August has almost come and gone and I really don't have much in the way of knitting to show for it... several projects in various stages of completion or anticipation. However, finally, after languishing all winter, Bianca gets her turn at the top again.
Faithful readers will recall that I started Bianca last fall with high hopes of finishing and wearing her through the fall and winter seasons and into early spring. She was the perfect little jacket, and I was doing her up in a nice little nubbly tea-colored Henry's Attic Inca Cotton that I could wear with anything.
I knew I would just love her, that is until I realized while swatching that the gauge my substitution was giving me would require recalculating the numbers for the entire pattern. I used to do all of my knitting this way, calculating to use the yarn I had for a design I liked, but nowadays I hate the fuss...
I managed to make it all the way up the back, but not without tons of enticing distractions. I checked back over my blog entries from last fall and was reminded about how I was lured away to make not one, but two Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawls, both exquisite and much prettier than the jacket. Then there were the Anna socks, a purse, a few gifts, and some charity knitting. Somehow, I just never got around to making those calculations needed to knit the curved front pieces, so now it is onward and upward to get to the pretty little lace yokes. I was reviewing where I left off in my math project (yup, that is what a promising knit gone bad has turned into for me) and decided to proceed differently. After all, one definition of crazy is to do the same thing over and over, expecting different results. My re-start is to do all of the math in one sitting, in effect re-writing the yarn for the fabric I want to get with this yarn, and then jump back in, pattern in hand and charge forward. This really would be the perfect jacket, after all!
While I was re-starting myself on Bianca and felting up my denim clogs earlier this week, I got to thinking about what it is that gets me to set aside a project and neglect it for a long period of time or even abandon it entirely. My commitment to participate in the UFO Resurrection all year has really helped me to get back to several very worthy projects, but also led to ripping and reclaiming the yarn from two failed ones. The red yarns I reclaimed back in January have only partially been re-purposed, but that means I have a few wonderful items still waiting for me in my stash (did you notice that Knitnana is promoting a new kind of 401K plan?). I transformed CeCe into Lutea, with very happy results and have made slow but steady progress on Seraphim. I was disappointed with the fact that CeCe's pattern stitch, which had seemed so easy going into it, had turned out to be a fussy one for me, not an enjoyable knit. Would I go back and try again? Probably not. On the other hand, Seraphim had been neglected because she had grown large and complicated enough that I could no longer carry her around and work in a distracted environment... currently she has only about 16 rows to go, but each row takes something like 20 minutes and is over 300 stitches, so I am getting a few rows done a night, on the nights that something doesn't call me away from her. I hope to have her off the needles before September ends. I also managed to finish up a purse that was sitting around simply because the final details were daunting me, and learned that finish work is something to be proud of rather than shirk! I even decided to take on a friend's UFO with my new-found appreciation of finishing skills.
My denim clogs, July's UFO Resurrection, are now drying, though I am still thinking I may need to go back and felt them further to get the fit I want... the water and suds both cooled down in the lengthy period to get them felted to this point, and I opted to let them dry and try them on with a pair of winter socks to further check and adjust the fit, as well as be willing to go through the felting cycle again, if needed.
That vest is the lingering, nagging project, reminding me that sometimes a finished object might be a great idea, but the knitting thereof a real drag... choose your battles, wisely!
Coincidentally (or not, depending on your worldview), I listened to a great discussion about the value of making and writing goals and life lists for yourself on Talk of the Nation yesterday while driving to town for my first physical therapy appointment (it went well, but I was pretty sore afterwards). I realized that I have done many of the things I wanted to do with my life, and that I have also been willing to change direction and abandon some of them in favor of new goals that better suit me as I am now. I think projects can sometimes end up the same way, no longer suiting me, either as a knitter or an end-user. Why do you let some of your projects, beloved at their beginnings, become UFOs?