Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Recreational knitting, usable work space and other mythical creatures...

"Is that one of yours?" was the question my wonderful husband (aka Rocket Chef) used to ask about every knitting project during the years when I was trying to build up my confidence as a designer. When the answer was no, he would make some sort of scowly face and ask me why I was knitting something I hadn't designed. (and justifiably so, I should add here...) Over the last few years, though, I find that pretty much all of my knitting time is actually taken up with swatching, prototyping and models for my own designs. What I now label as "recreational knitting" is now mostly confined to the little bit of traveling we do since I don't find cars and planes to be the best places for "work knitting". Also football games and waiting at the bus stop with Rocket Boy 2 are strictly for simple knitting that does not require a lot of attention or focus. (In 2014, I knit 5 pairs of socks while waiting with or for him!) This is, on the whole, a good change for me so I'm definitely not complaining here. But I think all of us need at least a little of that recreational variety. Creativity may like to find you hard at work, but sometimes she whispers in your ear while you're just clicking away through that completely plain pair of socks or garter stitch scarf, too. My current project is pictured above: a Tom Baker 4th Doctor style scarf. Rocket Boy 1 has been asking for this item for a while, and it's the only hand-knit thing he's likely to wear now that he is a teenager. This one will not be 18 feet long like the original, in case any Whovians are reading this and wondering. It's been fun so far - the colors change just often enough to keep me on my toes. And, if anyone is wondering, I got the bag from Hazel Knits and they have more here.

The downside of managing to stay focused on knitting my own designs is that I have an absurd number of recreational projects stashed. For years the pile of projects that I'm just sure I'll get to any minute has lived by the couch in our living room, seeming to grow magically and occasionally avalanching. The need for a new desk and better work space has finally forced me to reckon with the fact that I just don't get them done as fast as I used to. I packed them all away except for one basket full, with a solemn oath that I will not put anything in the basket until I have completely emptied it out. The process was painful, but as soon as it was done I felt an absurd level of relief. Here's the basket - doesn't it look manageable? ;-) OK, there's also a sweater in progress that doesn't fit in the basket... I'll check back in this time next year just to hold myself accountable.