I am afraid that I have a very shameful confession to make. I won’t beat about the bush, or prevaricate, and I will come straight to the point, hard though it might be to bare my darkest secrets in public. I will be honest with you, although I feel that I should only mutter this in a quiet whisper – I have rather a lot of unfinished craft projects tucked away in boxes and baskets in my sewing space. There! I have said it. I feel rather guilty about this, especially in the face of all the wonderful blogs I read that record so many completed projects – and I quail in front of all the people who are so good at finishing things that they are able to run a business selling the end results.
I think there are two reasons for my sorry predicament: one is that my enthusiasm always outruns the time I have available in which to sit quietly in a corner with my head bent over my needlework. So I only have to start knitting one thing, or sewing another, before my unbounded optimism impels me to buy the materials for the next exciting project, and maybe even another still, if I have had a particularly productive day. And the second reason is that I am very good at working to a deadline, but I think that I am a bit of a slacker without externally-imposed sanctions. When I was doing my PhD I lived in continual fear of not completing my thesis, but what focussed my mind particularly was the veiled threats from the grant-making body that I would have to pay back my funding if I didn’t come up with the goods. And if I over-ran the time allowed, I would have to start paying my own fees. So, needless to say, I finished the whole thing on time.
So I had the idea of revealing all my sins of omission to my lovely readers, in the hope that the associated shame at confessing all my misdeeds, or, rather, non-deeds, would provide that necessary impetus towards productiveness.
And you know, I think it has worked already. As I started to investigate all those little baskets and boxes of work in progress, the potential embarrassment in displaying all of this incompleteness, and the realization that there were some things that I could finish off really quickly, made me sit down and do some work yesterday after ministering to the B&B. And here are some of the results.
There were some legwarmers I had knitted for Princess Bunchy using Sirdar Crofter and pattern 9135. All I had to do was to sew up the seams – the knitting was finished. I think that this is a problem I have with knitting – when I cast off I feel that I have finished, and I am not very keen on the process of sewing up, even though I enjoy hand-sewing with needle and thread. Knitting is for a different mood and mindset from sewing, and my brain obviously has trouble in conflating the two.
Although I generally prefer to knit with natural fibres, Princess Bunchy is very attracted to the more novel yarns when we go shopping together, and so I am often persuaded to try something a little different. You will see from the picture that I have also knitted her some handwarmers from a different shade of Crofter using the same pattern. The yarn quantities specified were on the generous side, as you can see from the leftovers, so I will be able to make her some socks (is that another project coming on?). And I also knitted her some legwarmers in Hug (using pattern 8921) – a yarn that I am not particularly impressed with, as the legwarmers have become quite matted quite quickly, and I suspect that this yarn might not take to frequent washing.
I also finished the second of these two little needlecases, intended as presents. They were inspired by the wonderful colours of felt stocked by Sarah of Paper-and-String – you can buy packs of the whole range of colours, and having used up my usual favourites first, I experimented with, to me, some different combinations, picking out the shades of purple and green in some sweet bird fabric (bought from Fabric Rehab), which lends itself to fussy cutting. I even mended a bath mat and apron which had been sitting patiently by my sewing machine for, ahem, some weeks now.
And then back to my knitting, some of which you have already glimpsed by candlelight. I have finished all the squares for a small person’s blanket, but actually have a way to go to finish the blanket itself, as the squares must be stitched together, heart motifs embroidered, other heart motifs stitched on, and then all picked up and knitted round the edge to make a border. Casting off the squares was in no way the end, however much I felt that I was nearly there. And being the undisciplined type, I have a spaghetti of ends to weave in before I can do anything else. I recently spotted Hen’s gorgeous crochet blanket in progress at Henhouse Homemade – all beautifully blocked and stitched together as she goes along. Hen, I will try to follow your example. I have a big bag full of knitted squares for a patchwork blanket (going back more years than I really care to mention) which I can hardly face – all the ends to sew in and squares to stitch together – ugh!
But I sat down (on the holiday sofa) with a will because there is a deadline looming for this project, and I was beginning to panic, - and thus I made some progress, the evidence of which you can see below.
But then today I found out that the little person will be with us a couple of weeks later than I had thought, so perhaps I could just quickly cast on a pair of socks, or maybe finish that dress for Princess Bunchy …