Wednesday, April 25, 2012

On Finishing

I just finished my Lollipop Sweet Scarf over the weekend.  It felt great to look at the sewn, finished and ready-to-rock scarf.

Which begs the question: why is it so hard for me to finish?

I have 3 different toys which are literally a hairs-breadth away from being done.  My cat toy is complete and stuffed, it just needs to be sewn together.

My latest happy pill just needs to stuffed, embroidered and sealed.

My "Petunia Porch Monster" needs one leg finished, stuffed and sewn together.

My first thought on this is that I'm afraid of finishing.  I get a little better at it every time I do it but there's something a little intimidating about finishing.  It's obviously much easier in toys because you can leave the stray seams and threads inside of the toy and no one will ever see them.  I actually had a finishing mess-up on Cassidy Clark's dragonfly:


I sewed the body perfectly and easily completed the four wings.  I sewed one wing on - a little off but okay.  I sewed the second one on and it was totally awful.  It was in the wrong place and it wasn't in the plane of the first wing so it looked really off.  I did that one like months ago and I still haven't revisited it, even though all I need to do is to recreate one of the wings and sew them on.

Initially I believe my problem was that I was using a big plastic tapestry needle that was too bendy and imprecise for the rather delicate stitching I need to accomplish.  I solved this by purchasing several metal darning needles including a few that have a bent tip for those hard-to-reach spots.

So, all solved, all ready to go, and I still can't do it!

Maybe it's the deeper issue of how fun it is to start - casting on - the way that the pattern emerges as you create it - the wonder of discovering how a new yarn works in combination with a new needle...  Stick-to-itedness is something I've always been a little deficient in.

But isn't that one of the crazy things knitting does for you.  Much like meditation, it has a way of showing you where you are strong and weak.  If you pay attention and really get into the process you will notice all kinds of things about how you work as a person.  You also notice a lot about how your mind works, which is one of the goals if you ask me.

So, in the spirit of carrying on and letting go of the past I'm going to finish these patterns.  None of the new ones I'm working on are on a time schedule.  It's time to take the plunge and achieve some completion.  It's also about learning that there is fun in the journey and the end, not just the beginning.  If I could get that I'm certain it would be an awesome life lesson.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Beautiful Day

Lots of news - lots of projects in the hopper.  I am now keeping a pretty accurate project record at Ravelry - the address is Violets Dyed Ravelry Project List

I'm super proud of the Chemo Cap that I did.

I started this simple cap - 1" K2 P2 ribbing followed by 5" of stocking stitch on circular needles.  I was given some yarn by Suzoo's Wool (the company sponsoring the project).  And got to work.  I got all the way through the 6" of ribbing and stocking stitch and was preparing to do the decrease.  I did the first half of the decrease and somehow - I'll be damned if I can figure out why - the project somehow reversed itself.  I found that the side I was supposed to be knitting was on the other side.  I was perplexed, confused, and completely frustrated.  I'd been working so hard on this project and really wanted to have a cap to donate to the kids with cancer.

After some tears and a couple glasses of wine I decided to grab a ball of yarn out of my stash (Knit Picks Chroma - Galapagos).  I thought this yarn had a nice "kids" quality to it and that it would knit up into a really comfortable cap.  So I proceeded to knit like a maniac - used size 8 needles on a worsted weight yarn so the stitches were loose but not too loose.  I worked like crazy and I actually finished the scarf in a mere six days, which is I think a record for me.  I was just livid with proudness at looking at the hat and my wife, Patti, said that she just knew that whoever got that cap would be so happy!  Anyway, here's the finished cap:

The base is 17" which is about the size of a child's head.  All in all excellent.  I gave the cap to Jennifer at the wool store here in Costa Mesa and she just loved it.  Everyone that sees this Chroma yarn loves it, and it comes in so many different flavors. 

 I'm knitting a midwinter scarf for my sister in law:

and I'm knitting a Lollipop scarf for my niece:

And that is not even counting the cat, Petunia the monster, Happy Pill, and dragonfly I'm working on.

I'll get to the toys in a later post.  But I wanted to leave you with one last scarf I'm working on called the Zig Zag scarf.  I'm using a Chroma wool called Urban on this one.  It's the first "complex" scarf I've worked on and I just love the design:

It's an alternating K3 P3 rib with a different stitch at the start of each row.  This is what creates the zig zag pattern.  It's been very fun and I'm really enjoying getting into more complex projects.  However I always need to have a simple project lying around when I'm in that Zen relaxation space.

See you next time and HAPPY KNITTING!