Wednesday, August 12, 2009

About Arisaig and reaching goose egg

Clearing my needles or reaching goose egg as I shall now think of it thanks to Mooncalf has been going well. It's been so good to see long term projects like Moonlight and Lady E make it to completion and to shove along some other malingerers. I didn't make it by the end of July but I'm close. The irritating mitten has been frogged because I'm determined not to buy more yarn; we've been rearranging furniture and I have a cupboard that soon by hook or by crook all my yarn will fit in. Frogging is so much easier from a distance. I find that when those stitches are fresh and I know how long they took it is really hard, later the attachment to the stitches for their own sake is lessened and it's more about the item as a whole and how to best deal with it. In this case with a farewell!

So I have just one Angee sock and Arisaig to deal with.

Arisaig is the tricky 'been hanging around for a long time' one. Back in May 2007 I'd started in on a plain sleeve as I didn't want the lace on the sleeves so that I could wear a short sleeved top underneath without seeing a line in the lace pattern. I was worried about the sleeves as written being too big which is why I did a sleeve first but then midway through knitting it occurred to me that I had just used the same number of stitches as I would have done if I was making it in pattern and then I got scared about the sleeve being too small without the space the lace creates. So I finished it, seamed it and tried it on didn't I? Oh no, I definitely couldn't face doing that - as with the mitten (but multiplied by the extra hours involved in knitting a full length sleeve with 4ply) I was trapped by the thought of the work created and not wanting to frog it at any cost. So the sleeve waited and waited, it went off to hibernate until the Tour de France mountain challenge woke it up. Other mountains were easier to tackle and so still it waited - just one, unseamed sleeve, until I promised to make a decision on it for my latest Ashes Test KAL challenge (we shall say no more about the Test itself, okay?)

I think I'd really convinced myself the sleeve wouldn't fit and so I'd been thinking along the lines of sewing it in to something else (did I once see a hot water bottle cover made from a sleeve ? ) . Last night I quickly ran a line of stitches down the seam (all told about ten minutes work!) and tried it on. Et voila it actually fits:
So scenes of rejoicing ensued and I'm now knitting on with renewed passion for Arisaig. Except I'm not and it's taken a bit of thought to work out why not.

I thought it might be: 1) The yarn.

I'm using some 4 ply acrylic on cones that I got from Ebay, I love the two yarns together and it will make a really pretty Arisaig but I don't actually know how much of it I have. It looks a lot but with no weight or yardage details it might not be enough and imagine the heartbreak at the end of that piece of knitting without due care and attention . Still a bit of weighing and maths and I can work that out so what is the real stumbling block?

It is 2): finding the goose egg!

If I have enough yarn and carry on to make Arisaig I may never reach goose egg, I'll want to start other projects before I get Arisaig finished. It's been okay not starting anything for the last few weeks but I've got a Patti I want to wear this winter, a billion pairs of socks to knit for gifts and for me let alone all the other patterns I'm already working on in my knitting fantasy life.

So why have I become so obsessed by clearing the needles that this is overriding my desire to knit something that I want to wear? Rationally it's an odd goal - it's not as if I want to finish up what I'm working on and give up knitting, it's not as if I've not been happy with my multiple project state for the last three years, it's not as if the moment the clear needles are reached that I won't immediately start casting on new projects.

I like to have different types of knitting on the go to make sure that I always feel like picking something up - mindless knits are very important for the nights after work when no thinking is possible but I like more challenging knits for other times. I like to make sure I have something to knit everyday because of the pleasure and relaxation that the act of knitting brings. Travel suitable knitting is handy to have around to maximise available knitting time but I wouldn't only want to knit things that are good to be knit on the move.

I thought I was comfortable with being a multiple project knitter, much as I got comfortable with being a multiple book reader a long, long time ago but it seems that there is a part of me that feels that to start one thing, knit it and finish it promptly is the ultimately virtuous way to knit, a part of me that feels bad for flitting from one thing to another. How ridiculous! It appears I can feel guilty about anything! It's my knitting and it hurts no-one however I go about it so I've ordered a new scale so I can weigh the yarn for Arisaig and I hear by make it my goal to never have nothing on my needles :o) Flibbertigibbet knitting is the way for me.

6 comments:

mooncalf said...

Oh gosh what have I started?

That goose egg thing is a totally random reference to a Buffy computer game I once had where the Xander character said "nada, zip, zilch, the big goose egg" over and over and over...

For me, sometime I just feel like I'm stuck in a rut where I never finish anything and I have to clear the decks and make a fresh start.

I find that knitting hats helps too as you can generally complete them in a couple of evenings and you feel like a finisher again!

Charity said...

I think you've made amazing progress over the summer! And I agree, sometimes it's easier to frog after a WIP has been in time out for a while...

A scale is a wonderful knitting tool - you're going to have so much fun with it! I've grown very dependant on mine. :o)

Rose Red said...

I know where you are coming from! I love the idea of the goose egg too (I really love it! All the possibilities for new patterns to start!), but for me it is unachievable! I just can't restrain myself from starting something new if I want to (or need to, in the case of last minute gifts!) and I also like to have different projects on the go so I can pick up whatever, depending on my mood or where I will be knitting.

So yes, I'm an out and proud multiple project knitter too! (but still with a secret goose egg longing...)

T. said...

Oh the GUILT! I too have to be a multiple project knitter. It's the only way I can do it - and you're right - it's not bugging anyone else, so why should it bug you.
No goose egg here.

Kai said...

I love the Arisaig sleeve! And I'm loving all the frogging action. :)
It seems that this 'goose egg' syndrome is effecting not only you! I've found that this year, my thoughts are running along the same lines. I haven't got as far as you and picked up stuff that's been on the needles for an age, but I am knitting single items at a time. Very unlike me.

Bells said...

It fits!

I'm clearing the decks at the moment because I know it's good for me and I get so much satisfaction out of doing it. I've been a bit of a knit floozy of late and the time has come to be a bit disciplined about it all! I support your efforts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...