False Startitis

I’m not very good at being a monagamous knitter.  In fact, I’m terrible at it.  My most recent attempt lasted exactly one day.  Yes, one day.  One day, at a time when I have no business casting on anything, because I have a drop-dead deadline of February 8 for completing 30 fleece hats for the Scout troop.  Nevertheless, that’s how long I lasted before giving in to startitis.

Recently, I cast off the Rosebud Shawl and the Shale Baby Blanket.  I’d finished a scarf some weeks ago.  That left me with the Diamonds and Rings Aran, only.  Now, I needed to show the Aran some love.  I’d neglected it in favor of finishing the blanket and the shawl.  I thought that I could force myself to make some progress on it by not casting on anything else for at least a week.  A week isn’t too much to ask, is it?

Apparently, so.  I did make some progress on the Aran for one night.  But while I was knitting on it, I was thinking hard about my next projects.  I’m usually a four-project knitter.  Having about four projects going is about right for me.  Not too boring, not too overwhelming.  They usually break down to having a cabled thing, a colorwork thing, a lace thing, and a stupid-easy thing.  There’s plenty of variance in there, but that breakdown’s about right.

Going from four projects to one was tough — tougher than I expected.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been down to just one project.  One project means that I can’t pick and choose what to work on, depending on my mood or the circumstances.  One project is kind of a knitting ultimatum — take it or leave it and do something else.

So, there I was, Friday afternoon, totally flattened after the workweek.  I didn’t have the wherewithal to knit.  I was in my sewing room, getting geared up (I thought) for more fleece hats, when I found myself peering at my stash.  There was a lovely hank of Sweet Georgia Yarn’s Merino Silk Lace, in Coastal, waiting to be wound up into a ball.  Instead of sewing fleece hats, like a responsible person, I set up the swift, grabbed my nostepinne, and began the calming, meditative process of winding a ball.  This beautiful blue-green yarn will be a shawl.  I haven’t cast it on yet because I’m now working on another baby blanket.

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While I was contemplating the lace yarn, I became reaquainted with some KnitPicks Cotlin in Swan.  I have another baby I need to knit for, this one to be born in the summer in a hot climate.  How about a lightweight baby blanket for this little person?

And then, there was some worsted weight yarn that I’d bought to make a hat, that would be perfect for some two-color mittens with thumb gussets that I wanted to experiment with.  How about that?

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Before I knew it, I’d put the blue and white yarn and some DPNs in a project bag to be turned into mittens.  I’d wound up the laceweight for a shawl and dug out some needles for that, settling them into their own project bag.

Then, I set about starting the baby blanket.  I reasoned that I could 1) get moving on this baby knitting 2) have a stupid-easy project going to work on at the orthodontist’s office and for other such opportunities, and 3) help clean out my stash, all at one whack.  I chose Pine Forest Baby Blanket and did some quick calculations.  I had just over 1100 yards.  Should be plenty to do a 32 X 40 blanket, I figured.  I determined the correct amount of repeats and got going.

In short order, I had the beginnings of a blanket.  I had just about finished the first skein when I stopped to consider how things were going.  One skein down, four inches knit.  Eight skeins to go.  That’s a 36-inch blanket.  Hmm.  32 X 36 is a bit squarish for me.  I prefer a ratio that’s closer to 0.8.  I debated.  Why not just make a squarish blanket?  No one but me would know that what I’d really intended was more rectangular.

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After more thought, I decided to just frog the thing and start over.  I tried to frog it quickly, so I wouldn’t contemplate for too long the several hours of work I’d already invested in it.  Instead, I tried to think about how the blanket was now going to have the proportions that I like.  After that false start, I re-cast on the blanket.  It’s going to be narrower, as it will lacke two repeats I’d originally intended, but it will be nice and rectangular.

As for the mittens and the shawl, I’ll have to hold off on those for right now.  I managed to spend this entire long weekend doing things other than sewing hats.  For the next two weekends, I simply have to sew.  At least I know that these next projects will be queued up and ready to go when the hats are done.

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