Slow and steady not winning the race

My knitting progress over the last few months can be described, if I am being very generous, as slow and steady.  This might have worked wonders for the tortoise but it’s not winning me any prizes.   I am simultaneously working on two projects which are both progressing very slowly, for very different reasons.  First is the lovely Exeter jacket, which I hesitate to admit I cast on over six months ago!  My knitting on this has been very off and on, with emphasis on the off. I finished the sleeves months ago, and have been plodding away on the back.  I am now just 3 inches shy of being finished with the back:

IMG_7853You can see why it is slow knitting; it is densley cabled, and the pattern is intricate and not easily memorized, with lace inset into the cabling.  I also find that the yarn, Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter, is hard on my fingers, and because of this I can’t knit on it for long. I should point out at this junction that I have already washed and blocked the sleeves and discovered that the Shelter transformed beautifully after washing.  I will have to finish this jacket, and wear it for a bit, before I can make an appropriate judgement on this wool.

Though finishing the back will be a big milestone with this jacket, there is still a lot of work left.  The fronts are double breasted, and have pockets, and the collar has endless amounts of ribbing.  (In case you have forgotten, you can see photos of the pattern, designed by Michele Wang, here.)

The other project on my needles is the beautiful Viajante shawl, which is a cross between a shawl and a poncho and a cowl, and is designed by Martina Behm.  This is knit with one skein of Wollmeise Laceweight yarn.  I can hereby testify that these skeins are never-ending; surely some magic is afoot because I knit and knit and knit and the ball never gets smaller.  Luckily, the yarn is beautiful:

IMG_7842And you can already tell that this piece will have fabulous drape:

IMG_7841Despite knitting on this for months (almost three of them) I still have about a third of the skein left to go.  I had Doug snap the photo below so you can get a sense of the current size of this.  For some reason, I seem to be glaring at it unhappily.

IMG_7835Now I am a reasonable being; I know that if I just keep at it, I will finish both of these projects (and right in time for the fall).  That doesn’t seem to keep me from wanting desperately to cast on something else.  Maybe something really small and fast, I tell myself, like a pair of mitts.  I can finish them in a week and get right back to these two monsters.  Unfortunately, just today I have received an order of yarn which I made over a month ago:

IMG_7862This is a great big pile of Rowan Fine Tweed, destined to be a Soumak Scarf Wrap, designed by Lisa Richardson:

Soumak_Scarf_Wrap_2_medium2This is clearly not a small, fast project.  I would be crazy to cast on another endless project right now, wouldn’t I?  But just look at it; isn’t it gorgeous?  And look at this yarn:

IMG_7865I am trying to emulate the tortoise – slow and steady wins the race, slow and steady wins the race.  On the other hand, it’s not a race.  Fortunately, I just do this for fun. I can knit whatever I please.   Maybe casting on something new (or dreaming about it) is the knitting equivalent of stopping and smelling the roses?  Stay tuned to this space – sooner or later, I’ll finish knitting something.


14 thoughts on “Slow and steady not winning the race

  1. I am “this close” to casting on the Soumak. Then, I give my head a shake, fondle the wonderful yarn some more, and put it away. Much to my chagrin, it will have to wait…

    Of course, if you cast it on, I might be forced to reconsider my stance!

    I’m happy I frogged my Viajante. (No word of a lie – it measured 42″ – I had completed 2 skeins of Mad Tosh Merino Light!) My Mad Tosh is much better served knitting up Joji’s Boxy and Buttony. Joji sure knows how to write a pattern. I’m hoping to join my sleeves this weekend, then it will be all circular knitting all the way down, which will be a treat considering all the short rows this sweater has.

    All that said and done – I feel your pain regarding these interminable, sometimes infernal projects, as well as the urge to start a “quick and easy” filler project, as I’ve dubbed those little projects that distract us from other tasks at hand.

    Both your Exeter and Viajante are coming along beautifully! Just keep plugging away, says this fickle knitter!

    • I think you will be happier with the Boxy and Buttony, particularly with the Composition Book Grey, which I think is better suited for a sweater. I am trying to hold off with the Soumak for a few weeks, so maybe we will cast on together!

  2. Keep on keeping on! The jacket is fabulous! It would have been unrealistic to think you would finish that in a short time. Too complex. Perhaps you should finish the jacket before casting on another endless project.

  3. That pile of tweed is super-enticing. I’m not sure I could resist it either.

    You’ve convinced me that I need to buy the yarn for Exeter. It’s just too fabulous.

  4. I think Slow & Steady is about the only way to go about such a jam-packed with cables sweater as this ! No guilt , feel proud…it’s most awesome.
    :: cheers from the sideline of the race::

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