29 Nov 2007
In my frenzy to finish the pretty as a peacock shawl I forgot to slow down and smell the flowers. There I was frantically knitting away, counting rows in advance, planning blocks of knitting time ('eight rows a night, four nights to go - if I get two rows ahead each night I can do it in three nights) , desperate to keep the deadline I imposed on myself in the next to last post here. It felt like I was back at university, cramming for exams. It didn't feel good.
On Sunday night my brain flipped a switch. 'Slow down' it said 'Enjoy the last ten rows'.
And so I did. And you know what? I didn't finish on Tuesday as planned. I finished on Wednesday instead. And it felt GOOD.
Here I am knitting the final stitch, savouring the moment.
BEHIND THE SCENES THOUGH ....
When I picked it up on Tuesday night at home after knitting it at Tuesday night knitting club, guess what I found in the middle of the shawl? A broken knitpicks tip. Not happy Jan.
I switched to the nearest needle at hand, a knitpicks 3.5mm (slightly bigger). With only four or so rows to go I hoped it wouldn't be an obvious change.
And with the knitpicks options needle, I could take advantage of it's secret feature. The self-inserting lifeline system! I thread crochet cotton through the hole in the tip, and while I do the purl row the lifeline inserts itself.
(see the crochet cotton threaded through the knitpicks options needle?)
Good trick, huh?
"Why did you put a lifeline in the final purl row?" Why, thanks for asking.
I put my shawls on waste yarn if they have a crochet cast-off, that way there's no risk of losing stitches at the end of your shawl by slipping off the needle, and you don't have to flick them off a knitting needle when you pick them up with the crochet hook. It isn't any quicker, nor particularly more effective, but I just prefer it.
So now we block.
And, ironically, I have a night ALONE tonight (kids at sister's for a sleepover, Alan on a conference) - and I'm in that awful between projects stage where you don't know whether to pick up a UFO, or start something new. I always end up faffing around the house, flicking through IK's and vogues and books, trawling the net, surveying the stash and feeling like every second is a second of good knitting time wasted. Normal people would find this carry on basically insane and OCD kind of behaviour, but well, it's the nature of the beast I'm afraid.
I can hear something, can you hear it? It's a kind of soft melodic chanting, hauntingly elusive, coming from somewhere in my yarn wardrobe. I can just make out what she's singing - it's so captivating - why resist? - 'Ariann ...... Ariann.... Ariann....'