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I rummaged through my goes-with-me knitting bag before we went out. “I don’t feel like I’ve got anything to knit.” I grumbled (to myself: externalising such thoughts attracts misplaced derision). And yet…there’s a lot of unfinished business kicking around the knitting cupboard, so what gives?

Item 1: Pinoli Cardigan

Cast on god-kn0ws-when in 2015. Here we are, one quarter of 2016 done and dusted, and the damn thing’s loitering in a bag somewhere, not pulling its weight as a perfect and gorgeous between-seasons hoodie. What gives?

Item 2: 3-in-1

Now I had a bit of a fit after having to unravel the whole thing (THE WHOLE THING), but that’s no excuse for it to be malingering in the cupboard, whining whenever I pull it into the light. What the hell?

Item 3: Socks

How the hell are these socks just hanging about? I’ve got the first sock of two pairs done and neither of them have a mate and I’ll be damned if I can figure out why. These were meant to be ready for a birthday in February, curse it.

Item 4: The unravelling continues

I swear to God. This top I decided to unravel on New Year’s Eve is still hanging about; it’s on my desk, it’s on the floor, it’s on my chair, it’s just generally in my goddamn way.

This is not cool for me. I like knitting because it’s soothing and fun, but also because I want the damn goods! I want that dark green hooded cardie for autumn! I want a rad Henley for winter! And those socks are needed! Jinkys, what’s going on?

So here’s what I think: my job is fixing people’s work. I take creative productions and fine-tune them so they’re polished and perfected. And that means at the end of the day, I don’t really want to deal with my own mess. So when a project throws any stick my way, I put it in a bag, shove it in a cupboard, and pick up something else. The unravelling: I can’t find where I wove in the ends, and the black yarn makes it almost impossible to do except during the hours of maximum sunlight, during which I’m usually working. The socks: well, the second ball of yarn is knitting up at a different gauge to the first and I’m not sure why. Nor am I sure what to do about it, but if I had a look at it, it would probably take me all of five minutes to figure out the problem and the solution. 3-in-1: I can’t remember what needles I worked it on, so…how do I restart? Do I have to swatch again (and why is that making me nauseous)? Pinoli: I’ve reached a point in the pattern where my increases haven’t produced the right number and I’m pretty sure I have to unravel and start over.

The thing is, none of this is particularly hard. It’s just that, given the choice between repairing errors and making progress (even blithe, blind, foolishly optimistic progress) on something new, the latter is vastly more appealing. And there’s the aspect of novelty, too: I could work on this project that is exciting and new and so far has not disappointed me in any way, or I could return to the Pouting Thomases in the cupboard and make amends.

As with nearly all problems in my life, I have taken deep breaths and looked into the matter, and the problem is with me. I’m sulky and annoyed with my projects for not being perfect and effortless, and casting them aside in a fit of petulance and turning my shallow affections to something new, easy, and so far novel. It is not that my knitting has disappointed me: it is that I have disappointed my knitting. This is no way to live my best knitting life.

If anybody needs me, I’ll be over here, making amends with my projects and hopefully finishing up some socks.

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