Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Look Back, Look Forward

I’ve been really absent-minded lately. I completely spaced out going to a work meeting out of the office Monday morning, even though I’d been reminded of it on Saturday. I sent a work email to the wrong person (hey, their last names are very similar). I haven’t remembered to renew my New England Wild Flower Society membership nor my Dragonfly Society of the Americas membership. I meant to vacuum this past weekend (and if you believe that…). I forgot to tell you yesterday that one of my co-workers has just announced she’s expecting her first child in August; I ordered yarn already for a baby blanket, but I forgot to tell you about that.

In fact, I forgot that I’ve been blogging for more than a year already!

I thought I had started last April, with
Flashing My Stash. But no, in fact I had started several weeks prior to that. So, happy blogiversary to me!

And that means it’s time to assess the past year, to say thanks and blow kisses to all my knitting companions [really, thank you! smooch, smooch, all of you!], and to resolve to do better, whatever that means, next year.

Yeah, right.

Well, actually, I am accomplishing some of my goals for this year. I have turned the heel on my first sock.

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It even fits, so far!

I have cut down on my driving and my electricity usage. I've read seven non-knitting books, been to three cultural events (OK, one was a quilting and weaving exhibit, but it was in a gallery, so that counts, right?), I've been knitting away on hats for the homeless, I'm getting there on all sorts of goals.

But in looking over the past year, I've discovered something about myself. According to this blog, I started 30 knitting projects in the past year (we'll just skip the spinning stuff for now). I finished 27 projects, 22 of which were for others (presents, knitting for charity). Not bad, you say? Well, of the 27 projects I finished, eleven were hats for Afghans for Afghans, the vast majority of which I had knit before I started blogging. So, we're down to 16 projects finished last year, eleven of which were for others.

What happened to the projects I didn't finish? Well, some were too small.

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Some were too big.

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I may have turned the heel on this sock, but it definitely doesn't fit me.

Some weren't turning out the way I envisioned. For example, when I knit this yarn to its listed gauge, the resulting fabric is too flimsy for what I have in mind.

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This afghan-like thing is supposed to turn into a felted rug, but I think the stripes are too wide, too contrasting, and lack subtlety for the look I was seeking.

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That's supposed to look like this:

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I started a Lizard Ridge with Noro Kureyon and my hand-spun, but my hand-spun was a good bit thicker than the Kureyon and I didn't like the effect. This needs to be either all Kureyon, as the pattern specifies, or all hand-spun.

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Some had minor boo-boos that I put aside so I could fix later, but I never got back to them.

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Some need real thought applied, before I can proceed. This was designed as a tank, but I want to add sleeves.

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Interesting, isn't it? Apparently, I am easily stymied by little obstacles along the way.

I also discovered this year that I love being obsessed. I loved going to Rhinebeck and meeting Knittyheads at WEBS and learning to spin and hoarding yarn and making lists of projects to knit and reading everyone's blogs. Sure, I'd love to be the sort of knitter who finishes everything, or one who writes beautifully, or at least consistently, a blogger whom everyone reads, a knitting designer of extraordinary work, someone of note. But I'm not of note, I'm just me. I can tell that, to get 'better' at any of this, I'd have to devote much more time and energy than I have available. Right now, I get a lot of knitting in, but it's fairly mindless knitting, because I'm knitting at the doctor's office, or with friends, or on the train, or at the end of an exhausting day at work. Those aren't times when I can really apply myself, really concentrate on fixing a mistake or designing sleeves or even frogging back something that's too small or too big.

I'd like to resolve to make time for thoughtful knitting, but frankly, I doubt it'll happen. And, frankly, that's a little discouraging. While there's nothing really wrong with my life right now, it's really hitting home that my lifetime is limited, that I can only accomplish so much in the time I have left [don't fret; I easily have twenty or thirty years to go].

My choices: relax, enjoy myself, knit mindlessly and happily. Or, listen to that little nagging voice inside that says: Do something worth doing. I guess in this next year of blogging, you and I will both find out which path I choose.


cathy said...

happy blogiversary :)

Elizabeth said...

When I look around, I can always find someone who's more successful than I am: more famous, more skilled, making more money. But when I look at what I'm doing, without the comparisons, it's okay. I'd have to give up a lot of things that are important to me to pursue fame and success and book deals. Above all, I value a low-stress lifestyle.