Sunday, February 28, 2010

Where's the fun?

Joining the Knitting Olympics was a baaaaaaaaaaad idea, and here's why. In the next two weeks I have the following:

1. My dad's birthday (today, in fact!) for which I am making a dinosaur cake;
2. My family reunion of which I am one of the organisers;
3. A sudden influx of relatives from interstate (all Felix's family, in fact);
4. The most important event: Marcus' christening, which I have yet to finish the shawl for.

The end result of this is that I've been putting unrealistic deadlines on my knitting. Skew socks in two weeks? Easy! It would have been too, had I not also been making my Da's birthday present, his birthday cake and making up 22 invitations to be sent out.

See? Too busy.

I've been spending very spare minute trying to catch up on the socks until Friday when I discovered that I couldn't carry my baby anymore. Felix stayed home from work and has taken complete care of Marcus over the weekend while I inhale Voltaren and Mersyndol for a back that has "soft tissue damage", also known as "Ow! Smeg it!". (This is an opportune moment to mention how wonderful Felix is. I haven't changed a nappy for almost three days now - thanks honey!).

Friday was an epiphany. Why do I do this to myself? Why do we all do it? Self-imposed goals, deadlines in fact, where we rush through the knitting, working almost as automatons, stitch after stitch, row after row, "I've got to finish this so I can get started on that thing for So-and-So's birthday!". It's taking all the fun out of my knitting, which is why I think I'm slowing down so much. I also don't think it helps that I knit automatically, which is a great help of plain knitting at the movies, but not very (I suppose) mindful.

I want my knitted gifts to be filled with the love and joy of the knitting itself, not the stress and pressure that I felt under to finish them on time. How often have I spent getting up extra early on the day of someone's birthday just to finish the present in time? How often have I tried to calculate just how long another 20 rows will take to knit? How long before I stop feeling guilty about the presents I didn't finish, and ran out and bought a meaningless present to replace, the kind you just grab off a shelf with no thought, because all of my thoughts went into the knitting, but there just wasn't enough time?

I'm quitting deadlines. If I knit something from now on, it'll be because I want to knit it. It will be because I like the juxtaposition of the yarn and stitch pattern. If it ends up as someone's present, great, but no more pressure. I have enough pressure from the rest of my life without my "relaxing hobby" adding more.

Now to justify the pressure I'm piling onto myself over the next two weeks for the christening shaw

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Knitting Olympics - Day 1 Results

Whilst the Yarn Harlot may advocate the use of caffeine and chocolate, here at Let Me Knit! we highly encourage the use of other stimulants to get through the Knitting Olympics. Did you know that three apple juice icy poles crushed up with vodka tastes really good?

Anyway, I cast on the Skew sock thinking how this would be a major challenge. It is a complex pattern, but once you get down to brass tacks, it's just beautiful. The use of left and right leaning decreases makes me smile and I try and explain the brilliance of it to non-sock-knitters (my mum and my husband) but they don't understand why it's so much fun.

I'm using a fantastic yarn that Chantal gave me as a present, the occasion being that she thought I'd like it (understatement!), and with a name like "Snow White and the Seven Stitches" I really do love it. See? It's the same colours as Disney's Snow White. How cool is that? It's made by Biscotte and Cie and you might like to look at her beautiful sock yarn. Amazing stuff and I'm tempted by the Nemo yarn...

My brilliant plan to not let Felix tell me off for putting myself under this amount of pressure failed last night when he asked me what I was knitting and I told him. He doesn't "particularly mind". So much for the secrecy part of the plan. But if I hadn't told him, then I wouldn't have managed this picture:

Squishie is a bit unsure about how to knit a sock with a single circular, but we think he'll figure it out.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Good heavens, what have I done?!

I'm making my father's birthday present, due on February 28th. I'd tell you all what it is, but he reads my blog so I'm not falling for that again (suffer Da!). I'm also knitting a lace shawl for Squishie's christening on March 14th - just started row 171, only 10 to go before the border, so yay for me there. This is an awfully huge amount of work, and I have schedules and notes on how much I can fit into each day to get it all done in time.

Considering all of the above, would anyone care to tell me what on earth possessed me to sign up for KO2010?

I'm knitting these by February 28th. I'm using the beautiful Snow White and the Seven Stitches that Chantal gave me for a present (Enabler, I curse thee!) and the instructions look nice and hard.

How could I be so stupid? I saw the Knitty surprise pattern and swore to make them for the Knitting Olympics because Chantal and I had been discussing them today. I laughed and said no chance would I be knitting anything, I have enough on... oh, b****r.

My one consolation is that Felix won't know. I don't think he reads the blog unless I point it out to him as a particular posting...oooo, I hope he doesn't find out! Knitting at 5am it is then.

A brief announcement - we moved the actual christening to the 11th of April, so I have a slight respite! Phew! I'm still an idiot, though.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Sleep? Bah - for the weak only!

It's almost half past one in the morning and I'm posting. As someone with a newish baby, you're probably all thinking "Ah, the baby is awake so Andrea's awake. Poor thing."... No such luck. Marcus slumbers blissfully, as does his father. I am unable to deal with stereo snoring, hence the very early knitting.

Oh, yes, I'm still knitting. I'd post about it but daily updates of "Yay! Another row accomplished!" really didn't thrill me, and so I have left my blog in relative peace.

The christening shawl is now up to row 154, another section involving double yarn overs (I love the size of the hole because it's just so huge!) and then it's on to the very last chart - hu-bloody-zzah. It's getting hard to put goodwill into this knit sometimes, but I persevere. The best time for knitting is just after dinner during our evening episode of "Castle", but we're almost out so I suspect that we'll be forced to find another series to fill in the evening. I suspect a re-watch of "Firefly" beckons, if we could just remember who borrowed it last...

Oh, and for Sonia.

Marcus got chubbier.