Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Post of shame.

Knitters-with-a-capital-K often confess to having a "problem" with knitterly fidelity.

Those of us who have a real obsession with yarn are seldom monogamous to one piece of stitchery. Like so many people with obsessive-compulsive challenges, we like to spread ourselves around a little. (Ok, a LOT.) We tend to have a few things on the go at once. You know, just in case we get a little bored with one thing... we can always trade projects for something different, until the interest in the first item is piqued again.

Ahem. Do I sound a little too much like Tiger Woods?


'Tis true, dear readers.

My name is Candygirlflies, and I have A Problem.

I? Am a Knitwit.

My friend Lynn and I were chatting today, as I browsed around her beautiful yarn store, exploring all the new arrivals, and laying my hands on all of the softest, most enticing fibres.

"You looking for anything in particular?" asked my dear friend (who, as it turns out, actually qualifies as a Pusher, as well as my Supplier).

"Nope," I freely replied, "I'm just here to make myself feel good."

Okay. So, feeling up yarn makes me feel better about myself. So what? Is that such a crime??

I was beginning to feel slightly less ecstatic, as the realization sank in.

I spend a LOT of time in the yarn shop these days. Hell, I've got the stash to prove it. And, it was Lynn-- not I-- who took a trip to sunny Florida this year.

However, I've also got the warm, handmade GARMENTS to prove it. So do many of my friends and relatives, for that matter. It can't be ALL naughtiness, can it?? Even my husband sports a wide, woolly scarf, as he huddles in the wind-tunnel every morning, awaiting his train to work. And, as a child of the sixties who was forced to wear MACRAME, he still wrestles with a personal demon who opposes draping oneself in handicrafts. (This winter was particularly bleak. Warmth won out for a few brief and shining moments. BUT. He still refuses to sport the hat.)

"What's on YOUR needles these days?" I quizzed my friend, not-so-innocently.

"I just cast on a cardigan this morning," replied Lynn, with a humourously guilty look in her eyes. The snort of laughter that followed this statement confirmed what I had hoped: Lynn was not a one-project-woman, either. How could she possibly be, with such a heavenly, wall-to-wall assortment of constant temptation??

So. I decided, then and there, that we would make a pact: no more yarn, until the stuff that's on the needles is DONE.

Okay, MOSTLY done.

(Hell, I'm human, after all. And, I've got the legal documents to prove it.)

Here's the plan: I'm going to confess my "sins" publicly, here... "air out my stash baskets". The big ones, anyway. Okay. The WINTER-SPRING baskets. The ones I keep at my bedside, and by the arm of the livingroom sofa. (The basement stash is still too embarrassing.)

Here's what I'm currently working on:

-a beautiful, soft merino hat for my dear old dad. I found this pattern on the Yarn Harlot's website (oh, Stephanie, how I love thee!!), and I've been whipping up quite a few of them. They're quick, they're a "no-brainer" that can be completed accurately during even the most exciting and engrossing movie, and they're portable. Great for the car, whilst waiting outside of schools for children to emerge. Dad's off to Scotland in a few days, so I'd better get cracking, and put this in the mail.

-a lovely, wavy ribbon-scarf for my mum. It's a birthday present, so SSSSSHHHH. Her birthday's this weekend, so it's a good thing this one is only 6 stitches long, and goes quickly. She's going to look fantastic in it.

-a tam-style hat. I hate this hat. I started it in November, and I just can't get past this point. Argh. Child Number One has expressed an interest in wearing it, but on the condition that it's done before June.

-an entrelac scarf. This was a good idea at the time: I was feeling fleetingly frugal, and decided that this would be an excellent way to use up all my lovely ends of Noro Silk Garden. Unfortunately, in order to knit entrelac, you have to count. Accurately. Turns out, when I'm in the middle of writing an enormous academic paper, the last damn thing I want to do before I pass out at night is COUNT. And, accuracy isn't my strong-point, either.

-a Debbie Bliss swing coat. This? Will be fantastic for Spring. It will be my nouveau-poncho. I have too many ponchos, and I wore them hunkered down in front of my computer all winter. I need to free myself from the confines of the poncho, and swing outdoors in this new coat!! Hopefully, Debbie will forgive me for using my favourite Diamond merino, instead of her name brand. (Tough luck, Ms. Bliss-- Diamond's cheaper, where I come from!!) The pattern is great, but I don't usually tend to knit stuff in pieces... I wish I could have done this as a sort of neck-down project, in the round. I'm just praying that I'll have the wherewithal to actually sew the damn thing together once I'm finished the endless reams of purple garter stitching.

-another coat. This one is truly shameful. My mother bought a kit for me to do up, nearly two and a half years ago. I promised I would make it for her. I promptly and heedlessly knit the two front pieces-- in two different sizes. I have a horror of having to completely rip out the second piece, and begin all over again. This project sits at the top of my basket at all times, and I swear the enormous balls of Marble yarn TAUNT ME whenever I look at them. The prospect of attacking this sweater makes me want to scream with frustration and tear out all of my hair, as a punishment for my hubris and general stupidity. But, because I am who I am, and of guilt-ridden Scottish descent, I cannot bring myself to confess my sins to my mother. I can't even bring myself to snip it to pieces with my sharpest scissors, and then flush all evidence down the toilet. I fear that I will still be dreading this project on my death bed.

-socks. I need some. Great for pulling out of my purse and knitting while waiting in loooong grocery line-ups, traffic jams and doctors' offices. Also perfect for hiding under the table during interminable meetings at school.

-a top-down sweater for Wee Three. At Christmastime, Wee Three decided that she no longer LIKES to wear pull overs. Sigh. It's a woman's prerogative, I guess, even if she IS only six... I might just rip this one out.

-a log cabin blanket. This one's crochet. So, technically, it doesn't count. People have been sneaking around and using it, and the unfastened row of stitches has been steadily unravelling. This is a problem. The other problem is, my idea for deciding when it would be finished was when I ran out of yarn. I keep going out and buying more yarn, so this thing might not get done until I'm completely bankrupt.

-a cotton shrug. I bought this kit, and my best-knitterly-friend bought one, too. We had a race to see who would finish first. Guess who lost?

-a short-sleeved summer sweater. I must put this on a round needle and get it done before it's wintertime again.

-a long-sleeved summer cardigan. Luckily, because of the long-sleeve factor, it really doesn't matter which season it's ready for. So long as I'm still breathing by the time it gets done.

God, that was shameful. Thank you for your fortitude.

Now-- do me a favour. If any of you catch me within five blocks of a yarn store, please grab the largest metal object you can find and whack me on the back of the head with it.

At least then I won't have to rip out my mother's sweater.


Lynn One, Purl Two said...

I just laughed out loud.


My version of this post would go on for DAYS! I dare not do that to you... but I should start offering tours of my yarn-filled house to make people like you feel better.

Good luck with that mountain of projects!

Yours truly,

Yarn Pusher

merinz said...

Oh boy - you are a lost cause! BUT at least you have started many of your projects, mine remain as intact balls of wool!

But I also have the equivalent in stashes of fabric and quilting kits just waiting to be actioned.

So many projects and so little time..............

Nan Sheppard said...

Ooooh... I have a deep and abiding love for anything knitted, but I haven't knitted since I was a teenager :( Maybe one day!

When I was in NYC the other day I went to the Folk Art Museum, and they had lots of quilts and stitched, woven and knitted things. Bliss!

Candygirlflies said...

I do indeed have a problem!! But, now that YOU all know about (some of)it, I'm really trying to get (some of) it under control!!!

Yesterday, I finished the ribbon scarf, and packaged it all up-- am going to knit till my hands drop off today, and complete the merino hat for my dad, so I can mail them both together.

I also finished a beautiful felted bag that I've been working on... That one was not part of my confessional, as it was lurking in a different stash basket (yes, the problem is actually MUCH LARGER than I admitted... Lynn, you need to see my basement. It is not to be believed. Yarn-- AND FABRIC.) The bag felted beautifully, once I had woven in all the damned ends of the stripes I knitted. Sewed on some gorg-e-o-so bamboo handles, and it's all set to be a birthday present for a dear friend.

The post office isn't going to know what hit them today!!

xoxo CGF

Anonymous said...

lol I had no idea that you had that many things on the go!! lol you hide it well! I LOVE the entrelac scarf :) I want to make that next! With Noro yarn like yours I think because it looks so pretty with the colours! I won't get to wear it until next winter but thats ok :p



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