Lesson #2 from SOAR 2009: Acquisition is not creation.
I'm very good at acquisition. I do it well and easily and fast. Give me a Rhinebeck or a SOAR market or Mass Sheep & Wool and I can pick out my favorites like nobody's business. I have the stash to prove it, too. The shepherds of the world are very fond of me.
But I do not have the finished objects to match. First of all, I give away many of the projects I do finish, and second, I don't finish much of what is supposed to be for me. I think this needs to change. I think I need to become selfish, in many parts of my life. I think I need to reserve some energy for me, so that I'm not exhausted when I arrive at SOAR and even more exhausted when I leave, so that I'm not doing 3.5 jobs at work in the time allotted for one, and so I have some pretty FOs for me.
I started the lovely, simple Sweet Fern Mitts from Clara Parkes' new book, The Knitter's Book of Wool, just before I left for SOAR, so I'd have something to knit in the airport and on the plane, wherever. They are for me. Me, me, me. I'm knitting them out of some badly spun (but more than adequate for this task), 2-ply, Ashland Bay merino I spun in September of 2006. It's soft, it's a lovely heathered rose-pink, and I did a good enough job spinning the fiber that it's not very pilly. Wanna see what the mitts look like now, after a week at SOAR?
There's also the frogged and re-washed skein hanging in the basement from mitt #1. Sigh...
I knew after an inch or two that the chart in the book was wrong, so that the cable pattern is upside-down, but I could live with that quite happily. I tried on the mitt several times as I went along to make sure it fit, and it did, beautifully. Once I got past the stitches reserved for the eventual thumb, I did think it odd that the cable seemed to line up with my index finger, not my middle finger, the way the photo in the book showed, but I thought it was because I was trying on the mitt with the three dpns still in it. Also, there was that oddly placed k2, p1 column, when most of the mitt is k2, p2, but hey, who am I to argue with a designer?
Lesson #2A: Always check the errata. (Here, for this pattern.)
Once mitt #1 was finished except for the thumb, it was clear the off-center cable was not acceptable to my symmetrical mind, and the mitt was frogged. Now I begin again, more mindfully, let us hope.
It would be very, very easy to put this project aside - it's only for me, after all, and it's only a pair of fingerless mitts that don't match any of my coats, after all, and it's only a little project, after all, when I have so many other, bigger projects in progress I should turn my attention to. At most it'll use up just one ball of yarn in my stash.
But none of those other projects are for other people and none of them have deadlines. I am going to finish these pretty pink mitts, in yarn I spun myself, and I'm going to finish them for me. Because I'm worth a little pink pair of handspun, cabled mitts.