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The Problem with Startitis

August 22, 2014

Hi, my name is Abby, and I’m addicted to starting new projects.

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? Well, I have a problem with starting projects but never finishing them. My house is littered with unfinished projects. I keep needing to find new project bags to hold the projects I’m not finishing. Some are in time out while they think about what they’ve done wrong (I’m looking at you, Wool Eater Blanket), or because I’m hesitant about continuing after making a modification to the pattern (yes you, Longitudinal Socks), or even because the yarn is bleeding on my hands while I knit (that would be you, Pan Am Jacket). There’s also the spinning that’s been in a bag for over a year because… well, because. Or the other socks that are sitting unfinished because I just know that they’re a little too big (and then I’ll insist on machine washing and drying them and they’ll shrink down which will solve the problem). Or the giant shawl that will take me years to finish, so why rush. And that’s just the fiber projects.

Last night I was venting to the husband person about feeling a bit lost at the moment, and he called me out on my startitis. He also issued a challenge: finish some of the projects that are already in progress before starting anything new.

So that is my new goal. I will (finally) finish projects that I have tucked into the odd corners of my house. And to hold myself accountable, I will document them as I finish (or as I make significant progress). And hopefully, this will help me in other areas of my life as well, where I have other unfinished projects.

Going Old School

August 6, 2014

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I think I’ve been spending too much time on Pinterest lately, because yesterday I pulled out my embroidery floss to make friendship bracelets. Yes, friendship bracelets. The kind I used to make back in intermediate school, especially when I was daydreaming in my gifted class. Yup, I was that kid. Fortunately, the technique was easy to pick back up again. Then I got a little bored, so my conveniently Steelers-colored one is still unfinished. Maybe I’ll finish it today.

I made some others, too:

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Warm weather photo ops

April 20, 2014

Now that the weather is finally warming up, I can start to lay my knitting out on the back porch to dry.

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This is my first complete Tunisian crochet project. The yarn is Knit Picks Bare Fingering. Stroll maybe? I don’t remember, to be completely honest. It’s fingering weight. I dyed it myself. I’m still not sure what I’m doing with the finished product. There’s a decent chance I may give it to a friend.

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I also finished the Scarf of Emotional Trauma at the Hands of British Television. (It was originally called the TV Watching Scarf, but this name is so much more descriptive.) This the scarf I worked on while watching Sherlock Series 3 and Downton Abbey Series 4. At Zack’s suggestion, I will be giving it to his aunt later today. I can only hope that the angst came out in the wool soak this morning. It was a lavender soak, so that should help right? (Seriously, Downton series 4 was a bit traumatic for me – I really hate the idea of giving bad energy to anyone.)

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The thing that gets me about this yarn is how shiny it is. To the point that I can’t get a decent photo that accurately shows the colors. It’s crazy. The yarn is Wollmeise Sockenwolle 80/20 Twin. A grad school friend sold it to me my first year in the program. It’s made a great scarf. The lace pattern definitely opened up with blocking. This is a pattern that I improvised. I’m thinking of knitting a second version then maybe farming out a test knit so I can publish it.

Happy early birthday to me

April 5, 2014

My birthday is a week away, and since I was in the vicinity of one of the few local yarn stores still doing business in my area, I decided to pop in and treat myself to some happy birthday yarn:

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I decided on my way down that this year I would treat myself to some Malabrigo lace yarn, if there were a few hanks in stock. After circling the store a few times, I finally spotted the lace and sock weight yarn in the corner to the left of the register. Then I discovered the gorgeous blues pictured above. Unsure exactly of what I would make with this yarn, I decided the three hanks would be enough. It’s not going to be enough for a massive lace shawl, but I’ve made more than enough of those to last me a while, so these hanks will probably be used to make either a rectangular or half-circle shawl. Something that I might actually use, since the large circular shawls don’t seem to get that much love in my wardrobe. Now I just need to find the right pattern, although trolling Ravelry has given me a few leads (including one option in a magazine I already own).

The other hank, a Heritage Silk Paints, I just had to buy because it’s in Ohio State colors. That will probably find its way into a scarf for my sister.

Not quite what I had in mind, but it works

March 8, 2014

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When I bought my tablet, my hope was that I would be able to use it for work purposes and maybe not have to drag my computer around so much. That has sort of been the case. But another use that I’ve found for it is that it enables me to access my knitting patterns much more easily, especially if I’m taking my knitting on the go. This is especially convenient if I’m using pdfs or knitty patterns that I don’t want to have to print out. Or if I’m just being lazy. It’s also very useful when I travel, because it keeps everything in place. I must say, it has proven to be an unexpected upside of splurging on my tablet.

Well, that went surprisingly quickly…

December 26, 2013

Over Thanksgiving weekend (during the OSU-Michigan game, to be precise), I cast on a shawl that I’d bought as a kit from Knit Picks a few months ago. The Tuscan Sunflower Shawl was a surprisingly quick knit, at least as far as shawls go for me. It took me less than four weeks to get it done. Of course, it was almost the only project that I worked on in those four weeks, which is a little unusual for me.

Here it is, just off the needles:

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Weaving in the ends on twenty-four little petal points was annoying, not to mention a bit hard on my back. I had the shawl resting on my exercise ball while I picked up each petal to weave in the ends. Right now, it’s soaking in the tub. The yellow yarn seems to be bleeding a bit, so I’ll have to see how many rinses it takes to get it clear. Then I’ll have to block it out. Considering I don’t have many lace blocking tools “block aggressively” could be an interesting direction to follow.

Why Saturday Morning is Like a Hank of New Yarn

November 23, 2013

I love Saturday mornings, perhaps more than any other morning of the week. Mondays actually aren’t so bad, at least not this semester. Mondays are a chance for me get a fresh start on the week, to tackle with enthusiasm all the things I need to get done to feel like a productive teacher and scholar. But Saturdays… Saturdays are better, because they’re a chance to feed my creative side.

Saturday mornings are like a hank of new yarn, especially yarn that I haven’t wound yet. It’s all potential. It’s the start of the weekend, when I’ve finally had enough sleep and wake up feeling refreshed, instead of with the knowledge that not only do I need to do everything on today’s agenda, there’s probably still one or two things left over from yesterday. Not on Saturdays. Saturdays I try to carve out time for me, to indulge in whatever whim takes me. Not unlike the potential of a hank of yarn. New yarn, with no project attachments, represents all the promise of knitting. It could be a scarf, or socks, or my next overwhelmingly large lace shawl. It could be a present, or it could be for me. New yarn can be anything, just like Saturday. It could be an adventure, or I could spend my time lounging on the couch mainlining Sherlock.

Of course this feeling of promise is ultimately limited, just like the yarn promise. Once we get to about two o’clock, it’s clear what my weekend will be. Once I’ve wound the yarn, I usually have a project or two in mind. And heaven forbid I have to try two or three (or more) times to get the right project for the yarn – that completely spoils the promise. But for that brief amount of time, when Saturday is all promise, before I settle in to whatever I’m doing… well that feeling is just wonderful. And it comes back every week.

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