Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Are your ready for some football? And mixed metaphors?

When I first returned to knitting, after a 25+ year hiatus, I struggled. I don't remember how I learned to knit - probably self-taught from a book - but I have a dishcloth and a sweater (talk about extremes!) to prove that knit I did. So why was it so difficult? I actually laid awake at night, fretting about my knitting and how imperfect it was. Intellectually, I knew the two rules of knitting: There are no knitting police and It is only knitting. But my ego was bruised and bleeding.

And then a co-worker talked me into taking a class on knitting the swallowtail shawl. O.M.G. Talk about hard. In class, I whined. At home, I cried. But my competitive nature rose to the challenge, because, by god, I was NOT going to be the only one not to finish. Not only did I complete the bind off by the end of the last class, I was the only one in the class to do so. But then, I did not use the recommended Kidsilk Haze. Thank god.

And after that class, a funny thing happened. Suddenly, the rest of my knitting became a breeze, easy as pie, a piece of cake. a walk in the proverbial park. I still slavishly followed patterns and fretted a bit here and there, but I had made it over Beginner's Hump. I proudly proclaimed, We are a knitter!

And then I grew a little bored and started trying new things, bigger things, fancier things. Sometimes I kick butt and sometimes I get my butt kicked. And sometimes I retreat to stockinette and garter for a respite. But I feel myself reaching a new level of knitting, one where I'm less interested in following directions and using the recommended yarn to create exactly what the pattern pictures show, and more interested in trying this and trying that and forging ahead and seeing how things turn out and at the same time, being detached from the outcome. At least, some of the time.

The good thing about all this is I feel ready to face that pile of UFOs. Most of them are there because I hit a snag in their progress, reached a step that required something called THINKING, took a peek into the abyss of my knitting (and sometimes sewing) ignorance. There was something that needed to be overcome in order to continue. Now it is time to man up and finish off those ghosts of projects past.

So (here is where football comes in) this fall will be open season on UFOs. My plan is to spend Sundays watching football and finishing UFOs, hopefully one per week. And to reward myself, when a project is completed, I get to spin! (I miss spinning.)

Next up: A brutal inventory of those UFOs.

(Bonus question: When does a WIP become a UFO?)

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