Friday, March 7, 2008

All about orange

The candles are lit, rain is steadily beating on the tin roofs (not a typo, there are 4 in all), girls are drawing, making books. The boys are on a Lego quest, John eager to spend his saved coins from firewood duty and the tooth fairy (he has three gaping holes in his mouth right now), and I'm once again, parked, trying to work my way through the pile of orange yarn you see below.

For those just tuning in, this is a sweater I'm making for a friend that has been in a similar state for about two weeks now. It's a tunic tank made out of Blue Sky Alpacas dyed organic cotton in color poppy. It is similar to the orange sweater at the top of my blog, only longer, shaped at the waist, has side slits, larger pockets and of course is sized for an adult. I'm a relatively fast knitter, so this project started with a bang and I had one piece finished rather quickly and there it sat. This happens to me quite a bit, where some projects just get stalled for one reason or another and I wonder when they'll ever get finished.

I tend to pile my works-in-process about, so I see them often. My reasoning is that I need to see them so they remind me they're there, but instead I think they just nag, saying, "remember me? I need to be finished. Someone's waiting, remember?"

What really has been holding me up is the neck shaping. I don't like the way I did it on the first piece, so I'm doing it differently on the second and if I like it I'll go back and do the first side to match. So that was today's task, and I managed to finish the second piece, changing the neck shape. I think I like it, but will sleep on it to make sure in the morning.

I found something today that's helping me put the whole project in perspective and hopefully I'll remember this the next time one seems to drag on endlessly. It's an idea from Kathleen Norris, poet and author. I posted about her book Dakota: A Spiritual Geography a while back, and I've now picked up her more recent, The Cloister Walk. In just the preface, and this is slightly out of context, but, she talks about "time, oriented toward process rather than productivity...rather than always pushing to 'get the job done' ". Not a new concept I know, but it helps me to be reminded every once in a while.

I'll admit it, I'm a pusher. I like to finish projects. Starting a knitting business helped me so much in this capacity because I always had a goal, a deadline. Before that I could have had anywhere from five to ten projects going at any given time and would never seem to finish any of them. So now, when I'm used to finish everything I start, I tend to get frustrated with the projects that don't seem to finish themselves. Really, this happens to me alot, where I wake up in the morning and wonder, well how'd I manage to finish all that last night? It's like it happens in my sleep or something. [Pipe down peanut gallery: AM, Pam, one day I'll write about "how to knit in your sleep" but for now it's my secret].

So I've put the yarn down for another night, I think, or maybe I'll just wake up in the morning and it will somehow be finished, who knows. Tune in tomorrow and I'll let you know.

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