?”

If it isn’t obvious, I’m a perfectionist. Everyone that knows me, knows this is true. Whether I’m preparing a lecture or I’m knitting a pair of socks, I can literarily give myself an ulcer worrying if it isn’t just so. And this is, by and large, the only source of unhappiness for me, given my life is busy, full, and downright good!

Body image, learning new skills, investment for retirement, these are all sources of my endless frustration of coming up short of an unrealistic ideal—heaven forbid I read the news! And Nick, my dearest love, even posted a photo of me and my parents (the Joneses) with the tagline “Are you keeping up?” for most people that wouldn’t be an accusation. For me…? Hmm.

Unless it is a competition to have more WIPs than anyone else, I’m just keeping my head above water. And you know? I like it that way. That jolt of tension? It’s a good thing.

IMG_7267

My little surprise of joy today was finding that I’m just a couple of inches of easy knitting away from Nick having another pair of socks. The trip to Santa Fe with my parents, well, I must have gotten in more knitting time than I remember. If all goes well, he’ll be taking two pairs of my “lurid” hand knit hoof covers on his UK trip to “inspect” Margaret and Peter (his parents).

And with a glass of house Chardonnay from the Lower Tavern—I raise my glass in a toast to all of you with UFOs (unfinished objects) of all crafts and kinds.

Advertisements

Satisfying Simple Home Knits

After more than a year of one-project-at-a-time knitting, I now have four(!) WIPs with several others in the ideation phase. And though I’ve always been told that more projects can create time slicing and delayed gratification of finishing, I’m going for it

I  realize, I’m putting at risk, the prickly one that made me rethink my serial knitting rule. But it had me so frustrated, I didn’t want to pick it up, which meant NO KNITTING AT ALL. So it was time to dig into my growing queue of items that were easier to tackle–some quick, some not so quick.

My guest bath has long needed a bathmat. So, I found a simple and free pattern called Tender Foot Spa Bathmat. And I’m finding the 100% vintage Bernat yarn Cajun Cotton is soft cuddly and absorbent—just perfect for the pattern! The spot for it is fairly small, so I’m narrowing the pattern a bit.

IMG_7215

I love my modified simple Squares Throw from the Erika Knight’s Comforts of Home. Erika’s pattern alternates between stockinette and reverse stockinette, but I like having an edge that lets it lay flat.

The last time I made this throw I used a seed stitch border and worsted weight yarn. This time I’m matching the yarn to the pattern (bulky) with a garter edge. The thing that will be the same is to knit it as one piece, so I don’t have to sew it together.

IMG_7216

And though this is not a weekend project or all that portable, it’s easy and I know that the final project will be beautiful. And the Trivoli I got on sale—60% wool and 40% silk—looks rough, but is actually very soft to the touch. And I love the chocolate color with bright flecks of blue in this nubby yarn.

I’m really loving the diversity and ease of these home projects. And when I finally come out the other side with work and teaching, I’ll have more room in my brain for trickier projects. Then I’ll go back to the sweater that was making me have kittens.

Meanwhile, my house is getting “dressed” with simple, home-crafted knits.

Give Yourself Permission

I’m feeling very stressed at the moment. Everything seems due all at once. Knitting is usually a relief from the fray, but I found myself feeling guilty about that too. First, because I’m still doing it when I’ve so little time. Second, because I’m hankering for an easy project.

Lately I’ve been limiting myself to “good girl” projects; knitting for others, using up stash, learning a new technique, etc. I was also limiting myself to finish projects before starting another–because I’m trying to stick to a “no UFOs” rule.

I’d planned a trip to San Diego months ago to visit dear friends and escape from winter for this past weekend. I hadn’t realized that so many things would be so pressing. And rather than try to catch up, skip the trip, and push through, I realized the best thing for me was to go, have fun, and see the sun.

But what to take along for knitting? The current project that has hit a thorny spot? It was stressful just thinking about packing it.

Instead I told myself to take a simpler and more portable one–a  pair of stockinette socks. And since socks are not a favorite project, on my return I cast on another—a simple squares throw—mindless and easy.

I don’t know what order I’ll finish, which I’ll pick up or whether I’ll cast something else on. And that feels… amazing, freeing and joyous!

Go ahead!

Give yourself permission to just do a project you’d love to do. A fun dishcloth or baby booties or whatever you might enjoy. Pick up that special yarn you are craving to knit. Make something for yourself just for the pleasure of it.

And until the pressure lets off… that’s just what I’m going to do.

Summer Knitting in Winter

The not so new job is still keeping me very busy. So much so that it was really starting to be Fall before I started my summer knitting. And I’m thinking, it is this sort of thing that creates so many UFOs. You scheme and plan and get things gathered and before you know it *POOF* Summer is gone.

I managed in September to whip up a Sleeveless Mock Turtleneck Tube Vest by Stefanie Japel in a dreamy Bernat Panama Natural Flax (AKA oatmeal) color from some of grandma’s stash. So yes, I’m still “shopping” mostly from home, but that hasn’t stopped the buying new yarns. :-/

img_5284

It took two tries. The one I made in August was HUGE due to a brain fart I had on sizing. I swatched and fixed the gauge with the different yarn, but somehow I thought what stitches per side was just the stitches for the center pattern. Needless to say I was off by several inches (12 stitches each side of the center stockinette panel).

Try 2 in September was a winner, but it was already getting a bit to chilly to wear it. Don’t be fooled by the photos–it was a cool breezy day and my jacket was close at hand.

And what of the Smitten Tee I was planning to do next? *sigh*

Well, I cast it on with another grandma stash yarn, Lane Borgesesia, Cotone del Borgo in navy, when it was still warmish, but then I started to feel the pressure of Christmas knitting. So now after working so hard last year to punt UFOs and getting down to a project or two in progress. Smitten, is now firmly on my “to-do” list.

img_5386

Anyone else run out of time to finish their summer knitting plans? Did you carry on, frog or just tuck it away?