Sunday, March 22, 2015

From Startitis to Finishitis

I seem to have left my phase of “startitis” behind.  It’s a very descriptive term I remember from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s writing.  My startitis didn’t have the same characteristics that hers does.  Mine came about because I attended a weekly knitting group.  I learned quickly that it was not a good idea to knit anything very complicated there.  The talk would make it a little too difficult to give the necessary attention to anything fussy.  I’d have to tink it back later at home and start over.
Vest waiting for finishing, Spring Mist colorway dyed by my late friend Kay ten Kraft.
I reached the part of a vest requiring some attention so I decided to start the body of the next vest.  I let this continue until I had almost finished 3 vests and 2 pullovers, knit one vest to discover it was much too large, one variegated vest knit in one pattern that I unraveled to knit in another for which I don’t think there’s enough yarn, and a hand-painted vest I changed my mind about.  I did manage to knit and finish 2 pairs of slippers (that still need to be felted--its difficult when you don't want to pay six dollars at the laundry mat to do so), a shawl, a hat, a holly leaf and berry tree ornament and a holly leaf and berry barrette.

Not to mention the sock it took me about two years to turn the heel on.  I was knitting a sock from the toe up and no one else from my group had done that.  I had trouble understand the short row instructions.  I looked for instructions for other kinds of heels.  Several sets of instructions on the web seemed to stop in the middle of the instructions.  At least this woman who knit her last heels thirty years earlier didn't know how to continue on from the instructions given.  I eventually found one heel pattern to use, but I wasn’t thrilled with the way it looked finished.  I’m going to try the Sox Therapist’s Fish Lips Kiss Heel.  I like the way it looks finished.

This past summer I tried to knit the Bold and Blended Striped Wrap, twice, and it never came out right.  I kept running out of one color.  I wonder possibly if not all skeins in the brand are the same yardage all the time. Tre o Molti might be a better choice for my selection of yarn.  It is more like I saw in my mind’s eye.

At the end of September I began knitting the Camilla shawl.  I worked on it steadily, despite having to take it back countless times, especially the fourth (Garden Gate) pattern, and after Emily caught her foot in a loop of yarn and ran away from my effort to slip it off her foot, pulling many stitches off the needle and creating a lovely hole in the knitting where all the yarn-overs pulled out.  I am proud to say that the shawl is finished.  I even wove in the ends.

This winter I ordered some beautiful Wool of the Andes Hand-Painted Special Reserve yarn to knit pretty leg warmers.  I bought Plume with lovely shades of purple, blue and a color I haven’t decided is turquoise or bright teal.  I was getting tired of the tan cabled leg warmers my mother gave me.  I’ve finished one leg warmer.

For me finishitis is the complete opposite of startitis.  I really don’t feel like finishing the garments I knit because I needed to wear them.  I’m not a big fan of picking up and knitting the rib.  It’s very easy to have too few or two many stitches.  Sewing in the ends isn’t that much fun either.  My life has been very stressful in other ways, and I expect that has something to do with it. The office temperature at work continues to fluctuate so that might motivate me.

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