Two what? Why, two knitting projects of course. Lately, I have been a fairly monogamous knitter – knitting away on one project until it’s done and then starting another. Except for August when I was on holiday and working simultaneously on two cardigans (Killybegs and Ravi), I was pretty much monogamous all last year. Well, the fact of the matter is that being faithful to a single knitting project is no fun. It’s also not a productive way to knit (I know this seems counter-intuitive but stick with me.)
Sometimes I knit all by myself in a quiet spot with no interruptions and good lighting. I can spend that time doing things that take a fair bit of attention – doing intricate colourwork, picking up stitches, knitting lace or finishing work. Sometimes, I knit while holding a conversation, or watching a movie, or standing in line, or reading a book (yes, I can knit while reading a book). Sometimes, I knit in very poorly lit places where I have to rely on my fingers and not my eyes to know what I’m doing. Obviously, if I have two (or more) projects on the go, then I can tailor the project I pick up to the environment I’m knitting in.
But it doesn’t stop there. Often, I want to grab a project to knit on the run, but the project I’m working on is big and awkward and bulky. Some projects are more inherently mobile than others. Also, sometimes I feel like knitting lace on tiny needles and sometimes I feel like knitting miles of stockinette. Then again, sometimes a girl needs just the right project to knit in the snow!
Yes, It’s snowing like mad in England today! School is cancelled, work is cancelled, I’ve done the grocery shopping, I have knitting to hand, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! (By the way, these photos were taken early in the day when it hadn’t been snowing for long. Right now it is a winter wonderland outside and shows no sign of stopping.)
I have been working on Emma’s Venetian Audrey pullover, but for all the reasons above, I needed another project. Audrey is knit in DK weight yarn and has a lot of shaping details to pay attention to; furthermore I am now working on the sleeves which means endlessly knitting round and round (in rib) on DPNs. I wanted a second project that was psychologically quite different. Because of the cold and the snow, I wanted to knit something warm and cozy. And because I have had very long days at work the past two weeks, I needed some mindless knitting. What I settled on in this:
This is the February scarf, designed by Beth Weaver for Quince & Co Osprey. It is a giant scarf that you can wrap around your neck multiple times. It is knit in Quince & Co. Osprey, which is unbelievably lofty and squishy. Osprey is a chameleon – it looks completely ordinary in the skein, but when it’s knit up it transforms into something lovely and soft and airy.
I must be completely honest however and admit that part of the reason why I picked this particular project is penny-pinching. With Emma at university and Leah about to start, I really have to watch my budget. And it just so happens that I had 5 skeins of Osprey in Winesap, a nice solid red, just sitting in a box in my study. I bought it a few years ago with the idea of making a pullover, which I then decided I didn’t like. I have looked and looked over the past year for another sweater to make with it, but all the sweaters that I like take at least 6 skeins. (I should point out that the February scarf calls for 6 skeins as well, but, hey, it’s a scarf.) It’s pretty in red, as you can see, but really must be felt to be appreciated:
The best part is that it adheres to Kelly’s creative accounting formula: The yarn is already in my stash; therefore, I can knit this for free.
Very nice! By the way, I couldn’t imagine monogamous knitting. I always have a few different projects going for exactly the reasons you gave. Happy knitting!
I always have two. And sometimes three and four. :))
That certainly is a chunk of knitting you have ahead of you! I’m all for knitting bright stuff in winter, we need all the eye-candy we can get! Nice to see you got a little bit of snow! It’s good in moderation…
I’ve tried monogamous knitting and crash and burned miserably! The more you knit, the more you realise that certain concepts and techniques transfer marvelously from one project to another, but they’re sometimes little and obscure details that you forget from project to project if you’re of the monogamous persuasion. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it!
The danger of knitting too many things at once is that projects are apt to fall from the radar. And that’s why I currently have a 4 year-old (beautiful) gray mohair sweater in the back of my car. It WAS hidden in the trunk of my former car, and when I recently bought my station-wagon, it’s now in the open hatch, and MOCKS me every time I put a load of groceries in. I don’t even know what needs to be done! I think I just need to check sleeve length and seam the whole thing, but it has been a while since I’ve fondled it. Have you ever seamed mohair? It’s a nightmare in the making! Why did I not knit this seamless, top-down and saved myself the agony?
And so goes the argument for having many, many projects on the go at the same time.
I wear my “knitting harlot” badge with pride.
This comment made me think of this article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/9596918/Clutter-in-the-boot-wastes-fuel.html, which claims that our fuel efficiency is bad because of all the junk we carry around in the boot of the car. It’s amazing, according to the article, how many of us cart around “unnecessary items” in the boot. Well, if I were to break down on the highway, I’d be most pleased to have a half finished grey mohair sweater in the back to work on while I waited for the tow truck.