Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Currently on the Needles/Thoughts On A Difficult Project

The second Xmas sock is two thirds done (Yes! Gasp! I wrote up a pattern for a pair of socks when I only had one completed!). I've turned the heel, but it's on hold to use as an example in my next sock class, next weekend.

My current portable project is Lizard Ridge squares. Ideal streetcar knitting, on a short circular. Not a lot to carry around, it can easily be stuffed in the corner of my bag. And I've memorized the pattern so I can knit it on autopilot (although not in the dark, sadly, as I figured out at the movie last night).

For home knitting, I haven't settled on what I want to do. I've been trying in earnest to make progress on the Country Wool Feather & Fan shawl. It's not been going well, though. This project is resisting me at every turn.

The yarn was going to be a poncho-thing, at first; although the knitting went well, I wasn't pleased with the results, and there was too much variation in the hand-dyed colourways. So I ripped it back. It sat for a while, waiting for inspiration. A while later, while researching lace knitting, I found this pattern for a feather & fan shawl. I thought this would be a more interesting project, something to test my lace skills, and possibly a good gift for someone I know who's hard to buy for. Not so. I have been struggling. Lots of ripping back. I make mistakes. I mess up the stitch count. I fail to pay attention and work the pattern in areas that should be plain. I just can't seem to make this one stick in my brain. I think I'm actually trying to make it harder than it needs to be....

Do I persevere, or put it down and find something I'm happier with? Will it ever be done, this shawl? And more to the point, do I really care? I'm not sure it has a role in my life anymore, given that I have the really rather magnificent Highland shawl completed, and the possible giftee seems to have gone off green. (Don't ask. She's a bit odd about colours.)

I advise my students in my class to only work with yarns they like touching, and to pick projects they'll enjoy. A project that you don't enjoy knitting will never get done -- or you'll have to force yourself to work on it. And god knows there's enough in life that you have to force yourself to do, I don't believe knitting should fit into this category.

Perhaps I should take my own advice and give the damn thing up entirely? It's great yarn, maybe it needs to find another home?

Anyone want 5 or 6 100gm skeins of an aran weight variegated green hand-dyed 100% wool? Will trade for a double espresso...


T. said...

You are joking about the giving away that yarn, aren't you? Because if you aren't, I'll gladly pay the international shipping to here and send you something coffee-related, if you like. That yarn seems perfect to complete my mostly green and yellow Lizard Ridge.

I cannot send you a double espresso from Portugal, I guess it would spill on the way ;), but I can send you a packet of locally roasted coffee! Portuguese-roasted coffee is quite famous in Western Europe (similar to Italian-roasted, though we prefer our espressos taller, or, as we say, longer)!

I still suppose you are joking...

IngelaS said...

I have also knitted that shawl and had the same problem, the pattern is so easy that you relax and that´s when it goes wrong. My advice is to let it rest for a bit and then decide what to do with it. I planned to give mine away too, but when it was finished I liked it to much ;)
/Ingela in Sweden (sorry my blog is in swedish)