Thursday, November 05, 2009

Lesson #2B

Lesson #2B from SOAR: Finish things.

I'm sitting here at home, still sick with the flu I caught at SOAR, mulling over what I learned, what I experienced, what I felt. You'll know I'm well again when I quit posting!

I believe it was Monday night that we were all treated to a lecture by Sara Lamb. Sara has a wonderful new book out, by the way; all of you with any leanings towards weaving should get it. It's beautiful and inspirational. In the lecture, Sara showed us through her years of work, with a bit of emphasis on what didn't work, and why she finished those projects anyway. Her take-home message: Finish things.

For some reason (see the last post), that rings a piercing bell for me. I went up to Sara after the lecture and asked about all those projects one starts, and then sees within a few inches or hours or whatever that it just isn't going to work at all - do I have to finish those? Sara laughed (Sara is so completely sane) and said, no, those are called "samples" and you don't have to finish them.

I'm thinking of all my unfinished projects now, and there are some I can easily state are samples. The stripy thing part-way down this post? A sample, clearly. Overall, the idea is quite good, but as I said in that post, the sample I made showed the size stripe I chose to be too wide (even accounting for eventual felting). I did not finish this, but one of these days I'd still like to work on this idea some more.

On the other hand, there are many UFOs around here that are well worth finishing - they're proven patterns, in good yarn, in a style and color and size that should flatter me, if only I could finish the blasted things. Dear readers, help me here: How do I learn to persevere? How do I keep from flitting fruitlessly from project to project, acquiring and starting wonderful, inspiring, lovely new projects, but hardly ever creating something in its entirety?


cyndy said...

whew! So I DON'T have to finish that tea cozy thingy? It can become a s-a-m-p-l-e!

re: "How do I learn to persevere?"

...exercising self discipline with a project, sticking with it thru to the end? have to find out what motivates you...take your time..enjoy the process (easy for me to say because I am a process person) is all about the journey for me. Then suddenly, one day, you reach the destination!

Joy said...

Would it help to break what's needed to finish any UFO down into very small steps so that it doesn't seem so overwhelming? Baby steps ;)

judy said...

I hoope you are feeling better. Cyndy's comment left me thinking. I'
m with you. It is SO hard to not pick up something new and exciting, especially when the materials (stash) are around to facilitate. I had to move most of my stuff to storage while I was redoing the studio and office. It has helped me to stick to the projects at hand. I did say project'S' though. One step at a time.

Mardi said...

I have the same problem, so I'm not sure I can help, other than to say, make a pact with someone else? see who can finish first? finish one WIP a month? finish your mitts and love them so much you want to make yourself more things? I went WIP hunting ( it was the start of the stash busting) and came up with, among other things, a scarf I was knitting from a Brooks Farm yarn in very pretty colors, the same colors of everything I bought at RHinebeck. I'm going to finish that, and fix the sleeves on my sweater, before I do anything else. Once I get one of those done I can perhaps work on the three pairs of socks-in-progress...

Batty said...

I hope you feel better soon!

Maybe if you knit a couple of rows on a UFO every day? Maybe just 1 or 2, but it would be progress.

Laurie said...

Depends on what you value. You are leaning toward process knitting, wishing to become a product knitter. Process is not necessarily something to swing away from.

Discipline: Two hours per week, divided how you wish, to work on long laid aside WIPS. Choose one WIP to devote time to. If it is a heinous process at that point, you really need to frog.

kim said...

Laurie's idea is good. I would also add, get a buddy. Doesn't have to be someone doing the same thing - project or process - just someone who you will let hold you to account and push you back onto the straight-and-narrow when/if you fall off. Kind of like a diet or gym buddy. But you can't hide from or lie to your buddy - it only works if you let them support you to reach your goal, whatever that might be.

Ultimately it will only work if it is important to you - the finishing thing, I mean. And, just so you know, Sara's been saying that for at least the last 4 SOARs, so you're in good company.

sarah said...

Partly what Laurie said: discipline. Before starting a new project, you have to finish one old one. If you can't manage that, maybe you should be thinking about frogging some of the old ones. If they no longer sing to you, if they've become guilt-ridden reminders of stuff you planned to do: cut loose. Move on. Maybe you're no longer the person who wanted to make that thing.

Partly also a different discipline: when you've got some time (make some time if you can), ask yourself why you have so many unfinished projects. Why do you need to start new things and buy more fibre to make new things? It may be that you're using the 'rush' you get (we all get) from NEW! SHIIIINY!! to distract yourself from something else. I realised some time back that I do this. I'm not going to stop - it is fun - but if I really, really want to start a new project when the unfinished projects are piled high, I ask myself 'why?' What am I trying not to think about? Because, so far, there always is something lurking.

Your blog sounds as though SOAR was good for you. I am so glad! :-)