Tuesday, January 15, 2008

You say “mess”, I say “creative process”

Oh yeah, knitting. I have been knitting. Remember knitting? It’s like this thing, where you take two sticks and some string and you make stuff?

After finishing two of the 5-hour baby sweaters over the last week (one in purple, one in red, both TLC yarn in deference to the charity organizations request for acrylic), I came home today to find a notice from Captain Adventure’s preschool teacher saying “blah blah maternity leave starting February 1…”

And I said, “Oh. My. Dawg.”

You know, the signs of someone who is about to have a baby are so subtle. Things like the bulging belly, the fact that the belly occasionally moves in ways that bellies do not ordinarily do, the way I have an almost irresistible urge to put my hand on the belly and offer free babysitting…they’re so easy to miss.

I can’t believe I was caught so off-guard by the fact that this baby is due, like, Now-Ish.

Now, some people who have this crazy feeling they must inflict their knitting on new arrivals would calmly go to their stash, pull out a well-filed skein of something machine washable and cast on a nice, sane little project. Something like, I dunno, another five hour baby sweater…which takes five hours, which even someone like me who is somewhat on the time-impaired scale of availability might have a prayer of finishing in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.

But really, where’s the fun in that?!

Instead, I bypassed the easily-found baby acrylic AND the well-filed patterns (I do, in fact, have AND KNOW THE LOCATION OF a binder set aside for exactly this purpose: easy to knit baby sweaters I like to make) and went for some old fashioned Creative Process instead.

Yes. Well. How to put the result…My bedroom looks as though a yarn truck exploded in it.

There are skeins and balls and oodles and pecks of yarn tumbled all over my bed. The needle case has regurgitated about 3/4 of its contents onto my pillow. There are half-done swatches abandoned in various piles all over my desk. Books flung open to half-remembered pages with patterns that Arachne herself couldn’t figure out (let alone without her glasses, and mine are AWOL) (seriously, they need to make those little numbers bigger on the gauge guides…is that a ‘6’, or an ‘8’…?), leaflets and patterns downloaded off the Internet commingling in the most shameful manner imaginable.

The splatter-zone created by my ‘creative process’ is impressive indeed.

And I can’t find the camera to document it.


But after five swatches and several frantic digs into the stash, I’ve finally settled on a project for the Impending Arrival: The Aran sweater from Knit Layettes for Little Darlings.

In a stunning display of my inability to keep track of just how much I can actually accomplish with “free time” (I know ‘free time’ is a myth, but I prefer the fantasy to the cold, hard realities of life) in a given day, I’ve decided to do not a simple pattern like the 5-hour baby sweater in a nice worsted on #10 US needles, but the slightly (just slightly) more complex Aran pattern in fingering weight yarn (Dale of Norway Baby Ull, which I think is slightly heavy for a ‘fingering’, but I’m getting perfect gauge with it so there you go), on #3 US needles that permit me to make approximately 1” for each hour worked on the front of this little sweater.

And instead of saying, “Hmm, you know, this might just not get done in time…” I’m saying, “Well, that’s OK – the back is just straight stockinette, and I’m a fast purl-er.” {WOOT WOOT WOOT, FIB ALERT, FIB ALERT, FIB ALERT!!!}


I really don’t think there’s any hope for me. But, undaunted by such things as scientific and/or historical evidence to the contrary, I’m insisting to myself that I can so totally have not only the sweater BUT the booties AND the cap done in less than two weeks.

I have exhausted myself with all this creativity and outside-of-the-box and also Grandly Optimistic thinking, and would very much like to go to bed now.

But I can’t find it.

It seems to have been replaced by a rather large pile of miscellaneous baby yarns and loose papers and…what the heck IS that thing, anyway…?


21stCenturyMom said...

I've been knitting, too. And dropping stitches and letting 1/2 a row fall off the needles and ripping everything out 3 rows in to a project and generally feeling like a failure. Good times!

Unknown said...

This is why I don't knit.

I crochet. (Insert smug wink) Which provides enough of an opportunity for the "creative process" thank-you-very-much.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Yippee! Another member of the Insane Optimists Club! I do love a person who denies reality with such charming conviction. Of course, you will somehow accomplish your mad goal, whilst I, in similar circumstances, would make a vain attempt to finish, only to then retreat to some dark corner to drink gallons of coffee and mutter dire imprecations upon my own head, because there ain't no way in heck I'd ever get that little job done. Yeah. That's how I work. Sad, no?

Anonymous said...

Uh. Yeah. I can totally relate to that. Just ignore the yarn shrapnel in the other room. :)

If it weren't for the last minute, these project would never get done!

Happy knitting.

MadMad said...

Do you suppose there is a crazy gene that is present in all people who become knitters? Must be, right? I suppose it's better than becoming an axe murderer, though... Good luck!