Sunday, July 6, 2008


I'm rather surprised by my own actions. When I started knitting again, just over a year ago, it was meant to be a quiet distraction. But I find my knitting has become a constant activity and focus of attention and that I even find myself creating deadlines and pressure to complete projects.

I have an approach / avoidance relationship with deadlines. I admire people who recognise that a good outcome for a project is best achieved by dividing the time available to complete the project by the amount of work that it needs for completion, and then neatly parceling out time and effort across the life of the project. I've never managed to do this. I find creative ways of avoiding the project until some inner voice warns me that the time has almost expired, and the task can be just scrambled through if I finally start on it.

I hadn't anticipated carrying this behaviour over into a task undertaken entirely for pleasure - my knitting. I have some mittens that I need to complete for the Aussie Swap #3, and I've just started a Montparnasse jacket for the Tour de France Knit-Along. Deadlines. Finishing points. And what am I doing? Knitting squares for Wrap With Love, an independent Australian charity that creates rugs from knitted squares and makes them available to local and international crises and causes.

This is rather odd behaviour on my part. I don't usually participate in knitting for charities. In many circumstances I think the recipient of the knitting would probably prefer clothing or blankets made from the latest, more fashionable, and probably easier-to-care-for designs and materials. Donating money is probably more practical,flexible and useful. However, in this particular case a group of people from my workplace meets regularly to knit and sew squares together for this charity, and I enjoy the sociability of a task shared with work colleagues. But more than this is the lure, for me, of garter stitch. I've so enjoyed making these 25 x 25 cm squares. All the squares I've made have incorporated a small or large amount of a intense mid-blue - what in the 1950s was oh-so-fashionable ming blue. Some of the squares are based on or significantly derived from projects in the Mason-Dixon blog. And I've been playing around with mitres and stripes, and combinations of the two. Great fun. I'll probably make more...and more...

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