Monday, 17 August 2009

A shameful confession

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 …


andamento said...

Well done! I really like the blanket so far, can't wait to see it once it's completed.

By the way, it was a socks off day again today! Warm again, and with more peacock butterflies in the garden, they're my favourite too.

marigold jam said...

I love it - it's so good to know that one isn't alone in being a starter but not a finisher. I am so often part way through a project when it just comes to me that I could try a so and so or make another such and such but this time in a different yarn or whatever and I cannot wait to get started on it. I think that we creative types are all the same and I am sure if we were all honest we would have to own up to a stash of unfinished items dating back dare I say years!

I love the little needlecases and the heart blanket is going to be gorgeous too so hang in there and finish a bit here and there and maybe that will give you the impetus you need.

Bon courage!


Tracy x said...

just like me.... i have so many unfinished projects including those very legwarmers and a pair of socks from the same pattern book - really like the Crofter yarn :)
your blanket looks wonderful so keep on going!
t x

whoatemycrayons said...

I a currently regressing back to my childhood and have considered legwarmers as a safe bet. When are you going to start selling them? :)

Michela said...

Don't worry Pomona, we'll give you all the support you need to finish your lovely crafts projects, as we can't wait to see them!
P.S.thank you for the explanation you gave me about that poem, that's very kind of you!

Felicity said...

I'm the same, i start all guns blazing, and i normally do all the hard stuff and then leave the last little bits up to months!

I love the leg warmers they are brilliant! and the knitted blanket looks lovely i dont think i have got the patience for knitted squares! but socks are calling me too! i find myself getting sidetracked looking at sock yarn and patterns!!! fliss xx

Menopausal musing said...

I nodded knowingly at this one, for it was only yesterday that I was searching for a particular fabric and came across a carrier bag full of knitted chequered squares long destined to be made into a blanket. I stuffed it back in the cupboard and carried on with yesterday's (newly started) project....... oh dear, oh dear.............. :O) x

Tabiboo said...

Ahhhhh I know that feeling soooo well! I think my secret stash of unfinished projects far out weights the secret purchases I hied and bring out when I think hubby isn't looking!!

I love the look of your patchwork blanket and the land of blog certainly does give you the impetus to get going - sometimes!!

Have a lovely day,

Nina x

Gingerbread said...

You can be sure there are plenty more of us out there with lots of UFO, we just forget to mention it me included. You have some lovely projects going on here, the blanket and I do like leg warmers. Best wishes Julie.C

What makes you happy? said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who starts things and doesn't finish them.

beck said...

Ooh I love your needle cases, and the leg warmers & the dear little blanket. I'm sure you will finish all your projects, and probably start some new ones, in time. They are all so lovely and I really enjoyed your photo's and musings. I'm trying to work out how many children you have.. thanks so much for popping by my blog and visiting xo ps I see you won a prize on Sarah Edens blog too! Congrats! xo

Cottage Garden said...

I am in awe of all the lovely gorgeousness in this post. Everything is ADORABLE!!! With so many lovely things to make it's no wonder you get side-tracked. You crafty bloggers are so clever!!!

JuliaB said...

I am envying your knitting skills, particularly the last project on this post, that blanket looks gorgeous! x

Indigo Blue said...

A lovey post with lots of lovely things to look at. I have been knitting a blanket for several years now. Worked a bit on it today! Yours looks very delicate, mine is quite dark in colour as I was following a series of magazines to try and improve my knitting skills. I have decided that the only way to finish soemthing at the moment is to tackle smaller projects! However, I too bought the materials for the next project when really it is not time to do so yet! Tut Tut.

periwinkle said...

oh, you just have to keep going with your blanket, the colours and patterns are just lovely -- go on, you can do it :-)

sue said...

Your blanket looks beautiful. I love the colors you are using too and think of how happy the baby will be to be snuggled up in it too. I love those legwarmers and the Crofter yarn is quite nice to knit with. I am knitting my daughter a cardigan with it in the pink colorway.


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