You know Taran's blog tag: Sewing is what I do when I'm cheating on all my other hobbies. When first I read that I snort-choked my coffee. Genius, IMO. And these days, for me, somewhat apropos.
Generally, I'm firmly in the one-project-at a-time-kind camp. Partly that's because I'm intense about whatever I'm doing and I generally can't split my effort. Partly it's because I hate clutter and having unfinished crap all over the place. To me, that's chaos. Furthermore, it stands to reason that I can finish whatever I'm working on that much sooner if I'm not doing 8 other things at the same time. Which means I can brag/complain/talk about it that much more efficiently.
I do love serial crafters, though. They all seem creatively hyped on uppers in the most charming way. They're gonna knit that sweater while sewing those slip covers and make reindeer cookies for the bake sale. Oh, and a costume for the school play. While refurbishing a vintage machine. I need a drink just reading about it. I mean, seriously, I'm not Martha Stewart. I do not have a team of sous-crafters to realize my vision. (Would that I could be an artistic entrepreneur and make as much money as I do in my current career...)
Which is why I'm so surprised to be cheating on my knitting with other knitting. You know you've got to reconsider things when you need 3 pairs of needles in the same size at the same time. Don't fear: this isn't a trend.
It all happened so organically - we were just out for
coffee and then we got to talking and... What I mean is, I'm working two
projects at the same time (and swatching a third, truth be told) not because I can't resist but
because I'm avoiding things.
That is SO not my way. I would rather smack my head against a wall than have something hanging over me. And, if it's a problem that has to be solved, why wait? It's not going to fix itself. What's weirder still is that I've actually solved the problem (I think). I have 5 pages of typed notes to detail EVERY FUCKING STEP of the yoke of the Bettie (the top 6 inches of this knit-in-the-round project that affixes the sleeves to the body, shapes the shoulders and creates the neckline/neck tie. But, secretly, I'm worried I won't have enough yarn. I've got 2 skeins left (I started with 8) and that got me 2 shortened-to-3/4-length sleeves (up to the armscye) and the bulk of the body. Will 240 yards get me the rest of the way there?
Not only that, but the body looks exceptionally straight, never mind the fact that I used a slimmer needle on the waist section. It also seems like it might be too big, but in truth, it's kind of impossible to tell. The measurements I was going for are the measurements I've achieved according to the tape measure. I suspect it's much easier to tell if a sweater is going to fit once you've got shoulders because well-fitting shoulders really are the arbiter of a sweater in the right size.
Anyway, I know I've got notes and I've considered the final stage of this sweater up the freakin' yin yang but just those 2 sections of short rows (those that separate the rib from the feather and fan stitch at the base of the sweater and those that separate the yoke from the feather and fan stitch at the (current) top each took upwards of 3 hours and, due to some key disconnect I'm still wrangling re: picking up the wraps using the Japanese technique (I think on the purl side, but truthfully, who knows?), I am unhappy and nervous about the next uncharted frontier.
As stupid luck generally has it, the next section of the sweater will probably be the easiest. Still, I need a rest till the weekend when my brain will have more space to deal with any unexpected potential challenges.
Alas, I must craft. The thing that's keeping me sane is the meditative action of needles clicking. Sure, I'd love to be sewing but that's not something I generally do mid-week. Also, it's something that takes a lot of energy. There's cutting and pressing and tracing - lots of moving around in addition to thinking. It's not a slow-art. It's very dynamic. Knitting, well it is also dynamic but, relatively-speaking, at the pace of salted caramel dripping from a spoon. Or international package-delivery via Canada Post. You can stop and put it down (and nothing will lose its critical mass). You can watch a movie. You can sit on your ass. In fact, you have to sit on your ass.
I mustn't overdo it right now. Every time I do, I suffer. And I can knit to my heart's content and not do myself any damage.
Add scenario A (the fact that I'm not ready to finish the Bettie) to scenario B (the fact that I have to keep my hands occupied) and it leads to scenario C - the "other project": le Rondeur.
Intriguingly, this is perhaps the first project ever wherein I've had to size up in the needles. I think that's because I'm working with a DK yarn that's on the slim side. It could also be that this yarn just knits very compactly. I will say that, one needle up, I got exact gauge both vertically and horizontally. I don't think that's ever happened before either. I usually have to sacrifice on the vertical side of the equation (which generally doesn't cause any problems and actually saves me yarn).
The Rondeur is an interesting garment. How many cherry-pink wool t-shirts do you own? Admittedly, the yarn I'm using is washable and is also very sleek but still it's a strange idea. And while I undertook this to escape the mental focus required to finish the Bettie, the initial rounds of the Rondeur (the yoke) are those with the lace work and cables and the pattern is actually very fussy to establish. I'm probably going to have to do a bit of wrong-side-fixing in a couple of spots that seem to be sporting yarn over holes where perhaps they should not be. I'm fairly confident these will not be noticeable in the end (though I'm always going to know) but that's the kind of thing that really irritates me, especially since I am so careful as I go. Sure, it's only 26 rows of lace/cables at the shoulders, but they are painstaking. (I worked for 2.5 hrs last night and only got through 18 of them.) The Bettie would unlikely be harder for longer, but somehow it matters not. I want a new texture and colour. And fortunately that's what I've got.
So, today's questions are: Do you have hobby ADD? Or are you a one-garment (at a time) crafter? Whichever camp you fall into, why is it your preferred way? Do you flip-flop between those two styles (ooh, that would be schizo)? Let's talk.
Oh, and if you have already made Bettie's Pullover and you're reading this - can you confirm that the top 6 inches (where it all comes together) isn't too traumatizing? And that it doesn't take much yarn? Thanks!