I have renewed admiration for the multi-tasking abilities of the parents of small children who also manage to knit. I have spent most of the last month with the dotee - my 20 month old grand-daughter - and there has consequently been a significant decline in my knitting productivity. I imagine I must have once had these multi-tasking capacities myself when my own children were small, but either they need constant practice to perfect, or you lose such adaptive capacities with age, or (and I think this is really the explanation in my case) you just get too tired to knit and play endless games of shape-matching simultaneously. Shape-matching wins out.
So...the result? My only finished object from the last month is a Missoni-ish scarf. And even that hasn't yet been blocked.
Chevron Scarf from Joelle Hoverson's 'Last Minute Gifts'
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock
Admittedly, I did also knit and unravel a sock during this time (didn't like the tension; didn't like the combination of yarn and pattern). Nevertheless, this is definitely a knitting lull.
So, having acknowledged to myself that I need external motivation and deadlines, particularly when the distraction of the dotee is readily available, I've filched with some enthusiasm RoseRed's pre-stolen idea of a 2009 Personal Sock Club. For those of you who've not already read about it, you choose some skeins of sock yarn, possibly match them with patterns, and parcel them up in brown paper or other non-transparent bags. At regular, pre-ordained intervals you then choose a bag at random and knit socks from the contents. It has the virtue of knitting with yarn already acquired, some element of surprise and serendipity, and (for me) the motivation of deadlines and A PROGRAM.
RoseRed has a large and exotic stash and she is knitting a pair of socks from beautiful yarn each month! I have a small and less beautiful stash; I knit slowly and I want to improve my sock-knitting skills, so I'm doing (note - not just aiming for) a pair each two months. This is my meagre sock-yarn-stash:
Patonyl in slate blue
Araucania Ranco Solid in mushroom-grey
Araucania Ranco Multy in blue/brown/pink
Madelinetosh in Lichen
Araucania Ranco Solid in brick red
The Knittery Slim Sock in Bloody Mary
At this stage I know I want to knit Bex's Luminare from the Knittery Slim Sock, but otherwise I've made no pattern decisions except for having a preference for some Nancy Bush designs along the way.
However, the deadline mentality is already setting in. I've just noted that we're now two weeks into January. A quarter of the time I have for my first pair of socks has elapsed. I should be halfway through my first sock. So tonight is brown-paper bag night, regardless of how many shapes the dotee want to match and how many times she wants to hear 'Meg and Mog'.
I'll keep you posted with my progress - I need you to keep me on THE PROGRAM.