Wednesday, December 28, 2005

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  • The Cart Drives the Horse

    It's not the horse that drives the cart, but the oats. -Russian Proverb

    Look right! I finished a pair of heretofore unblogged socks:

    Confetti Socks
    Pattern: in my head. 64 sts. top-down, heel flap with a round heel, standard decreasing toe. nothing fancy.
    Yarn: DGB Confetti sock yarn. lost the labels, but 80-ish% wool, 20-ish% nylon, with some unknown blue sock yarn for the cuffs, heels, and toes
    Needles: US 1 Brittany Birch dpns, now discontinued because they break so easily, so I bought every one I could find.
    Notes: I have relatively small feet, and so do many of my sock recipients. I realized after a while that I was very close to getting a pair of socks out of a single 50g skein, and that when I used contrasting yarn for the cuffs, heels, toes, I was there. Since solid colors are cheaper and more versatile (but I always need a pair of plain st st on the needles for dark movie theaters), I get two pairs out of the normal 100g.
    Best Thing About This Project: If cute new socks weren't enough, the fact that it's December 28th and I can cross another one off my list should do it.

    That Cart/Horse Thing

    You may or may not recall that the last week of the year, rather than a time to relax and reflect and eat Christmas cookies, is a mad race to the finish. December 31st is my self-imposed deadline to clear that list of projects over there on the sidebar. I finish it or rip it out, with the exception of long-term stuff like the Master Knitters' thing, and things I'm actively working on.

    The list came before the blog, the list comes with the blog, the list will come after the blog.

    I'm not kidding. In the last stretches of a project, the temptation to start new and exciting and glamorous projects is always just around the corner. We've all been there, so Chris tells us. Plus, as Lynda pointed out here, a week of Christmas cheer can get dangerous if accompanied by a week of Christmas knitting. And cookies make all sorts of crumbs.

    So for several years I've been working on a knitting calendar year that closely aligns with the standard year. It keeps random little projects like those Confetti socks up there from languishing without a mate for too long, and it makes me re-examine what's on the needles and what I'm going to do about that. I find it healthy for my knitting to know what I'm working on, where my needles have gone, and - while I love having many WIPs - to clear the slate every so often.

    I'm not entirely rigid about this. Knowing that I'm moving in San Diego, renowned around the world for its wonderful and moderate weather, in 6 mos., I've sidelined a cables and lace shell made out of cotton until I get there. No reason to work on that in the middle of a New England winter. Same goes for the cotton pillowcloth edgings, although I may try to finish them for a spring wedding.

    What's the upside of self-imposed deadlines and stress? Expect to see an eruption of new projects next week.


    Blogger Lynda said...

    Ooooh, that's a wicked deadline to impose on one's self. Looking at that sideline, I'm guessing the Heart Hat (now at 1% finished) isn't gonna make the cut!

    Love the socks with the contrast heel, toe, and cuff! It's funny how just breaking it up like that makes it a funner knit.

    You're moving to San Diego???
    Why, that's only about 3-4 hrs away from me.... okay, not exactly close, but a heck of a lot closer than Pennsylvania and Rhode Island!!

    12/28/2005 7:10 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Can't wait to see what patterns come up as the last ones you will knit in New England!

    12/28/2005 12:40 PM  
    Blogger Theresa said...

    I know - I'm so excited about San Diego, but also so sad to be leaving New England. Warm, rustic wool, snow, gingerbread, soup - I love fall and winter up there (coming back in Jan).

    12/28/2005 1:18 PM  
    Blogger Chris said...

    You've outed me! Eeeek! :)

    I blogged about my WIPs a few weeks ago in the hope the public shame would lead me to do something about them. Some of them have been hovering around for a while - in excess of two years (since I've only been knitting for 5...). I can definitely see the appeal of ripping out the chaff at the end of the year... but could I actually do it? Um, well, not so far.

    I'm envious of your small feet and the small feet of those you knit for. One of my greater than 2 years projects is a pair of socks for my dad - when you're knitting on 96 stitches in fingering weight for a very long time... in black... *whimper*

    12/28/2005 3:46 PM  

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