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Skating on thin ice

I knit because I love to do it.  I love the gentle, non-attentive process of creating each stitch, and I love the intensive concentration period before casting on, where I examine the pattern thoroughly, identify potential problems, and work out whether or not the gauge is going to produce a garment to fit me perfectly — and if not, how to fix it.

But some days, it doesn’t matter how much love there is, I just get plain fed up.  I get frustrated with the slowness, and it doesn’t matter how many times I murmur “this is quality: it doesn’t happen fast” through my gritted teeth, I’m powerless against my impatience.

Like Checkers: a gorgeous scarf, delicious yarn (half of which I dyed myself, and of which I’m justifiably proud), and an interesting new technique.  I couldn’t be less interested in it if it was made of peas. I’m so over it.  Yeah, yeah, knit one with first yarn, bring both yarns forward, purl one with second yarn, sweep both yarns back.  I get it.  Now finish up, already.  I’ve learnt the lesson, now I just want the results.  This is the simple psychological fatigue that comes after the challenge is gone.  Shown here, for interest’s sake, is a closeup of the alternating stitches on the needle.  I actually have an excellent photo showing how long the damn thing is (hint: over a metre), but for some reason WordPress struggles to upload portrait-oriented photos without losing the detail that tells it which way up they go.  I’ll deal with that later. Right now I’m trying to find the gumption to do a few rows on this scarf every night, so that I can at least finish it before Winter is over.

Checkers in progress

Then there’s Purple Olive.  I reached a milestone recently: I used up the last of my dark purple Merino Supreme, and yet the pattern remained unfinished.  Alert readers (hi Mum!) will have observed that I anticipated this, and had a contingency plan securely in place: I frogged the hood, down to the collar, and the yarn was reinjected into the lower section of the body. But I’m not happy about it.  In the absence of the cute hood, the collar simply looks sprawling and gapey.  Without a hood, the whole thing just becomes a slovenly jacket, and I don’t know that I need any more of those.

This is all very frustrating.  You may recall, with fondness, the burst of Finish-Everything-Itis I had earlier this year, which was closely related to the seasonal arrival of I-Have-Nothing-To-Wear-Itis, when I decided I was going to finish up everything on the needles before I cast on anything new.  That didn’t last too far beyond the first batch of impatience.  I have, in the past four days, cast on two new sweaters.  One, a plain stockinette, top-down sweater I designed myself out of Barbara Walker’s Knitting from the Top Down, in delicious black Merino Supreme (which reminds me, it’s pay week: must see about restocking).  The other is the Simple Knitted Bodice, a pattern I have knit before and adored.  The last one I made was in dark purple bamboo yarn, which promptly stretched unbelievably across the sleeves and then was accidentally tumble-dried into oblivion.  This one is in dark green superwash, which, while less sexy, I think will be more wearable.  Really, that’s all I’m going for at this stage.

Honestly, I am increasingly frustrated with the absence of gorgeous winter tops in my cupboard.  Especially now, when Winter is in her heady peak: every morning I drive to work in mist and silver veils, and I ache for a fitted, slightly Gothic (or at least vaguely cool) warm top to wear to work, especially if it’s one I’ve made myself. Still, no time for despondency: I have two new tops on the needles, and they are requiring me to crack on with the knitting.

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