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Archive for August, 2009

Multitasking Blues

I have multitasking issues, and I blame it on the ADHD.

There are some scenarios in which I can keep several things in my head at once, such as directing a play. But I see that as one vision that has several parts. When I have to carry out more than one project at a time I just can’t handle it. I end up neglecting one project for the other one, because I can’t keep them both going at the same time. I can’t wrap my mind around them both. My mind is too disorganized. Kitchen disasters happen when I decide to check my facebook or have to take out the trash while cooking.

I sucked at waiting tables.

So naturally, when I took up knitting I vowed to work on only one project at a time, so I wouldn’t get caught in the “multitasking blues” and end up focusing on one project while having multiple half-done projects littering my home. I live with an eccentric 10-year-old artist. There are enough half-finished projects in my home already.

My knitting monogamy worked well for me the first year and a half of my knitting career, but that’s all just changed. You see, it’s really hard to do Christmas Knitting for your children if they are watching you knit. I have decided to make each of my daughters a funky pair of socks for Christmas, and I really do want it to be a surprise. If I keep to the one-project-at-a-time mantra, my kids will think I’ve given up knitting, which means no knitting group at Starbuck’s on Wednesday nights (my daughters often accompany me to knitting group). It will also take away any influence I have on their own knitting, which I definitely don’t want.

So I’ve done it. I’ve broken my vow. I’ve taken up a 2-project approach.

In my knitting bag right now is a sweater for me and a pair of socks for Megan. I work on the sweater when the kiddos are awake, and whenever they’re asleep or so deeply occupied by other activities that I’m invisible to them, I work on the socks. I was worried that I may not be able to handle this, but it’s actually working pretty well. I can still remember the pattern when I go back to the lace socks after a day of knitting a stockinette sweater. The sky has not fallen. In fact, I’m kind of enjoying the variety.

I guess this could be called progress.

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What is it about finishing a project that just makes you so happy?

I recently finished a couple of projects, and couldn’t help but wear them after I finished them. Yes, it’s summer. Yes, the temps are regularly in the 75-85 range. But as my 7-year-old is fond of saying, “Who cares?”

PICT0003A couple of weeks ago I finished a very quickly-knit pair of fingerless gloves. The pattern included an optional mitten flap that I just couldn’t get my mind wrapped around how to do, so after 3 attempts I decided not to bother. They look great without the flap, and make me wanna moonlight as a busker! Great guitar-playin’ gloves.

The second project is a pair of socks I had been working on for a couple of months. The pattern is from a delightful website called Whimsical Knitting Designs. The link goes to the pattern I used, the #1 Husband Socks. The whimsical lady behind these socks and this blog is Becka from Georgia and she designs the greatest man-socks ever! Becka is also always happy to hear from those who are knitting up her designs, so feel free to drop her a line on her blog or on ravelry if you like what you see there.

These socks have changed a little from the original design. First off, I used a different heel than the pattern calls for (dramatic music please): THE STRONG HEEL. (thanks go to the in-house orchestra in my head) The Strong Heel gets its name not from its durability or sturdiness, but from the lady who designed it, Gerdine PICT0009Crawford-Strong and was published in the Fall 2003 Knitter’s Magazine. I like this heel for its simplicity, because you don’t have a heel flap and the need to pick up stitches  (one of few knitting tasks that I hate). Instead, you simply keep knitting as you did on the leg but with a switch to Stockinette on the back half of stitches and an increase at the beginning and end of the stockinette section every two rows. You keep doing this until you have roughly doubled the number of stitches on the stockinette section. Next you turn the heel just as you would any other heel, though it takes longer because you keep doing the decreases until you’re back to the original number of stitches. At this point, continue down the foot of the sock. *

PICT0005The other change involves the toe. I ran out of yarn on the first sock right before the toe, so I switched from Knit Picks’ Essentials (now Stroll) Kettle Dyed in the Timber colorway to some leftovers I had in the Lily Pad Multi colorway. I absolutely loved how it turned out. Only one problem: I didn’t have enough Lily Pad for the second toe. The good news is that somehow the second sock left me with a little Timber (should I be scared that I still had some left on one, but not on the other?) so after a small stripe of Lily Pad I went back to Timber. The result: strange, unmatched toes.

But hey, who’s gonna see my toes anyway?

*Blogger’s note: I’m sure this particular heel is copyrighted, so I only put the very basics rather than blow-by-blow instructions. You can find it in the Fall ’03 Knitter’s (good luck finding it) or on the Roman Rib sock pattern in the “Little Box of Socks”.

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