We all (well, most of us) have a variety of projects on the needles. Some of them we knit away at like there is no tomorrow. Some of them linger in project bags in the back of the closet for months on end and will never be finished. Is that such a bad thing? To the non-knitter, this may seem like a foolish thing! Why invest the time and energy into something that won’t be complete for over a year? Why have one sock done and only half of the other? Why have a sweater that sits in the closet calling you a bitch every time you walk by?
Because we simply enjoy the process of knitting, ya nut, and one day, they’ll be finished!
Who doesn’t love looking at a pattern and having the lightbulb in your brain go off when you realize you have the perfect yarn!? Better yet, shopping in a local yarn store and finding the perfect yarn to go with a pattern you’ve been wanting to knit for ages! It feels good! Suddenly instead of wondering, what am I going to knit next?” you can see the light! Everything is clear to you! (For our reference, we can call this the ‘Ohhh shiney!’ Stage)
You happily wind your yarn, track down the pattern, and cast on with a smile. Who cares if it takes you eight tries to get the set up rows done, or that you have to cast on 380 stitches? You are starting out on a new adventure with your trusty sticks and string! After a few rows you can start to see how well the yarn works with the pattern and you can sit back and marvel at your knitting prowess. You can pat yourself on the back and give yourself high fives because you’re so freaking great, the pattern is freaking great, and so is the yarn. (Let’s consider this the Honeymoon Stage, shall we?)
Then everything starts to mellow out. People can talk to you while you knit on the project. You don’t have to highlight the box in the chart where you left off because you can just look at it and know where you are. You’ve taken pictures and gotten a Project Page started on Ravelry, you’ve managed to put the needles down long enough for a blog post or two about it and everything seems pretty hunkey-dorey. You still get miffed when you forget to pack up your project bag when you leave the house, and it’s the first thing you reach for when you have nothing to do. (We can call this the Cruise Control Stage, I do think)
It’s nice when projects end while you are in the Cruise Control Stage, isn’t it? You’re still in love with every stitch you make. Binding off isn’t a drag – it’s a moment of joy! You can call your knitting friends and proudly proclaim that you are done with it! They’ll say, “OMG, no way! You just started that like two weeks ago!” And you’ll say “OMG, yes way!” When knitting goes this well, you deserve a medal.
Because often times, the Cruise Control Stage turns into the dreaded Slog Along Stage. Sure, you still love the yarn, and the pattern is still pretty, but you really don’t feel that ooeey-gooey-god-I-love-this-project feeling anymore. It’s safe to admit that at this point, you see your project bag sitting on the table ready to go to work with you and you don’t even bother putting it in the car in the hopes you’ll have time to knit on it. You may pull the project out to knit on while you endure re-runs of “Cake Boss”, but you’re certainly not going to risk missing a moment of Eric Northman’s naked arse on True Blood to knit on it. Oh no. The project bag it sits in slowly moves into your craft room, rather than in the living room. There is no amount of “Ohhh shiney” left. The Cruise Control button is broken. The Honeymoon is officially over.
A few months from now you’ll remember the project. Maybe you’ll knit on it for a bit, maybe not. Maybe you’ll see the other various project bags laying around in your craft room. And while you may close the door and go back to your kitchen to eat a brownie, there’s a little spark in your brain telling you that you need to just get it over with and finish all of those lonely projects! The half of a sock deserves to be a finished sock! Your sweater deserves a cuff, and your mittens will be finished with just some easy little thumbs! You walk back to the craft room and decide that the time has come to finish the damned things. Suddenly, you begin to feel that ‘Ohhhh Shiney!’ feeling and you get excited about having some finished mittens to go with your hat! You remember how cold your feet get at night and how warm they will be with the socks you’re going to finish off, and how your morning coffee is going to be even better wearing a toasty warm sweater!
Do you love these projects any less? Does finishing them two years after the fact bring you less joy than it would have if you had finished them off right away?
HECK NO!! Finished is finished, regardless of how long (or not) it took you to knit something!
You enjoyed knitting these items! Even when you wanted to burn the splitty yarn, or shred the poorly written pattern, you still enjoyed the process. Watching your shawl grow larger every day made you want to keep on knitting. The comfort that row after row of mindless stockinette in the round brought you made the stress of the day melt away. Managing to close up the toe of a sock without having to re-kitchner it about 5 times made you feel as if you had climbed Mount Everest, even if it took you 8 months and 14 days to get to that point.
With that, I am happy to report, and Zonda can be my witness that my Creature Comforts Cardigan is complete. I’d have pictures to share, but it’s been raining and crappy which makes for a bad photo shoot. I’ve only got four rows to go on the Pink Lemonade Shawl, and I’ve been dying yarn like a crazy woman.
Yes, I’ll keep you posted on when my Etsy shop opens. 🙂