Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Plodding Along

Two years ago I figured out how to knit.  I finished a hat in a yarn called "Fabulous Felines"...colorways dyed to match kitties who won the modeling contest early on.  they were gorgeous yarns in a chunky weight. And using that yarn I finally figured out the mechanics of knitting...and successfully completed a really fun hat.

Then I started knitting a scarf...which had knits and purls and was kind of slow going, but little bits in the car and before I knew it (July) I had a finished scarf.  I knitted a hat for a few other people and then started the scarf in the picture below while visiting Elizabeth in Orlando in October 2011.

This one was a learning experience for me.  I found this gorgeous yarn while visiting Asheville, NC.  It has sequins in it, is soft and squishy and really quite striking.  I wanted to try some lace, so found this pattern and thought it would be spectacular...so I cast on, misread the pattern a few times, but finally got going on it.

And hated it.

I hated every minute of working on this scarf from about 4" in.  I can't explain to you exactly why, but I did.  I brought it to lunch to knit on after I'd eaten.  I'd find other things to do.  I made myself knit on it for 30 minutes per day before I worked on anything else...and then I'd find things to besides knit so I wasn't making progress on anything.

I took it to the beach with me and worked on it a bit and said, "ugh"...I hate this scarf and it'll never be done.

I knit and knit every now and then and guess what?  I pulled it out of its bag this weekend, looked and it, and decided that it's long enough.  It isn't as long as I typically like scarves, but it's long enough, so I cast off and took its picture and was so relieved to be done.  Done and done and done!

This scarf has been an interesting lesson for me from the beginning.  I liken it to the first needlepoint I did.  I hated working on that one, too, but one day fell in love with needlepoint (not that project but others).  I never gave up on this scarf and I'm glad that I didn't.  Like that needlepoint, I know it'll become one of my favorite scarves to wear.  It's so pretty, prettier in person than in the picture, and I know when it gets cold enough, I'll feel all fancy putting it on with its matching hat.  The little sparkle from the sequins is just the thing to make me smile, even if I'm cold.

The scarf also taught me that not giving up on a project is a good thing.  Sometimes they get to where they aren't much fun, but putting it aside and letting it steep for a while helps.  I was genuinely amazed when I pulled it out how long it really was and that I'd actually managed to progress that far even though I genuinely didn't like working on it.

Now, what I need to figure out is why.  Why did I hate that project so much?  Was it the pattern? Was it the fact that it went on for so long?  Was it the right yarn and wrong needles?  Was it the wrong yarn (pretty though it may be, it was kind of splitty and frustrated me from time to time)?  Was I just bored with it after a certain period of time (which is a good lesson for me to think about in regard to knitting giant projects)?  

I'm sure I'll need to get to another hated project to make complete sense of it.  But it'll probably be a totally different thing.

However, I do want to point out that even though plodding along isn't fun...it is progress towards a goal.  Sometimes we just need to keep that in mind!

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