29 March 2011

We've Come A Long Way, Baby ~ 2KCBWDAY2

A look back over the past year of my knitting life - and I think that holds true.  I may not have traveled as far as some but for me, I'm pretty pleased with my distance.

A year ago, I was just mindlessly knitting hats.  It was a comfort zone.  I could do it and it turned out alright.  I kept a tally last year and I honestly knit close to 200 hats!  The challenges comes in because I live in Florida... we have very little need for hats.  Don't get me wrong, I knit other things as well - baby outfits and slippers but my 'go to' project was always a hat.

I decided that I was going to challenge myself.  I was going to make something that took a bit of time.  I wasn't going to over complicate the stitch-work but I was going to make it something I couldn't just whip through.  I had hats down to roughly 7 hours so I figured if it took me a week, that would be a good testament to my 'sticktoitativeness'... and yes, I deem that a real word... lol.  You see, I had attempted a larger project before - blankets and sweaters - but they ended up in a UFO wasteland and eventually frogged.  I wasn't going to let that happen again.  I was going to finish this project and I knew what the project was going to be - a pashmina.

My mama is always stating how her shoulders are cold.  She's a crafty sort of woman so she'll be doing her projects in the living room and then exclaim, "Oooo, my shoulders are so cold" which was quickly followed by me being told to put on a sweater.  So the first thing that came to mind was knitting my mama a pashmina - and it had to have pockets.  I had made up my mind and went in search of some yarn.  I found a gorgeous blend from Sensations, aptly named Fiesta in their Rainbow collection.  The pattern was a simple garter stitch and it basically looked like a super wide scarf - and I was able to incorporate some pockets.  Now my mother was going to have a beautiful wrap to wear when she worked on her knitting/cross stitch/quilting and the pockets to hold all her bits and bobs.  All I had to do was create it.

I figured out my measurements and cast on my yarn.  I was knitting up a storm - fiber flying left and right.  It was a sight to be seen... and then, it happened.  I got to the halfway mark and I felt that familiar feeling creeping in - boredom.  I had reached the maximum level of monotony that I could take.  How was I ever going to graduate past simple hats if I couldn't handle the lull that inevitably comes during a large project?  I wanted to make larger items.  I wanted to stretch my capabilities but I wouldn't trust myself to tackle such things unless I was able to work this pashmina.  I put down my needles and stared at my work.  I had gone just over halfway in two days of zealous knitting.  Perhaps what I needed to do was stop grinding and find the joy in the stitches.  Yes, that was exactly what I needed to do!  What is that old saying, half the fun is getting there or something along those line.  I was going to learn to have fun getting there.

After supper was cleaned up that night, I sat back down on the sofa with my knitting and began to enjoy the relaxing quality of the repetitive motion and the rhythmic quality of the metallic needles clicking... I was learning how to decompress through knitting.  Oh wow, the therapeutic implications of this discovery was astronomical, to say the least.  Knitting for peace of mind instead of racing to get things done - the simple joy of creating instead of scrambling to the finish... oh I had turned a corner indeed.

My pashmina was finished by the end of the week and I was pleased.  My stitches had been uniform for years, tension under control and all that, but there was something about the second half of that pashmina that was different.  Not necessarily better but there was a marked difference - at least to me.  After admiring my work and flaunting it to Pokey and the kids, I put it away in the stash of Christmas presents that I had slowly been creating.  I may have had to wait a good many months before my mama would receive it but I was utterly proud of my creation, nonetheless.

Once I conquered my issue with larger projects, I decided that I would write a list of things that I wanted to create and give myself a justifiable timeline in which to complete them.  I am pleased to announce that only one of the three items that year became a UFO and it has been moved to my list of items to complete this year.  Also on this year's list are techniques that I wish to learn and I have limited myself to four.  I have not yet nailed down exactly what I want to learn but I will soon.  I've been doing some research and I've got a few ideas brewing.

Mama's Pashmina is on the left
It wasn't until seven years ago that I became an avid knitter.  I started small - making scarves and slippers - and progressed to making bags, dishrags and hats... and then I plateaued for several years.  Fear kept me from moving forward in my knitting projects.  Thanks to one fateful day and my stubborn streak, it's safe to say that we've come a long way, baby.


1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post. I love that you knit tons of hats and you love in Florida. I have knitted Hats and Mitten and we do not need those much (ever) in AZ. There is just something about them, isn't there?
    Enjoying KCBW?


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