Grits and Purls

Spinning yarns about the grit of life

In my dreams endless cabled ropes climb steadily into infinity

Way back in the glory days of summer, I started my Christmas knitting. It’s just one sweater—easily finishable in the 5 months I had available. But unfortunately I have taken four of these months to knit the back, and I have only 3 weeks left to make the front and both sleeves. If I am to finish it at all, I will have to adopt an emergency knitting strategy.

At least I have the timing worked out. If I knit 30 rows a day for the next week, I will finish the front. Then I have a plan to knit both sleeves at once to avoid the depression of finishing one and having to start all over again on another. My evenings are all planned out, knitting, knitting, and more knitting.

What is it about having to do something by a certain date that turns an otherwise pleasurable task into complete drudgery? I like knitting. I like the person I am knitting this for, and want to finish it in time for Christmas. And yet I find myself in a panic knitting nightmare, I sit on the couch each evening madly knitting, counting rows and snapping at people who interrupt me. It is my own fault, I agree, I shouldn’t have been so lazy, and I should have planned better—or maybe planned differently.

Months ago I set myself the goal of finishing this sweater by Christmas. In theory, I did everything right. It was a SMART goal. Specific-“Knit a sweater” (check), measureable (certainly), Achievable—(in theory), Realistic (I had nearly 6 months for goodness sakes), and Timebound (by Christmas). Looking back, I can see the fatal flaw–I should have put in some kind of anti-procrastination plan as well. If back at the start I had disciplined myself to do only 5 rows every day, I would be done by now.

Knitting by choice is relaxing and rewarding. Forced knitting is torture. It has all the charm of a root canal, only it lasts longer—waay longer. I am only 3 nights into my 30 rows a night odyssey, and I am already tired. Endless lines of cream cables meander through my dreams at night and haunt my days. I find myself counting in 30s, whether I am knitting or not. And worst of all–I don’t think I like this sweater any more. I’m starting to wonder if it was such a great gift idea after all. With each passing day it becomes more hideous to me. If this feeling persists my panic knitting will be over early, but then I will have to do some panic shopping instead!

8 thoughts on “It’s the Holidays: Let the Panic Knitting Begin

  1. Terri J says:

    I’d offer lidocaine, but you can’t knit with numb fingers. Don’t panic; panic causes mistakes. The sweater is going to be beautiful even if it’s late.

    1. Isobel says:

      I got the front done over the Thanksgiving holiday. Only the sleeves to go now! I might make it.

  2. I wish you luck and will check back to see a picture of the finished project!

  3. Satu says:

    You can do it! Good for you to have made it thus far. I’m sure it’ll be lovely, that’s what cable sweaters are. Don’t go giving up on it. Then again, I’m sure the recipient wouldn’t mind getting it a bit late. If they are worthy of the gift, they will be able to appreciate the amount of work put into it.

    1. Isobel says:

      Thanks for the encouragement! I am still on the sleeves, and hope to make good progress this week. I will post a picture if I finish!

  4. Terri J says:

    Checking in to see how the sweater is coming. I have sewing projects to post about after Christmas.

    1. Isobel says:

      Alas, the sleeves are still in process. Maybe I can finish them this weekend–but I’m thinking this will be a new year gift. Here they are today:

  5. Isobel says:

    I finished the knitting on Jan 4, but (to my shame) it has taken me a month to finish sewing washing and blocking it. It is finally done. I only have to post it now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: