Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More appropriate than I knew

When I first thought up my blog title, I wanted something that conveyed the fact that I always have a ridiculously high number of WIPs on the go...because I do. However, what I failed to realise at the time was that I also have a tendency to come up with ridiculously complex or time-consuming projects (often having ridiculously short deadlines). This makes the title 'WIP Insanity' doubly appropriate. One of these days I will delve deeply into my psyche to try and discover what is behind this inclination. Am I setting myself up for failure? Do I like a challenge? Is it a product of low self-esteem? Am I subconsciously avoiding other things in my life by creating knitting panic? All of these are excellent, worthy questions...which I can't bother to answer now because my gawd, have you seen my project list?

Lacy shawl for baby Muth
Over the weekend, it hit me that this project has moved my penchant for difficult knitting from the realm of 'merely amusing' into 'downright disturbing'. I think the moment this all came home to me was when I realised that the last row on this ever-expanding shawl was going to have over 1,200 stitches in it.

Yeah, you read that right. Twelve. Hundred. Stitches.

Why am I creating this design in the hopes of publishing it if no one but myself is stupid enough to actually want to knit it? Ah, a question for the ages. Nevertheless, the work continues.

I went shopping at my local Zellers this weekend in search of the yarn for this project (among other things) and came up completely empty-handed because the craft section there SUCKED ROCKS. I am so annoyed. They had just two (count 'em, two) balls of sock yarn left and a paltry selection of fingering weight yarn (two colours - one of which was, heaven help me, green). I left the store yarnless and went home to rummage desperately through my stash, which is notoriously bereft of lightweight yarn.

However, I came across the laceweight yarn I'm using for my Catherine Howard sweater. It's a 70% wool/30% rayon blend, is definitely soft enough to use for baby stuff, and I have it in three colours - blue, silver and gold (and I do mean silver and gold, not just grey and yellow, because the rayon component has nifty sparkly bits). Now, I will need most of the blue for the sweater, so I couldn't use that, but I really liked the idea of using the silver or gold. By this point, however, I had realised just how freaking huge the project was, and was nervous that I would run out, so I chose the silver, because I have more of that than the gold (and I'm still nervous about running out).

After several false starts (I hate knitting in the round starting out with a small number of stitches and having to do yarnovers between DPNs), I finally got it going and have done about 60 rows so far. Given that there will probably be about 210 rows by the time it's all finished, 60 rows sounds like I've made tremendous progress, right? Nope, because the pattern adds 12 stitches to every other row. So I'm not actually over 25% done. Rather, I'm around the 9% mark. Odds of finishing this in three weeks? Slim. Especially since I never actually completed a whole test pattern before starting the real shawl (yes, dumbass, I know) so I don't even know if the pattern will look good. I'm working on faith - I guess I like to live on the edge. Stay tuned - things will probably get real dramatic, real fast.

Stornaway shawl for BIL (blue)
Remember my confident assertion that I would get to the underarm gussets by the end of the weekend? Yes, well. That would have required actually working on the sweater this weekend. Nope, I worked on the lacy shawl instead and didn't pick the poor sweater up until this morning. But those underarm gussets are getting closer and closer! The sweater now measures over 12.25" when it just sits there, but it's still a half-inch short of 12.25" when I stretch it as it would be during blocking.

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