25 January 2008

Refound Project Monogamy

Last night's knit night chez* Ariadne was tons of fun. Sharon (who has every intention of having a blog one of these days but is just too darn busy at the moment to even add photos to Ravelry) brought up an interesting topic that I feel like writing about (hopefully she won't mind that I stole her life): Knitting Monogamist or Polygamist?

Recently returned from visiting home (New Zealand) for the first time in several years, Sharon has suddenly found herself with a stash. She (until this point) is the type of knitter we all aspire to be. Monogamist, focussed and stash-free. She works on one project at a time and her 'stash' is really just any leftovers from past projects. She's not one of those (read: me) who buys yarn just because of over fondling/drool on the yarn and so must be purchased (or be thrown out of the store) or because she has a project in mind and is thinking ahead when the current project shall one day be done. Nope. She doesn't even seem to cast on for multiple projects at once. She's not a Polygamist Knitter (like me).

But all of a sudden she has a stash. Sharon bought/brought a bunch yarn from home to work with. Now by 'regular' Polygamist standards, it's really not terribly bad. Sounds like a pair of mitts, a few hats, a scarf and possibly enough for a sweater. Really not much at all. For the Monogamist knitter however, I could see how this could be a problem. Her basic Project Fidelity is being called into question by the tempting presence of so many potential projects. How can she commit to one project when there are so many options?

Maybe her Monogamy was conditional. She's been able to focus so much on what she's currently working on because there's no other projects around to flirt with her attention....drag her away with the promise of a perfect cast on, interesting yet challenging pattern repeats, the gentle caress of a new fibre and feel of an unfamiliar pair of needles to create a fabric with that 'je ne sais quoi' drape to it. And the new knitting project has none of the problems of the old knitting project. No problems with gauge, confusing pattern lingo or errata, or even just general misbehaviour. No, the promise of the new knitting project is always that fresh start. The clean slate. The exotic lingerie (uh, High Fidelity will explain that reference). Instead she's hired out her very capable hands to various local knitwear designers while she regains her focus.

Sharon's knitting focus and fidelity dilemma brought up and interesting personal investigation for me. Before leaving on holiday and my hiatus, I was really having lots of project fidelity issues because of all the yarn sitting around my apartment staring at me. The Siren song of the new project was just too much to resist when I would hit a rough patch with whatever current sweater I was working on. One little fight and I would be out the door and casting on for something new.

The time apart from my knitting has really done me good. I have had a chance to reflect on what's been going wrong with our relationships and what I need to do in order to fix things. Not just break up completely and start anew, in most cases we've sought out therapy and are starting to work things out. Not to say that there haven't been some break-ups, but for the most part, we're working things out.

And since being back in a knitting relationship, I have begun to be a Monogamist as well. The stash is still around, but I have learned that the promise of a fresh start is very cold and eventually will lead me into more trouble with my relationship with my current Project. It's important to keep alive the initial passion of the project and not be swayed by the sweet caress of new yarn, no matter what the colourway...

* I've begun to call them Spinster Knitting Club meetings to my regular non-knitting friends (and my brother). To be perfectly PC, I don't consider those who go, or the lovely Ariadne girls that host it to be Spinsters. In fact quite the opposite. Most have boyfriends, husbands and/or babies.

To be clear, I'm the Spinster (by old school corset & petticoat definitions, by current one I'm just a 'Feminist' which is far less entertaining) and knitting (with others) is my Spinster behaviour. Gots to get out of the house sometimes. BTW, we should reclaim Spinster to be non-derogatory like we did with ho.

Though I should probably actually learn how to spin in order to add legitimacy to my claim to be a 'spinster.'

** Daily posting is brought to you by Boring Job Inc.

*** And the Pink Lopi Raglan has been ripped to ribbing, the yarn wound into skeins and steamed with the iron to remove all the curls and is in progress again, this time on 4.0 mm needles. I measured it this morning and it is becoming the perfect body! If it wasn't still stooopid winter I'd have shown you pics of all my crazy 'hardcore' yarn treatment.

3 comments:

Erin said...

I'm trying to stick to Monogamist Knitting myself. I'm using all the free time I have now to finish up the little projects that I've had laying around that would just need a few things to be done -- but I hadn't gotten around to for one reason or another (laziness).

Frankly, it felt really good to get it all out of the way.

(Okay, I might take a break from the Origami Cardi to work on my Lester, but that's it.)

AliP said...

Gods, I feel like such a slut with 3 projects hanging on. And that sock yarn, you know the cute one? Its been giving me the eye and making me feel like I am missing a little sum'n sum'n.
Oh Gods...I am THAT knitter. Don't sit too close at knit night in case I give you a reputation by proximity.
Sniff sniff..

jane said...

tee hee hee. luvs it!