Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pictures and some griping

I've been working steadily on Hanami, but I'm at the point in a shawl when the purl rows seem everlasting, and the patterned rows go too quickly. I'm over halfway done, and I'm into the part that should go quickly because of the way the pattern is set up. The basketweave part involved doing one chart seven times. Now I'm at the part where there are six charts, each to be done once. I'm the sort of person for whom finishing something is a bit of an incentive, so this is the sort of thing that should keep me moving, right? Like, get through 30 rows, finish a chart! Another 30 rows, and I've finished a chart! The sheer joy of getting through the charts is the sort of thing that usually keeps me moving.

But it's not. I can't tell if it's because the yarn is a bit darker than I had envisioned (I keep thinking it's winter colors, instead of the summery colors I had in mind), or because it's narrower than I'd envisioned, and I'm not sure if it'll block out as big as I think it should.

You can see that I've started the falling cherry blossoms part of the stole, and I'm thinking that it'll probably go faster, especially right now, when there's so much plain old knitting between yos and k2togs. But the more I knit, the less I have (or is this black hole phenomenon just me?). I keep slogging at it, though, because I'm afraid that if I put it down, it'll be years before I pick it up again (don't laugh, this has happened with at least two other big shawl projects).

It could also be that I have startitis. I actually ordered some sock yarn today, so that I can knit Millicent for my older daughter for starting school (I love these socks with a fairly unreasonable passion, but knee-highs just aren't my thing -- navy blue knee-highs are, however, perfect with her uniform). I also am realizing that I really like triangle shawls rather than stoles, at least to knit. I'm a bit on the short side to wear them well; I tend to look even wider than usual. But there's something about knitting triangles that's satisfying.

Maybe it's that the pattern on Hanami isn't showing up quite as clearly as I'd envisioned; I'm hoping that blocking it will really increase the distinction between the positive and negative spaces on this one (blocking as miracle worker, part 368).

Maybe it's because I really want to start on Bianca's Jacket, from last fall's Interweave Knits. I even have the yarn, which I picked up months ago on big sale, and am looking forward to using (it's a beautiful linen blend). See?

Or, I could allow myself to be distracted into finishing yet another UFO that I haven't copped to yet, the glorious Anemoi Mittens:
I started these in December after I'd finished the girls' mittens, when we were going to Tahoe for Christmas. We got back from Tahoe, and I'd finished just this much. Have I mentioned that we live in north San Diego county? And that we're in a drought year? I have not been particularly inspired to knit mittens. Usually, I'm more of a texture (cables and lace) than a color person in any case (this is true in my taste for visual art of all sorts, and, in many ways, musical art, if music can be spoken of this way), but this colorwork has texture, if you know what I mean. It reminds me a little bit of Maori tattoos, which I think are amazing. I'm grappling now with deciding whether to actually finish these as mittens, or whether to wrap this one up (this is almost the end of the patterned part), and make them fingerless mitts. I actually do wear fingerless mitts around here in the winter when I'm doing things outside, or walking the dog on a cold morning, so I'd probably use them more that way. What do y'all think?

Meanwhile, this dithering while not producing is carrying over in the rest of my life, too, or the rest of my life is affecting my knitting, which is more likely; when I feel this overwhelmed, I tend to go the escape-into-a-book route. I have two big projects to finish up for work, as well as a brand-new class to develop, and I'd hoped to have them done before we leave for Michigan at the beginning of August (cue insane laughter). However, I cannot seem to settle down. I wrote over 1,000 words on my paper this morning, but I know that things are desperate when I'm actually paying attention to word count this way; usually I just write what needs to be written, and don't worry about the length. This, however, is a co-authored chapter that's coming out of a paper I presented almost two years ago, and I just can't seem to get my head into it. And, with a co-author, I feel even more obliged to be actually producing something, which makes the non-productiveness worse. Maybe I'll go read some more relevant articles written by someone else and try to get inspired.

It doesn't help that I got a difficult call from a friend this morning, about something that happened with my daughter. DD acted up, but after hearing my friend tell the story I can't help but feel that she was goaded to some degree (not OK to act up, but worth noting, and I think that's why my friend told me the story), and I can't decide how to handle it. It has definitely given me that horrible, sick, something's not quite right feeling of dread in my stomach, and even a walk with the dog hasn't quite dispelled it. It also doesn't help that I got my sale books from Interweave Knits today (much earlier than expected):
and I'd really rather be reading A History of Hand Knitting than writing a paper on the gendering of border studies. Is that a bad sign?

I promise, less griping and more knitting next time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh! Bianca's jacket! It's perfect as visualized in your blue linen. I hadn't seen it before. I'm in love! Perfect. Never mind Brooklyntweed's tomten I saw yesterday that I now want to make for DH. Rats, why am I a slow knitter!

YES, music can be thought of as textural art. That's why Mark O'Connor is so fantastic to listen to. He knows how to layer his music with texture. I love his fine ability to seamlessly weave between classic, bluegrass,and/or jazz, unlike most players who are unable to move easily between musical genres.