Friday, February 15, 2013

Knitting Nothing

I find it a bit ironic that in my last post (back in December) I talked about how I had finished all of my deadline knitting and then I said this: 

"In a strange way, it almost makes me want to knit nothing, just because I can."

I had meant that as a joke when I wrote it, but it turns out that knitting nothing is exactly what I did.  Sure, I've done a stitch here and a row there, but when it comes to finishing a project, I've been rather unproductive.  I've fallen into a bit of a slump with my knitting and when it comes to my daily routine, knitting has been thrown by the wayside.

Knitting, for me, has never been an on-the-go hobby or something that I do when I have 5 spare minutes.  For me, it is a hunker down on the couch with a mug of tea and a good movie for two hours kind of hobby.  There are several problems with this kind of hobby in my life right now.  The first is that if I hunker down on the couch for any longer than 10 minutes, I will fall asleep.  Guaranteed.  I am not a morning person, and no amount of rest will ever change the fact that working a job that starts at 5am every day leaves me exhausted for the remaining hours.  The second problem is that I'm still auditioning for clarinet jobs, which means that any significant amount of free time I spend doing something leisurely such as, say, watching a movie while knitting, very quickly crushes me with so much guilt about not practicing that I have to put the needles down.  The third problem is that most of my free time is at night and I'm always aware that every minute I spend knitting is one less minute I get to sleep (I'm obsessed with sleeping these days), so rather than spending an hour knitting in the evening, I will most likely choose to read for 15 minutes before turning off the lights.

I think about this blog as an extension of my knitting, which means that if I'm not knitting anything, I'm not blogging either.  Yesterday I came up with a two-step plan to rectify this situation.

Step 1: Knit things.  This one seems obvious, but I think it's crucial so I wrote it down.  I haven't yet come up with a plan for how to carry this out, but in theory it sounds doable.

Step 2: Blog on my days off.  I don't know why I hadn't thought of this one before.  I always have at least one day off a week, which means that I should be able to post on a weekly basis, and blogging on my days off should also allow me a bit of daylight in which to take pictures.  Of course we all know that days off are really days to do every single errand and chore that you don't have time to do while you're at work, so we'll see how well this one works out.  Lucky for me, usually my days off are also laundry days, and therefore stay-at-home-in-your-pajama days, which in turn should buy me some blogging time.  Today is my day off this week.  I am also blogging.  So far, so good.

So to start things off because I haven't yet implemented step 1, I thought I would show you the things that I'm not knitting.  To be more specific, these are the things that I'm actively not knitting, as opposed to those works in progress that I'm not even pretending to be knitting.  These are the projects that I look at when I think I may sit down and knit.  The ones tripping me as I walk out the door, poised with needles ready and yarn wound.  The other ones, the ones that I'm really not knitting don't even see the light of day.

The first project that I'm not knitting is another pair of fingerless gloves for myself.  I'm using some of my handspun for this project.  The pattern is the fairly popular and relatively straightforward Ragtop by Susan Lawrence.

I like them.  The one I have finished (minus the thumb) is very warm and soft.  I wish there were two of them.  The reason there aren't two of them (and you'll find that each of the projects I'm showing you has at least one reason for why it's not yet done) is because I repurposed the remaining yarn.  It's still useable for this project, but for the time being it's serving another purpose, which I had forgotten about until I went looking for it today to take a picture.  It seemed like a brilliant solution to an annoying problem at 3am.

The annoying problem being that when it's windy outside, the storm window next to my bed rattles so loudly that it keeps me up at night.  When I had finally had enough one particularly gusty evening, I grabbed the first thing I saw and shoved it between the two panes of glass to stop the window from shaking.  It has been working well for the past two months.

The other reason there's only one mitt is that I took the needles away to start the next project that I'm currently not working on.

It's exactly what it looks like, which is a big ol' mess.  It will one day become a Chameleon, which is fitting because only a huge transformation will help this project.  I put it down because I have no desire to kitchener 125 stitches along the tail using Kureyon while simultaneously stuffing it.  That is definitely not on my list of things to do when I have 15 minutes of free time.

The most incomplete project that I'm not knitting is a scarf, shown below:

That's as far as I've gotten, and I got there several weeks ago.  It's the Green Honey Man-Scarf and I'm knitting it (well, actively not knitting it) using Eco Wool to replace a scarf for my brother that mysteriously disappeared when he and his ex broke up.

The last project that I'm not knitting is a pair of mittens that I started 10 months ago.  I'm not at all surprised that I haven't started them because they're stranded knitting, and every time I make something using colorwork that requires two items to be the same size, such as mittens, I take an enormous break between the first and second one.  This break has a 100% success rate of guaranteeing that at least one of the items will not fit and that when laid next to each other, one always looks like an older sibling rather than a twin.

Of course, in the case of these mittens, I don't really care because the first one didn't fit anyway.  It still makes me a little sad, though, because I'm sure someone could benefit from having mittens knit with gorgeous Brooklyn Tweed LOFT and the pattern is one that I've always loved looking at.

So there you have it, the projects that I haven't been knitting lately.  Is there anything that you aren't knitting?


  1. Dude, if you only knew...oh, well, I guess you do. At least I am knitting on my worsted sweater about 2 nights a week, but the rest of my projects sit. Maybe it's the time of year and as the days grow longer we'll find more time, energy, and added concentration to put into our projects.

  2. I'm thinking I may have unfinished knitting projects which are older than you! HA! I know for a fact that I have the back and two fronts of a cardigan I started in 1987. They are done in some cheap crap acrylic yarn. A portion of a knitted baby blanket in yet another acrylic yarn. This project lost it's direction sheet. The front and back of a newborn baby jumpsuit and lastly a shoulder buttoned sweater for a newborn knit in a lovely baby alpaca wool started in 1999 and never finished. I started a pair of socks for my husband right after Christmas and I've been working to finish the second sock. Hopefully soon because I have other projects lined up. HA HA HA!

  3. Waaaaait a minute. I knitted the first Green Honey Man scarf for our brother. Funny no one ever mentioned that it got lost. Also: they broke up? What?

    And another thing: just how big IS that ball of yarn on the swing?! It looks to be about the size of a small child.

  4. Peter, your knitting is gorgeous as always. I know how life can get in the way - just remember that in life *YOU* get to set the priorities - not everyone and everything else!

  5. You crack me up with the "what I'm not knitting" theme. Great lighthearted way to acknowledge where you're at right now! :)

    I'm with you, I'd be DONE if I had to go to work at 5 a.m. As it is, I'm DONE every night after my new job.

  6. Kitchener 15 little tail stitches a night and that thing will be done in a week. No one can feel guilty about the time it takes for 15 Kitchener stitches before bed. Also, surely ugly have a ball of nasty acrylic hidden somewhere that can be used for a window muffler. If not I am positive I could find some crazy fun fur buried in my stash that would enjoy feeling useful.

  7. Anonymous = kitten (pacalaga). My mobile doesn't play well with your commenting system. :/

  8. Lots of stuff I'm not knitting -- an afghan (maybe 2? 3?), other socks to match the first socks that's been for ... years, a scarf that I decided was ugly but was too lazy to rip out, and maybe three sweaters with various pieces in various stages of completion. I'm sure there's lot of other stuff.

    My solution to not knitting is to start something brand new. Never fails to get the juices flowing and the mind re-energized and revitalized.

    BTW: 5 a.m. work start? Double yuck!!