As much as I’d like to say that the knitting has been going great, I have to be honest here: it hasn’t. I seem to be stumbling upon simple roadblocks in every project I turn to, and the frustration is mounting. There is not a single work in progress around that hasn’t been set aside because of some error or setback. Except for my afghan, that is, so apparently crochet is smooth sailing for me while my knitting is out on rough seas.

Here’s the breakdown:

My Grapes of Wrap shawl hit a brick wall when I took it to knitting night a couple of weeks ago. Knitting while chatting with a boisterous group of knitters is a great thing, but choose your project carefully. I should know from past experience not to take something that needs more than a cursory amount of attention. While knitting, I somehow started doing the center grapevine motif off center, which isn’t very nice at all. I haven’t had the courage to rip back and fix it yet. Instead, a new project:

I started a pair of double-thick Malabrigo mittens over the weekend. They are my own attempt at mitten design, and as such are a work in progress. So far I love how the two colors work together to make a bright, cozy fabric. What I’m not loving, however, is the weird, pointy thumb.

Somehow the whole thing reminds me of a flipper, which is a common image for me with mittens anyhow. I’m pausing because I need to rework the thumb and haven’t had the motivation to do so. I think if I just rip back a few rows and re-knit without so many decreases it should be fine.

Lastly, I have been playing around with a star stitch motif that I saw on Ravelry some time ago. I thought it would make a great neck warmer out of Malabrigo, and I have one fat button waiting in the wings. I wanted to have it done by now so I could show off a finished object, but no such luck!

This is its third incarnation; first I knit a swatch to see if I liked the pattern. Then I cast on a narrower piece and knit several inches before deciding the motif would look better horizontally than vertically. Things were going well, then while knitting with a friend yesterday I got off track with the repeats. A little attention this morning seems to have taken care of the problem. Maybe I’ll finish this before the Olympics start after all!

So, that’s the reality of knitting, I suppose: it can be immensely fun and satisfying, and sometimes messy and frustrating. It’s all about how you handle knitting in the face of these adversities! I think it may speak to who we are as people how we react and relate to our hobbies.

What does it say about me, then, that I love knitting when everything is going well, yet as soon as I hit a snag I set it aside in favor of something simpler? Or is it not a grand statement at all? I go to knitting as an escape, a way to exert some control over my life while creating beautiful, usable things. I need it to be straightforward and pleasurable all the time. I am willing to face a challenge, but in my own time, when I am ready. If only life were like that!

Who are you as a knitter? How does knitting help you deal with your “real” life?

Lastly, I wanted to give a nod to a fantastic local yarn shop I visited earlier in the week. The Knitting Experience is a charming, well run shop in Brunswick, Maine. The owner, Chesley (rav link), greeted me with warmth, and we chatted easily about yarn, popular patterns, and the upcoming Ravelympics. It was good to be somewhere where the people spoke my language! If you have the opportunity to stop by, I would highly recommend it.

There were so many wonderful yarns to choose from, but in the end I went with my current love: Malabrigo worsted weight in Amoroso and Cuarzo.

2 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. You can make the top of the thumb match the flat top of the mitten by knitting it longer and kitchenering the last stitches! Love the color combo!
    I am with you about bringing simple knitting to knitting groups. I am there for the conversation, not production. Last week I swatched in stockinette!!! 😉

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