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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On changing my mind (again)

Three times this week, I've started a project only to change my mind and unravel it, and it's only Wednesday!  This actually happens more often than not, and that's part of the reason I take so long to get larger things done.  Never mind that last Saturday afternoon I was quite proud of myself for (finally) having spliced all the Peruvian wool skeins into one big ball, all 1450 yards of it, and felt ready to rock and roll on another shawl; the one I have is really quite warm and lovely, but it's already two years old and not everything I wear goes with purple...but that's another story.  So I got out my books, looked through a lot of patterns, and decided on one.  I cast on lots of stitches and worked a couple of rows to get the foundation going, and then decided I wanted a different lace pattern across the bottom than the one in the book.  More perusing, this time in pattern encyclopedias, followed.  Finally, I found one that fit into my existing stitch count, made some notes, and worked away over a few rows.

Now, one thing I find interesting about working with wool is that one must stop periodically and stretch the work to see how the pattern is progressing and how it will look once it's blocked, since wool tends to scrunch until it's wetted and stretched a bit.  One must also wait until said pattern has enough rows worked to get a "good view."  Working over 358 stitches, this does take a while...and when I got to the point I could get that good look, I didn't like it.  One little voice in my head said, "It's fine--just keep going."  Another little voice said, "You know you won't want to wear it that way."  Yet another insisted I had come this far, so why not keep knitting just because I had so much work into it?

In the end, I unraveled it this morning and went back to perusing patterns.  Why do I engage in this insanity?  Why negate the work I've already done?  I used to ask myself those questions, but then I realized exactly why:  if I'm going to spend hours and hours (and sometimes quite a bit of money) to do a project, I want it to be right.  Nor do I see this as negating anything--it's that much more practice I'm getting.  Thinking about that helps me unravel things without too much of a pang, which is definitely a good thing, and in the end, I'll have something I will treasure or a gift I can give with pride.  I remember too well the feeling of having to rush and giving someone something I'm not as pleased with as I could be.  Knowing how I operate, starting over and changing my mind as often as I do, I try to plan farther ahead in most cases to allow for that, because I hate to compromise when it comes to this sort of thing.

And that reminds me:  my baby brother's getting married in two months, and  what I really need to be working on is something for the happy couple.  Somehow, I think he wouldn't really like a shawl...now where did I put that other book?

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