Saturday, 1 March 2008

Process vs Product

I have come to the conclusion that I have become a process knitter. Once-upon-a-time, it was all about product: I enjoyed the knitting, but I couldn't wait to sew up the garment and wear it. Not now. Now, I can't wait to cast on the next thing.

I have all but finished the Soft Sweater with Patterned Yoke. It just needs a light block, seaming of the left shoulder, knitting-up the neck, and then sewing up all the other seams. It has lurked accusingly in its knitting bag for the past two weeks, poking out the top to remind me of its presence, making me feel guilty whilst I've turned my attention to the Must Have Cardigan. It is nagging me to finish it.

I'm feeling guilty enough as it is. My UFO list consists entirely of stuff that needs sewing up. Remember the Reynold's Lace Tee? It's waited at least six months to be sewn up (I rationalised that it is too cold to think about wearing summer tops, but even so...).

Then there is a shawl collared "blouse" from the 1930's that I finished knitting TWO years ago. It doesn't even require much seaming, since it has a yoke knitted mainly in the round. I can't rationalise leaving that alone, now, it's cold and the blouse would be perfect to wear to work with my suit. But still it lurks in the knitting basket.

The only thing I've really completed recently is the white sweater in this photo:

And I'm still waiting to get a decent photo of it. (There is a long and involved story behind this sweater, which I'll tell when I've got that photo to show it off.) This sweater waited a year for it's seams and took months to sew up - I'd do a bit and then abandon it, answering the siren call of the needles.

I guess it all boils down to sewing the seams. A couple of years ago, I got paranoid about sewing decent seams. Before then, I'd just whip-stitch the seams and they'd look pretty rubbish but I thought everyone else's were like that too. Then I read the comments on seams in the back of one of my knitting books and realised that mine were a mess and I'd been doing them all wrong. I had to re-learn my seaming technique. It took time. I kept rechecking the book for instructions, so my new seams were much slower to sew. Oh, and I discovered blocking, taking the Yarn Harlot's comments to heart. Again, that slowed me down and became another obstacle in the finishing-off process.

Excuses, excuses. There is no excuse that is good enough. I have plans for these clothes. If I could only bring myself to sew them up. I could wear them now (yes, even the Tee - it can go to work under a suit jacket). We have no plans for today - we have a new garden cupboard being delivered - so it is a perfect day for finishing things off. At the least, I could block the Soft Sweater....

- Pam (Procrastinators'r'Us)

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