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Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Uptight Knitter

People always comment on me knitting with a “oh, that looks so relaxing.” And yes, knitting is suppose to be relaxing and calming. But one needs to get over the pains and frustrations of beginnerville and actually finish a row without having more or less stitches than when they started.

I did reach that point and it was becoming a more relaxing hobby…and then I turn the dial up a little.

What if I do this…

But I can’t say that I have been very relaxed or calm when knitting lately. After the turn of the dial, it was new. It was stressful as I learned something new and was forced to concentrate on each row. And I had to count again.

Now part of this may be reality setting in. As I try to write patterns for kits - kits that I want to sell - I am no longer in my Zen place.

It is no longer an activity that I am doing because I choose. It is no longer my pastime. It no longer calms me before bed. It has become…bum, bum, bummm.

My job.

Don’t get me wrong; I still enjoy knitting and I feel very empty when I don’t have a project going. I find that it takes a different approach to make it enjoyable when it is something I have to do.

And it is when I have to do something, that everything seems to go horribly wrong. “Think Zen.”

A few months ago I was working on a baby sweater with cables on each side of the button bands.

I knitted a complete sweater and didn’t like what I had. Off in the corner it goes.

I started a new sweater, and after 30 rows - I wasn’t happy.

I frogged it out only to start a third, and then a fourth.

I just couldn’t knit with a clear head that day. It almost became slightly funny after a while, but no where near my Zen.

Giving this project a break for a day, I woke to the music of birds cheerful and grateful for another day - It is the middle of Wisconsin winter and the author has received frostbite on his frontal lobe and is incapable of all rational decisions.

I started fresh again the next morning and I had a new focus. I was connecting, I was one with the yarn.

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Shortly after this botchery I was experiencing, a lady in the Knitting group showed me true patience.

She was also struggling with a sweater that she was making, and having experienced this so recently, I felt truly terrible for her. But she just kept plugging away. Rip…knit…rip…knit…rip…

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On this fourth or fifth attempt - as I knitted from the top down - I dropped below the sleeves and thought I was making some good time as I flew across the body and worked the cables every 6 rows. One of the cables crosses didn’t seem to look right, but hey, I have been crossing them every 6 rows as needed – haven’t I?

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Now moving to present day. I am on my fifth slouch hat. I couldn’t get the gauge correct for the drape that I envisioned. Of course I don’t know this until I have it…well…completed and think it just looks really bad on my model.

So I end up working between two different hats. The hat that I like the least gets ripped and re-knitted. As I complete the next prototype, again I evaluate, rip and start again.

I am taking a break from my knitting as I write this post. I think I finally have it – based on the last model that I was nearing completion with and liked what I was seeing in the body of the hat. I just needed to tweak the band a little.

Another refill of the iced coffee and I am good to go for the next hour or so.

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