Tuesday, March 6, 2007

spice cardigan

It's finished! It is hard to believe, but true.
I started this project (my first sweater) about 3 years ago. It has sat in my bin just needing buttons for about a year and a half. Why did this take me so long? Well I have a few ideas.

This was my 1st big knitting project. It was slow going. I started a few times and pulled out a few rows. The yarn was a bit of a challenge. I think I was drawn to it for the color, "spice" - it made me feel all warm inside - and the light texture was an interesting flax and wool blend. Its tag said "Soft Spun Yarns for Knitters" and on the back it said "A very soft spun yarn - Handle with care!". Which means to say that if you pull too hard or your tension is too tight your yarn will simply tear in two. Is the beauty of the yarn worth all that? Well it might be hard for me to say, but now that I am a few years removed from the grief of my yarn breaking mid-row...I guess it turned out all right. While I was working on the cardigan many baby booties, scarves, and wash clothes achieved completion. These quick projects were many times a welcome distraction from the color "spice" as it was starting to leave a stale taste in my mouth and on my needles. This project also sat untouched while I was pregnant. I just couldn't bring myself to work on it if I knew it wouldn't fit. But really, when it comes to FINISHING I think I have some underlying issues that I am working on. 1. When I finish something, its worth is vulnerable to judgment. Not so much from others, but from myself, its creator who has invested time, money, and energy. Is it good? Do I want to "wear" it? Is it quality? Or do I just have to console myself that at least it was "a learning experience." 2. I get stuck. There are times when run into a problem and instead of working through it at a reasonable pace, I stop and remove myself from the obstacle. I think a little space is fine, but then it becomes a "looming project" and the longer it looms, the darker and heavier it gets. I want to go to the yarn shop - start something new, but no I should and finish what I've started. This is the struggle. 3. Do I feel that I "need" - like a security blanket - these projects that I start with such enthusiasm and possibility, then stop, sit, and wait? Do I find comfort in this? 4. And then there is time, days can fill up with such busyness. I like to think that I am learning how to better balance what I do with my time.

But look at this! It's finished! I am happy about that. In fact, I wore it on Sunday and again today. It's March, but still sweater weather in New York. I have found that I have to check myself from being to critical of it and instead just enjoy wearing it. I would like to thank my friend Sara who helped me pull it out again to finish it. She came over to my house intending to finish one of her stalled creations - a hat - and I decided to revisit the cardigan. And yippie for Sara, she finished that hat. It's a good feeling.
I used the pattern from the book "Hip to Knit" and I bought the yarn from the wonderful Flying Fingers Yarn Shop.

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