On owls, and wool, and priorities

February 10, 2011

Warm and happy

In January, I cast on and cast off for the fastest sweater ever made. The oh so popular Owls by Kate Davies. Nothing but utter love for this knit. It took a total of 7 days and fits like a dream.

o w l s

No mods were made. I measured myself at the 38 inch bust size and knit the 38 inch bust size. I got spot on gauge with the called for needles. I lengthened the body and arms of the sweater since I am a long person. I used the called for yarn, British Sheep Breeds Chunky, in the now discontinued color of Dark Gray Welsh. Since I have a long body, the added length to the sweater required me to crack into a 7th skein to finish the ribbed collar of the sweater, but if I were a bit shorter I would easily get away with this size and 6 skeins of the yarn. (ravelry project page here) That’s ok. It leaves me with some yarn to add to my pretty scrappy hexagon crocheted blanket.

hexagons in progress

This blanket is one of the few yarn projects on my knitting/crochet priority list. I am a polygamous crafter and it stresses me out. The few times that I’ve solely committed to a singular project, I finish it so quickly and get to enjoy both the process and product. Unfortunately, after I work on something monogamously I usually have a fit of casting on for a large number of things and feel like a hurricane. It sucks, really. I am always flitting from thing to thing without finishing much of anything. I do this in most aspects of my life but it isn’t a comfortable role for me. I hate it every step of the way but have a hard time reigning it in.

Enter my priority list. I have a few sweaters, a pair of socks, and this crocheted blanket on there. I’m only working on these projects right now and destashing a lot of yarn, ripping out long abandoned projects, and thinking of things besides knitting that I want to do, used to do, and love to do. I am going to try a bit of knitting quitting at the end of this list. I have a ukulele that I want to learn to play. I have a few quilts I want to finish. I have many books I want to read. I have lots of bike rides I want to take. And since I don’t know how to accomplish everything in my small amount of free time, I need to try freeing my time a bit more.

It’s scary. It’s unsettling. And it’s weirdly freeing.

Have you ever had to tell yourself to stop something, take a step back, and re-prioritize? How did you handle it?

6 Responses to “On owls, and wool, and priorities”

  1. jodi Says:

    The sweater looks great and very cozy!

    The rest of it, though… ay yi yi… doesn’t sound very fun at all. I guess I don’t see why lists and priorities need to apply to free time activities? Lists and priorities dominate the rest of my life. Discipline isn’t really what I’m looking for when it comes to what I love to do — read, knit, play the guitar, go for walks, spend time with friends.

    Good luck!

  2. Kara Says:

    I’ve knit this sweater and it is seriously my most favorite and wearable sweater I have knit. Yours looks awesome and you will get so much wear out of it. Congrats!

  3. Dory Says:

    All I know is that it’s hard to be a phd student with craft habit/hobby. I feel like I have loads of free time, I act like I do, but there’s too much to be done! I guess I just try hard to remember that I like doing about 97% of it, and if I get crazy trying to decide what to do (read/cook/write/knit/read-and-knit-oops-I’m-just-knitting/make pickles) I don’t do anything at all. And that’s the worst feeling.

  4. Alli Says:

    I hear you on the prioritizing bit! It is so hard!!! Left to my own devices the knitting tends to creep in and take over making me feel like more of a KnittingMachinePerson than a regular person who enjoys knitting a lot. I hope you know what I mean by that. For the past few years I have been working and going to school and so my knitting was crammed into every nook and cranny of free time. Now I am only working (yay! done with school!) so I get to readjust my approach to free time (there is some!) and I struggle to find the balance between all the things I love to do.
    Reading, running, maybe some other crafting besides knitting?!

  5. Shannon Says:

    I think part of your question is also just accepting that that’s part of your personality. If you recognise it, it’s easier to address and cope with. Obviously you’ve done this bit. So it’s just getting the balance by maybe setting time limits or goals. That’s what I do if I really need to. I also make a lot of lists because it makes me feel a bit more in control of things and I can then know what really needs to be done. Oh, and a good piece of advice I’ve learned recently, do the things that are niggling you ASAP because they keep you distracted from the things you’d rather be doing!

  6. melanie Says:

    7 days to knit a sweater!? oh my lord, i only dream of being that efficient šŸ™‚ it turned out lovely – good job!

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