I don't know about you all, but I find that sometimes I have to sneak up on things that I think of as hard. Attack them from the side, as it were. Generally what happens is that I'm going along, making plans to do one thing, while all along some back part of my brain is slyly making alternative plans and just when I think I know what I'm doing and where I'm going, bam, there I am doing something else.
This, I think, is how I got myself into spinning, for example. It was only after I'd started that I realized that I'd been wanting to learn to spin far longer than any other fibrous activity, but that I didn't know what I'd do with all that yarn. So I learned how to knit, and now I have lots of reasons to have that much yarn, right? (See last post.) Excellent example of the sideways attack. (And thinking about it now, this is how I became a linguist; there I was, going along, planning to become a trial lawyer (!!), when I took one class in linguistics and found myself getting a Ph.D. in the subject. Man, was that a shocker.)
My latest project is another case in point. Remember how I was saying just a few days ago that I was considering knitting the Sunrise Circle Jacket (Ravelry link) for myself? And that I was thinking of doing that because I doing my best to avoid knitting of a sweater of my own devising? And that I have the yarn and everything? Well, that was my intent. Truly it was.
Which is apparently why I'm busily knitting the Big Thaw Pullover from the Fall 2008 Knitscene for Rick. Oops.
See what I mean? It turns out (and I know this) that I am a wee bit afraid of knitting sweaters. I will merrily sign on to knit 1400 yards of laceweight in patterns of surpassing complexity without batting an eye, but suggest to me that I might think about knitting a (gasp) cardigan and I curl up in a small ball and try to look inconspicuous. Sweaters have pieces. Lots of pieces. And, perhaps more daunting, when it comes to sweaters, gauge matters. I mean, I know that gauge matters with lace, too, but the relative risk of a gauge error is less. How many people have you heard say that they can't wear that lace shawl because it doesn't fit? Not many.
Even socks and mitts don't carry quite the same pressure. I mean yes, things can go awry should gauge get misjudged, but assuming that one is paying attention, it usually becomes obvious that one is knitting elephant socks fairly rapidly. And frogging a sock is somehow much less traumatic for me (ymmv) than frogging a whole sweater (anyone remember the angst I dragged everyone through when I was deciding to frog Kauni almost exactly a year ago? No? Good, I'm glad the therapy is working...).
So sweaters are my personal Everest. Big, daunting, requiring a huge run-up before the actual leap. In fact, it's better if I don't even realize that I'm taking that leap until I'm already on the way over the edge (this life strategy may be, come to think of it, why I'm afraid of exposed heights; what if I jump because it seems like an interesting thing to do and only on the way down realize what a really bad idea that was?). And knitting a sweater for Rick is, frankly, even more of a commitment than knitting one for, say, Younger Daughter. He is, after all, 6'6". He has the wingspan of a condor. To date, I have knitted him socks, mitts, and a vest; note the strategic choice of a vest -- no sleeves (hey, I'm not stupid). But now I'm committed.
(I heard that.)
As evidence of exactly how long I can sneak up sideways on a project like this, I am knitting this sweater with the yarn I bought some time ago at the giant sale at Common Threads. Yarn that I bought with this sweater in mind. So clearly my backbrain has been working on bringing me up to the gate on this one for a while. I am in love with this yarn, by the way. It may be the only cotton I have ever loved. It's Blue Sky Cotton, in a lovely chocolate brown (the Toffee colorway on that page), and I'm glad I love it, since I'm clearly going to be living with it for a while.
In the meantime, I finished the socks that I was knitting for Anna. I took one bad picture (it was nighttime) before giving them to her, which I haven't uploaded yet so you can't see it, but I'll ask her if she can take a picture of them on her feet to share with us. I think that they turned out well, and Anna seemed happy to get them (but she's a nice person, so she might have been faking it). I think I mentioned how happy I am with the yarn (Lime and Violet's Intentions yarn that I got at The Loopy Ewe); I have some left over and I can't wait to knit with it again.
Other than that, I have something else on the needles that I can't post about since I think that the person I'm knitting it for might read the blog from time to time, and I don't want to ruin the surprise. I'll be knitting that whenever I need a break from feeling overwhelmed by knitting a sweater whose yoke is supposed to be almost 28 inches across (!!). Or by wondering what else my brain might be sneaking up on sideways while I'm distracted by this project (a terrifying prospect). Maybe what I really need is a single-malt scotch.