Finishing Day!

Yesterday was an amazing day for finishing things.

After six and a half months, Sunrise through Whitewashed Windowpanes are finished. Pattern: Windowpane Socks by Chrissy Gardner, published in Interweave Knits Spring 2008. Yarn: Louet Gems Fingering (white) and Trekking XXL (multi).

These socks were begun in January for a class taught in the spring, and they were an accidentally epic project. Thus, it’s the first pair of socks I’ve ever made that has three members.

Mommy, daddy, and baby sock. This is not really how this is supposed to work. But it’s done! I’m almost too sick of these socks to want to keep them around, but they’re almost like a history of my fair isle knitting. The first (on the right) is way over-tight while I got used to the technique. The second (on the left) fluctuated wildly as I picked it up several times over many months, changing tension in both hands. And the third (in the middle) is pretty even, since I knit the foot after an interim that included 50″ of fair isle sock knitting experience.

Yarn review: 2 great yarns! And the Trekking has so much in a ball that I could have made a fourth sock. But I don’t think you could get me to do that if the fate of the United States of America rested on my needles.

Pattern review: A very pretty pattern, but the gusset was way over-complicated. She only gives one size, so if you are a tight knitter (like I was on sock #1), it will only work if you’re knitting for a child. And for the life of you, don’t try to resize this pattern. Just… move on with your life.

Second, I had finished but not cut and woven the ends in on this double knit belt, a little free pattern by Iris Schreier (of the book Reversible Knits and Artyarns fame), another sample knit for a spring class. That poor class was rescheduled so many times and eventually split into private lessons, so I finished and ripped out the end of this belt more times than I can remember. But I am out of students, so the belt can be done!

Yarn review: Cotton Classic by Tahki/Stacy Charles. It’s cotton classic. What else would it be? Worsted weight mercerized cotton that comes in a hundred gazillion colors. As someone who doesn’t like cotton, I thought this was pretty okay.

Pattern review: Uber simple. I made it two stitches wider and slipped the first stitch of every row in a contrasting color, because it looks about ten times neater that way. It’s a belt. It’s double knit. If it were any simpler, it’d be a tube.

Third completed knit of yesterday: I decided my life needed a little P.E.P.

And by P.E.P. I mean Proposterously Enormous Pom-pom. You can tell I gave up on being taken seriously. This hat is about five times bigger than my personality. But I will only be wearing this when it is so cold that no one has the ability to raise their heads to look above each others navels, so I don’t think anyone will notice.

Yarn review: Montana by Tahki/Stacy Charles – Super-bulky, single ply, fantasticness! It was super-soft and lofty, of course, and probably wouldn’t be good for much other than a scarf or hat. The only thing I didn’t like was that it occasionally split on half the yarn – odd for a single ply – but that wouldn’t stop me from using it again, if I had occasion. It’s too bad it’s discontinued, as I really enjoyed it.

Pattern review: The Yarn Harlot’s Unoriginal Hat, but top down, with an altered chart, earflaps added, plus braids and a giant pom-pom. I dare you to try to replicate this. Heck, I dare me to try to replicate this.

Finally, and unexpectedly, last night I cast off my Annis! I know I’ve been keeping this to myself, that I haven’t shown it to you since it was the beginnings of a cast on row. I’ve been telling myself that this is not because I’m lazy, but because crammed around a 24″ needle, this scarflette didn’t look like much more than a slowly growing teal blob. I didn’t think to take a picture before I bound off, but I sorta fake stuck the needle back in it so you could see how blobbish it looked.

Then it occurred to me, as I was taking the picture, that I was very carefully going to a lot of trouble to stage and take a picture to show you that you didn’t need to see a picture of what I was showing you. I might have been kinda tired.

Now that it’s free from its 24″ shackle, it makes a bit more sense. It’ll make even more sense after it’s done blocking, but that deserves a post of its own.

It’s amazing how fantastic it feels to finish these things, especially the ones that have been sitting around for a while. I was discussing finished and unfinished objects with my mom the other day, because she is like me – it might take a long time with some things, but she has always finished a project. I’m the same way, or at least I have been since I started knitting again six years ago – no project has ever defeated me. It doesn’t matter if I have to rip and redo it (or knit a third member of a pair), or whether I realize in the end that I don’t even like and will never wear the finished object (nor would anyone else in their right mind). I have to finish it eventually, or it burns a hole in my conscience until I’m sleeping with a Lopi sweater over my head as penance.

I know not everyone was like this – I myself seriously questioned whether it’d be worth it to finish those stupid socks – but in the end, I really felt pleased about it. Are you like that? Are you psychologically unable to let go of a failing project? Or do you have a closet full of UFOs that won’t see the light of day until you move or your children are going through your belongings postmortem? Or are you one of those impassible creatures who knits one thing at a time, never starting anything new until the previous one is blocked and finished?

I can never get over the fact that we are all so different, yet hard wired to be the way we are. At least when it comes to something with so many different legitimate paths as knitting.

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