Thursday, September 06, 2007

Do-It-Yourself Intervention

Given the "tone" of last night's post, I think it is safe to say that I have hit something of a wall with the knitting. Announcing that the whole activity is stupid is probably a strong indicator of some Hobby Related Dissatisfaction.

At the moment, I have two projects on the needles from which to choose.

Project 1: A simple scarf. It's got the whole handspun yarn thing going for it. That makes for some interesting texture and you can't beat the novelty of knitting with that which you made from your own little hands. But it is not a particularly stimulating pattern. It's really pretty with all the neat colors. And it will surely make for some great traveling knitting. But I'm bored.

Project 2: Having reviewed the last fifty million projects from the Sheepish Annie Gallery Of Fine Handknits, I have come to realize that the reason I'm bored is due, at least in part, to the fact that I have become a Boring Knitter. For whatever reason, I've been leaning towards projects that are fairly easy or are ones that I've knit umpty-bazillion times. Not only is this boring, but has resulted in a little skill loss. There are one or two things that I used to knit and now seem to mess up without even trying. So I chose a pattern that was not overly technical, but a bit more challenging than my usual sock. I have, as of last night, ripped it back four times. For a while, I thought that maybe I'd had a stroke or had suffered memory loss following an alien abduction. Anything, even a large hole in my head, was preferable to having to look at that pile of squiggly, frogged yarn and realize that I have no good reason for not having followed the pattern correctly.

(There is also the matter of the ribbed sock for which I have yet to choose the best possible heel but we aren't counting that right now since I'm sort of dazzled by all the possibilities and need to not think about it too much)

It is probably not all that surprising that I might be a bit put out with the whole process at this point. But I began to be somewhat concerned around 9:00 last night after yet another round of riotous ripping. I flung the offending fiber to the carpet and proceeded to make a rather grand pronouncement, the gist of which was that I was finished with the knitting. Henceforth, my medium was to be Popsicle sticks. I declared my intention to scour the internets for any and all websites devoted to the fine art of crafting with wood and school glue. I found it highly probable that I could corner this market and perhaps make my fortune selling ill-formed sculptures from this under-appreciated source of art.

(It is worth noting that this was something of a waste of a good pronouncement. I'm the only human living here and the cats don't really care how I spend my free time as long as the kibble pouring and litter scooping responsibilities are met.)

It was at this point that I decided it might be time to get a grip. If a genuine grip wasn't possible then even a loose little pinch would work. I needed an intervention. And, once again, there was no one around to start the intervening unless I wanted to take advice from furry creatures who would only tell me that I needed to spend a bit more time sniffing catnip and snoozing in the sun. Not a bad way to spend a day...but not what I needed in terms of an intervention.

So I started to think about the knitting and what might be going wrong with the process. And here's the thing: I don't knit because I'm naturally good at it. In fact, we have something of an "opposite" situation here. I am not a person for whom patterns of any kind make any real sense. It doesn't matter if it is numerical, behavioral, or a series of repeating instructions that will ultimately end up as a sleeve. I just don't see it right away. Sometimes I never do. Thus, any finished knitting that comes off the needles here is nothing short of an imposition of will, a desire to make it happen in spite of my not really understanding how K-ing 2 Tog will somehow end up being pretty.

Without going into a lengthy lecture on the subject of Learning Styles (which I actually know a whole bunch about) here's the gist of the whole intervention:

Maybe I need to lighten up a bit...

There you go. I'm never going to be one of those people who posts about how they were able to knit something in the car because it was just a simple, six row repeat and easily memorized. That's OK. I will never awaken in the night with the realization that I have conceived of a pattern for a sofa slipcover and that I must jot it down before I forget it. Also OK. There is every reason to believe that the two projects upon which I am knitting not-so-happily away are going to take a while. Maybe even a long while. Again with the OK.

It's knitting. And, while I was probably a little rash in calling it, "stupid," it does have a tendency to frustrate. It can sit in the little basket by the couch for a while and, eventually, it won't seem so stupid anymore. I'm sure of it.

But, I have to wonder...could I really have been the foremost designer of Popsicle stick art in our time?

SA

21 comments:

Mouse said...

If you sell popsicle art on Etsy - you would probably do pretty well. I never cease to be amazed by what people are willing to pay for.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks that a trip to the craft show Saturday will be good for you. Might just become inspired by the many products we always see there. Maybe a fling with basket weaving will be in your future. Maybe just a day of fun filled looking and enjoyment.
See you Saturday,
Mommy Sheep

Beth said...

While I don't doubt your ability to be a great Popsicle stick art designer, I hope you stick with the knitting. Hmm...do you think there are Popsicle stick bloggers out there? :)

Ronni said...

Watch out that Mommy Sheep doesn't get you hooked on the quilting too. Fabric is heavier than yarn. And just as likely to follow you home.

Mia said...

"the offending fiber"... I truly AM laughing out loud.

I say.. go to the craft show with mommy sheep.

awesome.

Julie said...

I think Mommy Sheep has the right idea; the craft show will do you good. I'm not sure what I think about the basket weaving though; just what is she trying to say? :-)

Sheila said...

You're forgetting one thing: YOU ARE A SHEEP.
What do popsicle sticks have to do with sheep?
I'm confused.

Mel said...

I think you should just knit lace.

kmkat said...

Hmmm. Popsicle stick... art? I think not. Stick with the fiber. Stomp on it few times, fling it about the room. Show it who is Boss.

April said...

Perhaps you could take up whittling and turn Popsicle sticks into double pointed needles! Three hobbies at once!

Umm. Better go to the craft show with Mommy Sheep.

And for the record - I'd still read every word of your blog every day even if you never posted another word about knitting.

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt you'd be a superior popsicle stick artist but there doesn't seem to be any harmony between a Sheep and wood. I think your true craftiness lies with the yarn. You just need to find a pattern and a yarn that make your little sheepie heart sing. It will take time but it will happen.
Karen
http://nothingbutknit.blog-city.com/

Leigh said...

You have just desribed me a s a knitter to a T! I call myself an all thumbs knitter, even though once in awhile something turns out okay once in awhile from a galloping horse. My suggestion is to find the directions to make a little loom from those popsicle sticks and take up weaving!

Bobbi said...

knitting is supposed to be fun! I have to remind myself of that all the time, I get frustrated that i'm not knitting as fast as other people or making as much cool stuff. Good for your intervention,I hope it sticks!

Lorraine said...

I repeat, "Bad Knitting, back to the corner with you. You need a time out."

Go to the craft show, then stop at a LYS and browse patterns. Then again, I don't seem to have any problems finding new things to tickle my fancy.

trek said...

At least you don't have to eat a million popscicles to support your (potential) new hobby. Think of all of the calories you just saved right there!

Cursing Mama said...

If not the Popsicle stick art than the potholder loom things.

Donna Lee said...

Well, you are not alone with the pattern thing. I don't understand how folks just write patterns. I think they must see relationships that I am blind to. I know how socks are constructed because I have made several pairs but if I had to invent a new heel or something, my family would be barefoot. I am in awe, genuine awe, of people who can "do the math" and figure out the stuff and write beautiful patterns. I am very thankful for them too!

Lazuli said...

There's always the spinning wheel! No one's mentioned the lovely wheel yet, nor its pretty productions (which are separate from whether or not they are ever knit up!)

Mia said...

oh man.. didn't ya just LOVE the popsicle stick projects ::laughing:: I did.. and the burtn matchsticks too.

And yeah, knitting doesn't always have to be stupid.. but mine IS a little um.. "dusty".

Teri S. said...

Yep, I think you do need to lighten up just a tad. As far as being a boring knitter, take Mel's advice and knit lace. There's seems to be exactly one simple pattern in Victorian Lace Today. I'll even knit that pattern along with you. I bet I'll have you beat for slowness and how many times I have to rip back!

I enjoy knitting so much that ripping back doesn't bother me (too much). It just prolongs the knitting time, which is good if the fiber is yummy and pattern satisfying and if I'm not knitting on a deadline. However, there are some projects where I don't feel the love (the Sweaters of Despair leap to mind) and I abandon them. I have almost learned to accept my limits and knit what I enjoy knitting and to not knit what I eventually do not enjoy (like sweaters).

As for the popsicle stick art? Just call it modern or abstract and we'll probably be seeing the Sheep displaying at MOMA in NYC!

Kathleen said...

Need to use hot glue gun with popsicle sticks. I have two large plastic tubs of my son's creations in the attick. He would build bunkers and buildings for his GI Joes when he was 10-12. We still are not allowed to throw them away or burn them. I could send photos.