Saturday, July 25, 2009

Taking stock

Taking stock

Lately I've been feeling a bit depressed about my knitting. I feel as if I'm not making as much progress as I'd like, and I feel oppressed by the self-imposed deadlines I'm missing.

Stupid, no? Knitting's meant to be the fun part of my life...the bit that's totally optional; completely my choice. So I've decided to take stock and reassess my choices. At the beginning of the year I set myself a knitting program for the year - my Personal Sock Club for 2009 interspersed with other projects I was interested in. This is the tally so far:

Personal Sock Club:
'Child's French Sock' by Nancy Bush.
'Travelers' Stockings' by Nancy Bush.
'Country Socks' by Nancy Bush.

Other projects:

'Jane Austen Shrug' from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines
'Ribbon-edged Cardigan' by Debbie Bliss
'Spice Girl' by Erika Florey

Missed deadlines:

'Indigo Noragi' by Vicki Square - a jacket started more than a year ago and still only about 80% complete. I love the pattern, the yarn is The Knittery's beautiful silk wool mix - in grey no less - but I can't manage to finish it!
'Tangled Yoke Cardigan' by Eunny Jang - my Tour de France project due to be finished tomorrow and I'm just at the beginning of the yoke. So, no chance of meeting the deadline.
My Personal Sock Club project 4 - due to be finished Monday and I haven't even cast on.

On the other hand, there are projects that are finished that weren't part of my program for the year:
The 'Chevron Scarf' by Joelle Havorson - completed before my program started
'Ishbel' by Ysolda Teague
'Mousie' by Ysolda Teague
'Baktus' scarf by Strikkelise
'Cranford Mitts' by Jane Lithgow
'Dalarna' socks by Nancy Bush for a sock swap and
Four and two-thirds garter stitch trim hats (by Mustaa Villaa) for the Winterwarm Project).

I think there's a message here. I'm much more efficient at completing things I've not programed than those I have. And, perhaps more importantly, giving in to the passion of the moment gives me a great deal more pleasure than moving systematically to the next project. I've discovered it's hard to postpone the pleasure of knitting with lovely yarns recently acquired, and unnecessarily disciplined to resist the pleasure of jumping on the latest knitting band-wagon or trying out a recently discovered pattern.

But I don't want to give up too easily. I've reached a compromise. I'll finish my Personal Sock Club for the year, even though the current project will be seriously late, and I'll finish the Tangled Yoke cardi. Otherwise? I'll knit as the whim or passion takes me. Knitting is meant to be about pleasure, after all.

7 comments:

Bells said...

i hear you. Hands up here for a 'me too' moment.

I try to do this - I try to mix it up with stuff I've planned, allowing for some room to play with impulse knits.

Interestingly, I heard one of the girls on the Stash and Burn podcast a while ago say that sometimes, with some patterns, by the time she's spent ages planning it and thinking it through, it's like she's as good as knit it by the time she's ready to cast on, and she loses interest. I wonder if you're a bit the same?

Sonia said...

I'm not meeting my goals either. At the moment there's just a whole lotta UFO's hanging around. But there will be a turning point, where all of a sudden I'll have 5 projects finished at once! … well here's hoping anyway.

missfee said...

Lyn like on a trip the unexpected turn down the side land that reveals an amazing view or experience that was unexpected, that is how I see those unplanned projects.

I think life is structured enough - and that a little bit is good, but alot can be too restricting. I can recall the pleasure of all those unexpected projects on your list - the smiles and enjoyment of the stitches. Happy knitting what ever you choose.

And what a large amount of knitting you have done so far this year!!!!! An amount not to be sneezed at.

knitabulous said...

I too am one of those people who plans my knitting projects in a timeline, ticking them off mentally as I go along. I put pressure on myself and actually become slightly anxious if there are too many wip's hanging around or if I don't finish what I start. I think it's a good thing for me though, because I like the discipline of it - not being very disciplines in other facets of my life.

But it's always those queue-jumping knits that end up being the most pleasurable and the most successful.

I don't ever put socks on my knitting list. To me, socks are little gems that pepper the knitting, and should be knit sparingly and slowly. My complicated mental matrix of personal knitting rules considers socks to be bonus items.

Rose Red said...

I think this is a good approach - a little bit of structure is good, but I like the freedom to cast on a project if I'm really in the mood for it - and it's usually those ones that are finished quickly too!

M-H said...

I'm feeling the same... I have such bad startitis, I haven't finished anything for my granddaughters this year, and I haven't done anything for Winterwarm, so I have guilt there as well. I have a new list in my head that should enable me to finish one granddaughter thing and start another and also do some Winterwarm stuff in the next month. Then I can be more relaxed for the rest of the year. I hope.

Emily said...

Oh yes, the power and joy of the whim!

Knitting is after all for pleasure (aren't we lucky that it's so?!) The TdeF is fun, as are the sock self-challenges - but the jacket and so on will no doubt get done sometime, and your style won't have changed (one of the great things about not being a teenager).

I've finished a couple of things recently that I'd been knitting for yeasr - and a sudden flurry of enjoyment got them polishjed off. but I love having lots of projects and skittering from one to another!