In the Mood for Finishing

I am at a point with my knitting where I want to clear everything off my plate before starting anything else.  I get to this place once a year or so. It’s partly because there are lots of pretty new things I want to try but I don’t want to double the work-in-progress count. It’s mostly because I’ve looked around recently and seen nothing but the ultrafamiliar. With the exception of the Thor Hat, nothing too exciting is going on right now and my mind has become occupied with all the half-finished items in the house. I’ve decided to finish as many as possible by the end of the month and, as the picture above shows, I’m making OK progress so far.

At the top is Flip Your Lid, which doesn’t really count since I started it precisely to distract myself from this feeling and finished it up in a few nights. It still needs to be washed and blocked, but it’s been worn once and is awfully pretty.

Below the hat are two socks – not a pair, just two of them – one plain top-down-with-heel-flap in Patons Kroy Jacquard and one Lace Panel Sock, also in Kroy as far as I can tell. These socks came to me by way of a coworker some months back and the first sock just needed the toe closed up. The second sock was just past the heel flap, and I’ve gotten that to about halfway down the foot this weekend. These will not fit me and aren’t really my style anyway, so they’ll be held onto until an opportunity for a gift or a trade on Ravelry presents itself.

At the bottom of this pile is a glimpse of the Thor Hat, but the recipient requested no progress pics, so I’m not going to show you any more of that for now. The hat part itself is done, though I need to rework the spiky bit at the top. Now it’s on to the wingy bits. The surprising part about this hat is that the wingy bits on the side were the easiest to figure out. I started swatching for them before I even had the yarn for the hat, and I figured them out pretty quickly (I think; we’ll see what happens when I knit the final wingy bits and get them on the hat itself). It’s the damn gauge messing me up on the hat. I used the gauge on an old hat I made myself out of the same yarn to figure out my cast-on number and either didn’t realize how much my knitting had changed since I knit that hat or my notes on what needle size I used were wrong. In the end it took three tries and two needle sizes to get it right.

As usual, I find knitting for others to be a good character-building exercise for me. When I see a mistake in something that’s not for me, I fix it. I drop stitches down as many rows as it takes and carefully loop them back up neatly with a crochet hook. I rip out and start again if my cast-on row looks sloppy. I’m all sorts of well-behaved with the things I knit for others. I should probably do it more often, but I just can’t always stand being so damned careful with my work.

All of this hat planning and frustration, along with my little trip back to Life-Long Blanket Land, has left the year. of. sweaters. a month or so behind. This must be remedied but I haven’t decided how. I have 3 sweaters in progress – Francis Revisited (it just needs sleeves, and they’re not even full sleeves, so what’s my problem?), Plain and Simple (still a loooooooong way to go on this one), and an EZ seamless set-in sleeve number in KP Telemark. I started the Telemark sweater last month, did a really beautiful corrugated rib hem, and knit happily away for 3 or 4 inches, then figured I should check just to be sure my gauge swatch was accurate. Well, when have they ever been? Maybe it wasn’t the swatch. Maybe my math was just off, or for some reason that day my hips measured 6 inches larger than usual and I just didn’t notice. In any case, I’m going to give what I’ve knit a soak and re-measure my gauge. Then I could start on a sleeve. If I can get the right stitch counts, I think I could easily knit this by the end of the month.

Except I won’t, actually, because there are too many other things to finish by the end of the month. Instead I’m going to clear out all the small projects I can – three second socks, Citron, the kitchen Muriwai, the stripey shrug from back in Spring – then focus on the Oceania shawl. Dan mentioned today how much he would like the paper towel holder back where it belongs (I have to agree; we keep losing the paper towels). And a shawl is sort of like a sweater anyway, so I won’t consider September/October a failure if I can get the shawl done in time.

6 thoughts on “In the Mood for Finishing

  1. So, will the Thor hat be just his helmet, or will it also have knitted golden locks flowing down the back?

    I have been incredibly impressed with myself this year because my goal was to finish the projects I’ve had lying around for AGES, and I’m succeeding! Partly because I’ve been a bit tough on myself, prohibiting the starting of new projects. There’s been a few exceptions to that – just today I started knitting a baby blanket for my due-next-month boss. That should be a quick project though, it’s small and I’m using large needles. Hope to finish before she goes on maternity leave!

    Today I changed my bedding from warm-weather to cool-weather, and pulled out my double rainbow blankie. My dad commented “Oh, you finally finished it!” Erm, well, no; I finished knitting it in still-snowy spring but didn’t weave in the ends until oh, September? But *now,* it can be used!

    Finishing gives me a nice feeling of accomplishment.

    1. I’m going just for the helmet. I think hair might verge on overkill.

      Also, I leave things finished – and happily call them finished – for months before the ends are woven in too.

  2. I wish I was in the mood for finishing!! I keep thinking I need to finish the projects I have ongoing but I’ve never given myself a limit for how many unfinished projects I can have going. Maybe I need to start…

    1. I’ve never put a number on how much I’ll have in progress at one time, either. But sometimes it’s all sat there for so long I have to set some rules and go through it all to see what I want to finish and what I’ve truly lost interest in.

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