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