March 11, 2010

March Madness

So I failed. I failed in the very best way possible. I went out in an attempt to do something insanely beyond my ability and giving it my all. I’m disappointed, but I’ll live to knit another day. Though I did need a break after the constant heavy garter stitch to revive my wrists.

I switched from one deadline to another and attempted to finish Keith’s socks by his birthday, almost a month after the original deadline of Valentine’s Day. Yeah, I’m lame.

I’m feeling like I should re-evaluate how I knit. More specifically, how I knit for others.

I don’t do it nearly enough, though I have started trying to give more in the last year. I am getting to a point where if I just keep knitting for myself I won’t be able to wear it all and the house will fill up with knitted items.

The problem is that when I decide to knit something for someone, I hate to be forced. I don’t like deadlines that are hard and fast. Even when they are stupidly self-imposed, they always seem to screw me up. I have come to realize that my knitting is not something I can rush, or even predict. Sometimes I can finish something in record time and it flies off the needles, others I just can’t and I end up horribly behind the due date.

So I ended up finishing the socks a day late. I think he likes them and didn’t seem to mind, but it still hurts not to be able to make the deadlines I set. And it seems to be on a roll, because now I am jumping right into another gift for a baby shower this Saturday. At least this one is, by definition, small and contained. I am making a pair of super simple baby socks and am halfway through one already. I may add in a bib or two, but that is optional and thus doesn’t stress me out.

I much prefer to give gifts as I see fit, randomly and when I happen to think about someone. Sometimes knitted items just seem to fit a certain person and I am inspired to make them. Those are the best type. I wish more people understood that, or that I could remind myself more often. I fall into the trap myself of trying to force the creative process and it doesn’t work. I find myself relying on knitting as a fall-back gift option, because I can, because I enjoy knitting, because often it is cheaper than an alternative gift.

I need to remind myself that in order to enjoy this so-called hobby and pastime that I should not abuse it with strict deadlines that sap the enjoyment. But, like the Knitting Olympics, sometimes the challenge is welcome and you want to see how hard you can push it. There must be a middle ground here somewhere.

On the subject of pushing it, I have also begun attending a local knit night at the Cast Away yarn store. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy such a thing, but I got Naomi to attend it the first time with me and tonight will be my third. Occasionally it meets in a wine bar down the street, which was a great combination of good things. Regularly it meets in the back of the store and it’s a nice way to spend an evening and get a good amount of knitting done when nothing else can distract you. So far it’s worked well for all these projects with deadlines.

I’m working on being more social and trying new things again and this definitely qualifies. It’s not as scary as attending my first organized spin class (last night, also with Naomi for back up), but it’s on the list. I had a good run of pushing myself into slightly uncomfortable situations and trying to challenge myself and it really changed my life. I feel that I have slipped back into the easy, solitary thing again, so it’s time to push myself back out. So far I have enjoyed each step, so I’ll keep it up.

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