I like a good beginning. I’m a huge fan of the fresh start of the New Year, the first few pages of a good story, and the possibilities of a brand new DIY project.
I’m also fond of certain endings — especially when I finish exercising, folding laundry and, yes, those same DIY projects that I loved so much at the onset.
But there’s really something to be said for the middle.
Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t bear to finish a great book? Or that you were so enjoying a dinner with friends that you tried to distract everyone from noticing the time? Have you been so perfectly relaxed during a vacation that you never wanted it to end?
Lately, I’ve felt that way about my TV knitting.
I finally got to the thumb, the last of the last steps, on the remake of my glove –
– and then a terribly sad plot twist in last week’s “Downton Abbey” made me reach for the kleenex to mop up. (I’m trying hard not to be the spoiler I so want to be — it’s such a good show.)
It took me the rest of the week to knit about 30 stitches so I could wear the pair during some of the coldest days we’ve had here in two years. Strange. Weird. True.
I think I had trouble finishing that last little bit of the thumb because I didn’t have anything else ready to go. And sometimes I only want to knit. Not choose a project from my queue, not find the yarn and wind it, and definitely not swatch to find my gauge (over and over). I want to pick up my needles and go.
So I used the Super Bowl to remedy my malaise. The plan: to cast on a new project at the beginning of each new quarter and knit as much as I could until time ran out:
1st quarter — Socks. I was going to save these for Secret Recipient #1 of the Christmas 2013 presents, but, um… they’re really pretty, so I might just keep them. That’s the danger of working with beautiful yarn.
It took a while to wind this yarn (and the yarn for the 2nd quarter project), so I didn’t get terribly far. Not that it matters: I’m just happy to have it started.
2nd quarter — Gloves. For my husband. The guilt got to me.
These innocent-looking little gloves stymied me with their teeny-tiny gauge. I’d swatch on little needles, only to find I needed to drop a size. The winner was finally size 0 needles. I hope he’s not expecting them any time soon….
Halftime. Time for stretching out my wrists and eating chips and salsa. Oh and hi, Beyonce.
3rd quarter — Beret. I barely started swatching for this one when the lights went out at the Superdome, halting the game. At this point, everyone in my house attacked the remains of the buffet with renewed vigor and stretchier pants.
This time I needed to increase the needle size so the fabric would have a little drape to it. Right then it became clear to me: it’s not that I put off casting on because I don’t want to knit or don’t know what to start. It’s futzing with gauge. Oh Gauge, why do you mess with me every single time?
4th quarter — Lovely Cowl.
Okay, okay — so it never quite made it to my needles. I found that, like the Ravens, my momentum for casting on a fourth project had stalled with the delay of game and the second round of overeating. Eh, another time. Lovely yarn though, isn’t it?
At the end of the day, I’m back exactly where I want to be — in medias res, surrounded by projects. Now, which to work on first?
How do you feel about the middle?
Leah at Inspire and Indulge tweeted some excellent Nutella recipes (some even sugar-free) this weekend, and she let me know that there’s a big day tomorrow. Did you know that February 5th is World Nutella Day?