Saturday, January 28, 2012

Getting Things Done

Jiada is about to be blocked.

The body is, anyway. Of the 7 knitted pieces that make up the pattern, 4 are knit up. The remaining 3 are the sleeves and collar; the sleeves are on my needles even as I type this, but I have to cop to feeling some stockinette aversion last night as I knit a few rows. Some people truly enjoy this kind of knitting, rows and rows of plain stockinette. These people find it meditative and soothing. Me, I need more engagement. It's the knitting version or road hypnosis for me, my brain becoming detached and drowsy. It bores me. Sad but true.

Then again, maybe it is just this project; I don't know. Still, I am committed to finishing, and I want to block the body and sew it together before I finish the sleeves to make sure they don't end up too damned long, as so many drop shouldered sweater projects I knit up do. I like my cuffs to hit just below the wrists. Any longer and the sleeves need to be tight enough to push up, which is not the case with this pattern.

Like so many of my UFO's this project has become a monkey on my back. I shuffle through my stash boxes and the bag with the yarn and half-done knitted pieces surfaces again and again, like some floating dead body. OK, that analogy was a little too Norman Bates, but it speaks to the point: some craft projects you are committed to, once you start, but the process is sometimes really really NOT fun, for some reason. Jiada is one of these for me.

Still, I have surmounted my knitter's block--such is the power of 18 hours of driving to and from Phoenix with me not behind the wheel: a right front and both sleeves knit to the elbow. (I am a slow knitter, I admit it.) In the interests of proper fit, I am planning to take advantage of a free Saturday to block the body now, also good since I don't have the blocking boards or floor space to block the whole sweater at once.

There is another reason to finish this: I have been thinking about steeks. As I wrote in my last post, I took a steeking class at TNNA and the wheels are turning. I have three projects that I am planning to steek, now that I know how. I have one fairisle, Peony, that required sewing machine steeks. I can now forego these, add in twisted stitches before I join the shoulders and put in crochet hook steeks.

Another project is a cropped Noro sweater I knit several years ago. I like the yarn and the color, but the sweater is cropped. On me, not good. I have long thought to take off the sleeves, use the yarn to make it longer and convert it into a vest. Now I know how.

Lastly, is the infamous Zarah, that has haunted me for years--I have old posts on it, adding in bust darts, carefully checking gauge and trying to make it fit I was at a point where the bodice would need to redone to remove bulk at the shoulder to keep the sleeves from looking saggy. Now I can add steeks, instead. I plan to get all three items out in the near future and bring them back from the Sargasso Sea of unfinished fiber business. Wish me luck!

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