I know you’ve all been there: the three more pairs of gift socks still to be knitted and it’s 10pm on Christmas Eve. Or the exquisite, fit-through-a-wedding-ring bridal shawl that the bride really needs like, erm, tomorrow, for her wedding, and you’re only half way through the working the lace. OK, I made up these exact scenarios, but to a knitter/crocheter, they’re normal and completely understandable, right?
But I think I might have over-stretched myself this time. The knitting in question isn’t for someone else so it’s not that important, but I’ve got a deadline in my head that won’t go away, however much cold reason I fling at it. Cold reason such as, “Y’know, you probably ought to consider feeding your children at some point over the next week, and that’s definitely going to eat into your knitting time.” You see, on the 21st April – that’s a mere nine days away – I’ll be heading up, a long way up, to a mill in west Yorkshire to co-judge the Stylecraft yarn shade competition with Lucy of Attic24 and the editor of Let’s Knit. And given that the occasion will be all about the yarn, I’ve got it into my
stoopid head that what I really (really) need is to design a new fairisle knitted skirt and a crocheted bag for the occasion. Well the bag is done and the skirt was underway, but…
Note the use of the word ‘was’.
The thing is, I wasn’t so much designing this skirt as distractedly doodling in semi-random shades as I went along, and the result was increasingly looking like a cacophony of ill-matched stripes of pattern and shades. I kept wondering whether to rip back and begin again, but the proximity of the deadline reminded me that I’d be mad to start again at this late stage. But the more I progressed, the more I thought, “No: this really isn’t getting any better, is it?”
I’m pleased with the fancy pattern in the middle of the photo above, though, because that’s the bit I actually put some time and careful thought into designing. This skirt really has been a lesson in taking the time to work and re-work design elements properly. So I decided to rip back to the start, and knit a skirt with a plain background, and several bands of that fancy fairisle stripe with the hearts and curls. Easy, no? Well no, actually, because I hadn’t got enough of the right colours if that was to be the plan, and delivery of more yarn would take a few days, especially as it’s the weekend. Aaargh! And all the while that these thought processes are going on, life and the Toddler Twinnage are pulling at my sleeve going “Mummy-Mummy-Mummy-Mummy-Mummy”, and my head’s all over the place, and I’m trying to figure out the timing to start my IVF drugs.
Anyway, a decision was made. Yesterday. Whilst there were still 10 days until Y-Day (Yarn Day). I was going to start again. Deep breath.
I began to unravel the skirt. Except I didn’t, because the Rowan Felted Tweed DK I’m using does like to get down and cuddle itself tightly once it’s been knitted, and it’s
far far far far far too prone to breaking, so frogging this stuff just yields an unholy shredded tangle. So I sighed. And I clenched my teeth. And I picked up some of the remaining yarn that I did have, and began, again, to knit.
Cast on 200 stitches using Old Norwegian cast on with 3mm needles. Work 10 rows garter stitch. Work another 6 rows stockinette, increasing (with kfb’s) on the last row to 203 stitches. Begin pattern. Here we go….
Do you think I’ve got any chance at all of making it? There’s plenty more I could tell you, in this very twisted yarn, but I’ll save it for the next post, because right now I really need to do some knitting. Suffice to say that my chances of getting this thing done have already been seriously hampered by a large river and some dinosaurs.
I have no idea, being an admirer of knitting, but not a knitter. Plus, I like what I could see of the skirt, which puts me in pretty unreliable territory. Maybe you just need to absorb the triumph of the house bag and give yourself a rest. In the US there’s this crazy lady named Martha Stewart who suggests people do things like crystallize flowers from their own cutting gardens to decorate wedding cakes with, or…well, you know, that way lies madness. Don’t go there.;-)
Self-imposed deadlines are the worst, will it be a mini, midi or maxi length skirt? Also, old Norwegian cast on – had to Google that. I think in the deadline that you have set yourself I might just be able to cast on 200 stitches…
You can do it! Go, go, go!
Katie Writes Stuff says
You don’t need sleep, right?
What I have seen of the skirt looks beautiful! But your deadline is why I almost never work to a deadline, because either everything goes cattywampus or I seriously underestimate the actual time it takes to complete. Good luck!
I think you have been down this road of crazy before, and survived. https://thetwistedyarn.com/wp/2014/11/09/crochet-meets-knitting-bag-pattern/#comments I’m a believer. You will get it done. 🙂
The Snail of Happiness says
I’m sure you have stunning legs, so a mini-skirt will be perfect… won’t it?.
GO GO GO GO GO! I know about the insanity of self-imposed deadlines (but I totally made mine, and I’m sure that you can too 🙂 )
Not crazy at all, in my world this is a very normal scenario..OK, it often ends with wearing something with a couple of blocking pins still in and unwoven ends discreetly tucked away but no-one needs to know that do they? lol..love the curlicue design…good luck!! 🙂
Your post and the comments of your readers made me smile. I must admit I liked the skirt too as it was so far and I admire people who can develop a design themselves. I trust your judgement though and if it didn’t feel right, it had to change. Good luck and put he scissors away from the twins. 🙂
I’m also working with some “cuddly” unforgivable yarn, a toddler, and a stupid deadline at the moment. I feel your pain. Knit knit knit!
Ditch the skirt idea. Wear plain pants or a skirt with your bag and a smile. People think your crazy when you go to a knitting even head to toe in handknits. X
I think we have past evidence that you will do almost anything to meet your deadlines! I’m on pins and needles . . .
Industrious, certainly. Crazy, maybe. But your work and designs are always beautiful and your talent impressive. Knit on crazy lady, but wait…can the psychologist be crazy?
You are a very brave and determined woman. With that combination anything is possible. Go for it.
I must say I am relieved not to be the only one. I don’t mean the only one who designs and knits and crochets my own beautiful stuff and is invited to judge contests. I mean the only one who gets an idea in her head and CANT LET GO no matter what! I am sure you will make the right decision for you!
Yes. Yes, it IS crazy but then we have come to expect nothing less of you Ms Twisted. When I first started following your esteemed blog, I remember reading all about a bag that was being finished on the train on the way to some event…start out as you mean to finish off and it would seem you are into “Extreme yarn crafts” in a BIG way ;). I feel another “knitting on the train” post coming on, only this time you will be sitting there knitting your skirt as you travel. Could be most interesting for anyone having to share a seat with you 😉
You HAVE to finish the skirt – I’ve been dying to see the finished thing and it’s looking so good thus far! Please, please finish it anyway, even if it’s not going up to Yorkshire with you?
Jenny - prettycolumn (@riley_jl) says
good luck! if you don’t finish the skirt in time for Yarn day you should totally finish it and wear it with pride 😀 I know those feels about setting a deadline when you don’t *need* too. But I understand that desire and throw my support behind you if that helps! 🙂 jenny xx
I love your projects 🙂