Hi, my name is Robyn and I am a compulsive project starter. Nothing in life excites me more that the idea of starting a new project. Unfortunately, that is where my enthusiasm seems to end. I am horrible at finishing all of the projects that I love to start. This week I started four new knitting and crochet projects even though I already had several projects on the needles. I cast-on, get a little way into the project, and then I start looking for a new pattern or design to work on. It's not that I don't care about the projects; I always experience guilt when I toss a project aside for something bigger and better, but the guilt is not enough to stop my project cheating ways. This isn't just a knitting problem, but for the sake of simplicity and my sanity I am going to try and just address the problem how it relates to my knitting and maybe I will be able to apply the solutions to other areas of my life.
My first step is to take an inventory of my outstanding projects that I want to complete.
1. Sweater- 20% finished
2. Bamboo Ballerina- 25% finished
3. Brimmed tam- done!
4. Chinese charm bag- 95% complete
5. skull tote- 50% complete
Next, I need to come up with a plan to get these projects finished and out of my life. The problem I have with all of these projects (excluding the sweater) is that I became bored and thus detached myself from them. To remedy this problem and to try to get them out of my life as soon as possible I came up with a plan- I am going to knit 4 rows on each of these projects every day until they are all complete. Within 3 weeks all of these projects (excluding the sweater) will be out of my life and I can move on to bigger and better things. I am also making a rule that I can only start one new project per week until I really start getting things done.
On that note, today I finished this hat for my friend Chelsea. I actually finished crocheting the hat a few days ago, but I put off weaving in the ends until today.
For the past couple of months I have been making slow progress on my first sweater. Okay, it's not technically my first sweater, it's my third, but it is going to be the first one that gets worn with any regularity. When I started the sweater, I knew that it wouldn't be finished in time for me to wear this winter which was fine. The yarn for the sweater was not only bought locally, but the fibers were grown and spun within 100 miles of my home. This means that my sweater is socially and envirionmentally responsible (and you though it was just a sweater.)
Before knitting one stitch on the sweater, I sat down and figured out everything I want and everything I don't want in a sweater. My sweater taste is pretty specific. I don't like patterns, textures, or colorwork in my sweaters which makes knitting a sweater for myself a pretty boring task- mile and miles of Stockinette stitch. I decided that if I was going to knit such a boring garment I would add a few techniques to make it more interesting. I sketched out my sweater and added set-in sleeves, something I have never tried, and some short row shaping in the bust since I am a busy girl. After my sketch I spent two nights swatching; I wanted my fabric to have the perfect density. Once I decided on my gauge I started doing the calculations and finally cast on for my sweater. I started working the front and back pieces at the same time, but that quickly grew annoying so I started just working on the front and put the back in a bag with the yarn. This might have been a mistake because when I was ready to work on the back the bag was gone. I looked all over my house and I couldn't find it anywhere. Three weeks ago, when I was packing to go to Norfolk, I found the bag so I am back on track.
The sweater design is based on a favorite sweater that Philip accidentally destroyed last year and I am really hoping that it will be my new favorite sweater that I wear all winter long.
Fido and after some quick shopping headed over to the Frist for the Mexican printmaking show. The show was great, but there were way too many lithographs for my taste. After the museum we made dinner and these awesome almond rolls. We spent the rest of the evening watching TV in our sugartose states.
Monday I flew to Norfolk and I managed to knit these hand warmers out of Blue Sky organic cotton. They are samples for the project I am doing for the organic and sustainable knitting class I am teaching at Wild Oats this month. They are just garter stitch rectangles that are sewn together with a hole for the thumb. I figure these are a little more gratifying for a new knitter than a garter stitch scarf, plus they are a great way to practice seaming.
Tuesday the temperature in Norfolk dropped and I nearly froze to death on my walk to work. I have been watching the weather and it had been so warm here that I decided to forgo packing my scarves, hats, gloves, and coat. The only things I brought are my jacket and legwarmers. Additionally, I only brought one pair of work pants and a bunch of skirts to wear to work while I am here. Luckily, I did bring the one thing I never leave home without- yarn. Last night I knitted up theCalorimetry from the winter Knitty. I had to adjust the pattern because my gauge was off and since I didn’t bring a bunch of needles I had to make the pattern work with the tools I had. I am really happy with the result and though my legs were still cold, my ears stayed nice and warm. I made some matching fingerless gloves a few days later, but the weather warmed up. I forgot to photograph the calorimetry so to avoid another day delay on this entry I am posting without.
On the plane to Norfolk, I finished knitting the daisy dish towel from KnitScene. The pattern is free on their site. I finished the embroidery on the towel last weekend. Then, with the leftover yarn I knitted the ballband dishcloth from Mason Dixon Knitting. These are for a housewarming package that Philip and I are planning for his brother who just moved to
My next project was a crochet tam with a bill. I started this with a pattern since I am really trying to learn to crochet properly, but ended up going freestyle when I found some mistakes in the pattern. It still isn’t perfect, but I have a better idea of what to do in the future.
1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I am going through a cotton phase, maybe in anticipation of the warm months ahead or maybe just because the soft fibers make me feel happy. Either way, my current favorite cotton is Blue Sky organic and dyed cottons.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
In baskets, in bags, on tables, in drawers- pretty much all over my house.
3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned to knit in college from a book. I always classify myself as intermediate, but at this point the only thing that scares me is steeking so I might actually be advanced.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have an Amazon wishlist here.
5. What's your favorite scent?
I like Nag Champa and other muskier scents. I have recently become overly sensitive to fruity scents so I really don’t like those.
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I do have a sweet tooth, but not really for candy. I don’t like chocolate very much, but other than that everything is fair game.
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I got a spinning wheel for Christmas so yes, I do spin. I also like to sew, crochet, and repair old furniture.
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I don’t know why I have so much trouble with this question, but I always struggle to find a concise answer. Right now I am listening to a lot of 1960’s French and German pop. I love the yé-yé girl scene.
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
My favorite color changes daily, but I can tell you that I prefer richer, more saturated colors. I hate any color that is created by blending pink and yellow (i.e. peach, salmon.) Right now I am really loving turquoise, brown, and pink.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married and live with the coolest doggie in the world.
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, well not ponchos.
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Hats and silly things that have no use.
13. What are you knitting right now?
A bamboo tank top, a sweater for next winter, and a pair of socks. I am also crocheting a few tams.
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
It depends on what I am knitting. I love my Addi and
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Both and they rock!!
17. How old is your oldest UFO?
I hate this question because it makes me realize how many unfinished projects I have in my life. Let’s just say old.
18. What is your favorite holiday?
19. Is there anything that you collect?
Tiki, vintage cookbooks (1950-1969,) pin-ups, and old craft books.
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don’t have any knitting magazine subscriptions. I have yet to find a magazine that doesn’t have dud issues so I just buy what I like when they come out. Saying that, I am pretty impressed with KnitScene and if I was going to subscribe to a magazine it would be Interweave.
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I would like to learn Irish Cottage Knitting, but have yet to find a resource.
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
23. When is your birthday?
The tamales took about 1 hour and 15 minutes to steam fresh so we are guessing the frozen ones will need to steam for about 2 hours; not exactly a quick meal, but mindless. The filling was excellent, but we will probably simplify for the future batches. You could really get away with using anything with a thick chili-like consistency- we are going to try a few tomato and pepper variations over the course of the next few months. For dipping sauce we went with red salsa and salsa verde. Yummy!!